Zaheer Abbas

Former captain of the Pakistan cricket team in the 1980's and current sports analyst.

Pakistan vs India: An epic battle of nerves beckons

All the euphoria that followed Pakistan’s fantastic victory over West Indies is well justified. One rarely associates such an accomplished performance from a Pakistani team, and it has been a heart-warming experience witnessing such a spectacle. India’s win over Australia has set up a mouth-watering semi-final clash between the arch-rivals. In my opinion, India as hosts will be the team under greater amount of pressure. The Indian public seems to have decided the result of the match already, with everyone taking a victory for the hosts as granted. Mahendra Singh Dhoni and his men are sure to feel the burden of such ...

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Pakistan vs Zimbabwe: Understanding the power of the single

Before coming on to more pressing matters, I must clarify that the Pakistan team happened to stumble across early success in the World Cup and let’s not misplace this accidental fortune as a pre-planned rhythm that the team has built on carefully in the tournament. Ergo, for commentators and critics alike, making crucial changes in the middle of the tournament will not break this so called rhythm – it might just lay the foundation for a successful strategy which we are still lacking. After the dismal performance against New Zealand, changes in the side are not just crucial, they are ...

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What will happen when luck leaves Pakistan’s side?

Not long ago there was a time in international cricket when the sport was dominated by one or two superpowers vying for the top spot — four-time world champions Australia and two-time holders West Indies have enjoyed their share of supremacy at the top of the game. However, this time around we are witnessing a relatively new phenomenon where five competitive teams are spearheading to lift the sport’s most prestigious trophy with full zest — Australia, South Africa, Pakistan, India and Sri Lanka. This throws the World Cup wide open, not leaving just one or two nations as the favourites ...

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Akhtar’s presence vital for Pakistan

Saying goodbye to someone who has served the country with great distinction and valour is always a sad moment. It is even more painful for the individual who is bidding farewell to a glittering career. Shoaib Akhtar’s retirement is indeed a time for reflection for all those who had the good fortune of seeing him in full flight. The world will certainly miss the sight of the ‘Rawalpindi Express’ bowling his lightning-quick yorkers and his clever slower balls that bamboozled the best of batsmen. Considering the immense amount of experience and skill that Akhtar possesses, I found the decision to drop ...

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The Pakistan team is playing one batsman too many

Pakistan’s batting goes down till number eight and that, in the playing-eleven, is tolerating one batsman too many. A formidable side must have a perfect mix of bowlers and batsmen as inefficiency in the team-mix can cause problems for the best of sides in the World Cup. Given that Pakistan enjoy the experience of stable batsmen like Misbahul Haq and Younus Khan, who form the backbone of their line-up, the team can increase the efficiency by eliminating a batsman and adding a specialist bowler. Umar Akmal, a stable and potentially dangerous batsman, came at number six in yesterday’s match. What the captain needs ...

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Pakistan’s inexperienced batsmen: Experiment is not an option

The 10th edition of cricket’s grandiose event has now kicked off and marked the entrance into a territory where experimentation does not remain a viable option anymore. Pakistan, on many occasions, have stumbled across this dangerous strategy of constantly changing their strategy, batting line-ups and playing-elevens. Those days should now be over. At this point, the team management, captain and coach should understand the fact that open-ended plans, loosely defined batting line-ups and playing-eleven will only hurt the team’s prospects. If Pakistan have any chance of a successful campaign, it lies in consistency and not experimentation. The team should be well acquainted ...

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World Cup 2011: The batsmen must click

With the World Cup taking place in the subcontinent, batting will play a key part in how Pakistan fares in the event. The duo of Mohammad Hafeez and Ahmed Shehzad performed reasonably well in New Zealand. Shehzad is quite raw and inexperienced but remains talented and has an array of strokes at his disposal. However, whether he stands tall to pressure at the biggest stage in world cricket remains to be seen. If he manages a big innings early in the tournament, I believe he should have a good World Cup. Hafeez has been around for quite some time without cementing ...

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