ICC World Cup 2011 is wide open

Published: March 3, 2011

Drastic improvement must be made in the field if Pakistan are to lift the trophy, according to Inzamam. PHOTO:AFP

Australia entered the last two editions of the World Cups as sole favourites. It’s not very often that a World Cup is so wide open that any of the top five teams can clinch it with equal probability.

Pakistan stand tall, striking a perfect balance in their batting line-up and their bowling depth. With the tournament wide open, it provides a rare opportunity which should not be lost without a fight.

But I want to emphasise on the need to improve their fielding. If Pakistan are to win the Cup, they must make rapid improvements in their fielding. Ground fielding is looking strong but straightforward catches and stumps are being missed. This will cost us the tournament.

Fielders are not performing because of the mounting pressure. They should not fear the ball but every delivery must be followed like it’s meant for you. Going all out in the field without the fear of mistakes will take this team a long way.

This team has not looked better for a long time.

The batting line-up goes till number eight, a factor that works in our advantage as subcontinent pitches are mercilessly rewarding on the batsmen. Our bowling consists of two fast-bowlers – with Shoaib Akhtar making a striking comeback –  and three specialist spinners.

Pakistan batsmen must also look out for the Powerplay. The mandatory Powerplay in the beginning of the innings must be utilised with care. The openers must have a pre-planned strategy: losing one or two wickets for 80 runs in the first 10 overs is a good bargain and they should aim for that. Our openers are either hitting hard or playing too many dot balls. I would emphasise the power of soft boundaries and singles during this time of the match.

Coming to our bowling, I would think twice before resting Akhtar for today’s match. He has astonishingly stumbled across good form. There was a four-day break between Pakistan’s matches and that rest is enough for Akhtar. Resting him for eight days is calling for trouble. You want to hone his form, not rust it.

It is also time for the captain to ask Saeed Ajmal to get off the bench. Ajmal has tremendous potential and he’ll cause a lot of trouble on these pitches. He must be given a chance given the variety his bowling offers. I’d suggest to Shahid Afridi to roll his dice and take it up a notch by acting boldly with the toss. Today’s match should be a training ground for the quarters. He should go in and test his team’s chasing capabilities by bowling  first.

Finally, the winning momentum should not be broken. Eight batsmen is not too many. I’d want to go in today and the rest of the tournament without making any major changes which could upset the winning streak. Grab the trophy, its wide open.

For the latest World Cup updates and opinions visit The Express Tribune Cricket.


Inzamamul Haq

A former captain of the Pakistan cricket team

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.

  • http://www.tanzeel.wordpress.com Tanzeel

    Bismilla-e-rehman-e-rahim. Thank you Allah. ya the Australian batsman is play very good today. we is try very hard but is not win the game. Australia is on top but we is try to bounce on our back. Insha Allah we is play better.Recommend

  • http://nil syed fahad qasim

    you are really funny.Recommend

  • Rammal

    Shame on you and shame on Pakistani nation.Recommend

  • http://abc HINA

    A lot shame on u tooRecommend

  • Wake-up Caller

    Can Inzi swear to God and tell us he wrote the whole stuff himself? ;PRecommend

  • http://www.tanzeel.wordpress.com Tanzeel

    Why is shame on you, if my boyz is dont done well why should I call them good boyz ?Recommend

  • abc


    @ you know who you are :PRecommend

  • Ali

    Tanzeel you should be ashamed of yourself. Recommend

  • http://www.tanzeel.wordpress.com Tanzeel

    Come on buddy, (clapping). you mind your own business, I can criticize my boyz,first of all I have played many test matches why should I shame shame my self . Recommend

  • UA

    U know tanzeel, cz u r stupid that’s why u did not write this blog; rather you are one of those loosers who just can’t hold their tounge.
    Inzi is one of the best players. Can u even compare urself to him… So it’s better to keep your mouth shut! Same applies to all other incompetent, big-mouth, and so called critics.
    Well done Inzi. Keep writing. We love you.Recommend

  • Adnan

    Im sure thats not written by Inzi himself :P
    No offence Inzi,youre the best batsmen in the world but your vocabulary still is..enough said :PRecommend

  • Danish S.

    Sure this was written by Inzi? Nothing against the man he was a phenomenal cricketer but this article is a little suspect…lolRecommend

  • Amna

    Shame is on you because you think its funny to laugh at someone’s english, just because you probably had a much better education then them. Get over yourself.Recommend

  • JS

    Ofcourse, someone must have put his thoughts on paper for him. His English was terrible but that does not change the fact that he was one hell of a batsman who served Pakistan cricket for many many years.Recommend

  • Sardar Khan

    Haha…ET editors this is the biggest irony ever! Inzamam-ul-Haq should be the last man to have any ‘expert’ opinion on ‘possibilities’ in the world cup. During his ‘captaincy’ (I mean Ameeri) Pakistan performed the worst in their world cup history and were OUT in the first round!!! What kind of EXPERT opinion can we expect from Inzamam (aka Ameer sahab)???Recommend

  • A

    Man I’m sure these were Inzi’s words but he probably wrote this in urdu for some newspaper or for Tribune itself and was translated and edited that’s all. Obviously we know Inzi didn’t write the English himself–no big deal! He’s our legend and we should be proud no matter what.Recommend

  • http://syedaabidabokhari.wordpress.com The Only Normal Person Here.

