Stories about test

Love him or hate him, it’s time we bid adieu to Pakistan’s Boom Boom

For more than 20 years, the name Shahid Afridi has been part and parcel of Pakistan cricket, so much so that Pakistan’s cricketing history would be incomplete without highlighting his contributions. Even the greatest of cricketers have found it difficult to dominate oppositions from the very beginning of their careers, but that was not the case with Afridi. The manner in which he announced himself on the international arena was beyond amazing. He made a mockery of the Sri Lankan bowling attack in the second ODI match of his career, scoring the fastest century off just 37 balls, a record ...

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Splitting the captaincy between Azhar and Sarfaraz is a bad idea!

Yet another tour of Pakistan to the continent of Australia has ended badly. After a good Test series in England, followed by achieving the number one Test ranking, they have been outplayed in the ODIs in England, New Zealand, Australia, and of course, the Test matches in New Zealand and Australia. There is a lot of blame being placed on the shoulders of Misbahul Haq for the losses in these last two Test series and for good reason. At the same time, cricket is a team game, and as the abysmal performances in the ODIs prove, there is only so ...

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Misbahul Haq is Pakistan’s greatest asset in this age of slings and arrow

Two thousand and six. That’s when Pakistan were last ranked second in Test cricket. Back then, in the English summer, under the calm command of Bob Woolmer and Inzamamul Haq, Pakistan cricket was powered by skill and a degree of missionary zeal – blessed, you might say, by Bob and God. But the bank of blessings emptied soon after Pakistan got to England that year. Next, a forfeited Test, Woolmer’s death, terrorist attacks, and spot-fixing. An unprecedented four-year spell of curses. Four years with little blessing. By 2010, Pakistani cricket was more dead than alive. It would do well to exist. In 2015, Pakistan cricket ...

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Rock beats scissors, Hashim Amla beats Virat Kohli

The headline of this piece says it all about the sheer batting class of Hashim Amla, whose silent presence on and off the field for the Proteas has brought them great stability in their batting line up in the past few years. After the departure of an extremely talented opener-cum-captain Graeme Smith and a majestic middle-order batsman Jacques Kallis, Amla became the team’s ‘rock’ – as AB de Villiers puts it. A symbol of perseverance and resolute on which team South Africa relied on to take the opening spot. He yielded the willow like a weapon with which he ripped apart ...

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Steven Smith – Much more than just an ‘accidental hero’

Australia needed someone to take a stand for them, and once again, Steven Smith came to the rescue. There is nothing more to be said to praise this young lad who became the first batsman in cricketing history to score a century on his debut as the Test and ODI captain. Australia, currently playing against India and England, were set to chase a target of 303 in the fourth match of the Tri-series against England at Hobart. Smith came in at number three – considered to be the most responsible batting positions in cricket – after Aaron Finch departed and ...

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Is sledging tarnishing the reputation of the gentleman’s game? I think not

How long does it take to become proficient in the art of cricket, the gentlemen’s game? It probably varies from person to person, depending on how well they perform under pressure. My focus, however, is on its nickname – ‘the gentlemen’s game’. The name came about because, in addition to the rules and regulations, players have to abide by the spirit of the sport as well. The standard of sportsmanship in cricket has historically been considered so high that phrases like “it’s just not cricket” have been coined to describe the fair behaviour players are expected to exhibit on the ...

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Younus Khan, it’s time for you to retire

“Meri batting nahin ayi, is liye mein fielding bhi nahin karun ga”  (Since I didn’t get my batting, I won’t field either) Recalling childhood and those crazy action-filled cricket-centric evenings, this quote was, arguably, the most ‘rational’ argument one could present to back out from fielding. Whenever such a situation arose, the ‘senior players’ of the team would gather around the kid and try to convince him to field. If he owned the bat or ball, he was awarded with the privilege of keeping the wickets with the youngest boy in team at a ‘third man’ position. However, if this arrogant youngster ...

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Entry tests and inept professionals: Another nail in our education coffin

A few days back, I came across the news that the government is considering to end the entry test system (ECAT & MCAT) for admissions in universities. The news left me utterly dismayed. The policy to hold these tests was implemented a few years back, to check the competency level of students coming from different educational boards. It was a good way to test individuals on similar parameters to understand their aptitude for a particular field of study and was a much-needed step. In Punjab, there are many educational boards – almost every city has its own – and alongside ...

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Karachi Grammar School admission blues: Do you have what it takes?

It is that time of the year again when parents of three-year-olds queue up breathlessly outside the most coveted red building in Pakistan, to get their wards admitted into this 150-odd years old institution thus, ensuring a ‘secure and bright future’ for their beloved offspring. Some of these little ones have been going to preparatory classes along with their preschools, filling their lives with more alphabets and numbers than any three-year-old should be subjected to. Every parent who saunters into this school is confident that his or her child is ‘the best’ and if Karachi Grammar School (KGS) lets them fall through ...

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Wisden All Time best XI: How could you exclude Javed Miandad and Muttiah Muralitharan?

In October, 2013 Wisden, a cricket reference book published annually in UK, marked its 150th anniversary by naming the best Test team of all time. Though the team is a great one and all the pronounced cricket legends are included, some I believe are left out without any valid reasons. The team includes: 1.        Jack Hobbs 2.        W G Grace 3.        Don Bradman (Captain) 4.        Sachin Tendulkar 5.        Vivian Richards 6.        Gary Sobers 7.        Alan Knott 8.       Wasim Akram 9.        Shane Warne 10.    Malcolm Marshall 11.     Sydney Barnes Technically, there is nothing wrong with this team. It is indeed a mighty one, but the selection of Grace over Len Hutton looks more like an honorary one rather ...

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