    Tanzeel stole the show. I feel bad for our player. Inzi should be getting all this attention.Recommend

  • chutzpah

    inzi we loved you, we hated you and over and over…
    for the soft boundaries first powerplay, we havent had nebody better than saeed anwar…
    big akmal is not capable of that… anyways with 2 akmals in the playing eleven, pakistan has to face 13 players on the field…Recommend

  • http://hongkong wahab

    Forget about English.. its not our mother tongue.. Chinese dont know it, french, Germans, Russians..none of them.. why u so complexed then?Recommend

  • http://islamabad Maryam

    @everyone….i really find Tanzeel’s comments funny….its an achievement to make ppl laugh…hahaha….n i cant stop laughing…Recommend

  • http://www.tanzeel.wordoress.com Tanzeel

    Hello buddies, first of thanks to Allah and boyz that is I dont make fun of is boyz. if you think I make fun anybody i may rot in hell in when is I die. I tell you ball is not coming on bad but boyz is performed very well now what can is i can do, is it my mistake ?.

    Miss Amna and Mr. Wahab and Mr or Mrs UA please understand my point and is dont mind.


  • Nojeba

    hey, whether he wrote this himself or got someone to write it for him, at least hes trying. A person cant improve unless he tries so its not fair of you all to make fun of him. You have to appreciate the effort. besides hes right in a way, our team has improved, our fielding sucks thoughRecommend

  • Canadian Jhatt

    Awesome Tanzeel…your comments made me laugh..Inzi was a great cricketer but a dumb skipper.

    Btw… tanzeel you should start blogging!! I see the potential and…you have already got some fans!Recommend

  • Vinay

    @Tanzeel –

    Hilarious! Awesome man… :D

    Personally Inzy was one of the best batsmen we’ve had, but its ok to steal some laughter given his vocab was always so funny. Here is an excerpt –

    Inzamam’s interview after Pakistan’s
    loss Inzy’s interview – One man who
    entertains when cricket matches are

    Rameez: So Inzy, disappointed with
    your performance today?

    Inzy: Bismilla-e-rehman-e-rahim.
    Thank you allah. ya the indian batsman
    is play very good today.
    we is try very hard but is not win the game.

    Rameez: Any words for Dhoni?

    Inzy: Ya dhoni is play very well. He
    is hit his shot very hard in our gaps.
    In start, we is protect our gaps very well.
    the grass is also thick.. but dhoni is split our gaps with his bat.

    Rameez: Another ordinary bowling

    Inzy: Ya our balls is loose. The
    bowler is went for many run.
    Asif is bowled well. Also, after some shots the ball is out of
    shape. Umpire is not give another ball.. it is tough to play with one

    Rameez: Dropped catches.. did that
    prove costly?

    Inzy: ya the ball is not stick to
    our hands.
    we is practice a lot sticking our bat in our hands..
    but now we is more practice sticking balls in our hands.

    Rameez: Any plans for the next match?

    Inzy: ya India is on top but we is
    try to bounce on our back. Insha allah
    we is play better.

    Rameez: All the best Inzy

    Inzy: Thank is you.

    Hope you enjoyed! :DRecommend

  • http://www.tanzeel.wordoress.com Tanzeel

    Lissin dudes, dont make fun of is anybuddies english, I played lot of cricket and is seen lot of people, some people is called me Aaloo but i is didn’t mind i only hit is bat to him but because Inzi is not Aalu , if you make fun of anybody I is not hit you, but my boyz. Recommend

  • http://islamabad Maryam

    vinay…..this was hilarious………i sooo enjoyed it….
    the blog itself is not that amazing…but the comments made it soo much fun…Recommend

  • Maleeha Shah

    Stop being so mean, will you, Tanzeel?! Recommend

  • Uza Syed


    Listen, Tanzeel, you better be careful otherwise —– Inzamam will instruct god to curse you in addition to putting that famous ‘jacket’ on and then ………. ! Recommend

  • Uza Syed


    His “thoughts” —— vow! Good idea, if he had any!Recommend

  • Neeraj, India

    Boy! You stole the show. I thought Tanzeel’s comment obliterated the author’s blog post itself, but your “interview” with Inzi was just incredibly hilarious. Thank you buddy!
    To my Pakistani friends who are furious at Tanzeel, please take it easy. A hearty laugh is a precious and much needed commodity for all of us.
    Not knowing proper English is not a big deal, everyone of us knows it. Take it easy. Recommend

  • http://www.tanzeel.wordpress.com Tanzeel

    Please is don’t steal shows, its my show and thanks to Allah boyz is always play well and are capable to perform any type of show with me. Please don’t mind and don’t is give me threats of suicide bombings, I myself is a refreshed Muslim is attends Raiwand Ijtemas with Saeed Bhai, is Junaid Jamshed and Mushtaq Ahmed and many other bhais. If you threats me I will make an Aalo of you is just like I was in past.Recommend

  • JS


    I think his suggestions merely reflect common sense, things which even a layman knows. But still, these are his thoughts.Recommend

  • http://ykhan.wordpress.com Yasser

    very well explained, Inzamam ul Haq, i also think Pakistan is playing extra batsmen, would love to have your views and advice on Abdur Razzaq position, who did wonders with the bat in middle order when Pak toured India in 2005.

    On other lines pity the nation, who is passing and making fun of you and your English, but they don’t know majority of the football players across the globe can’t even speak single word of English, they simply forget the innings you played in Semi Finals and Finals of the 92 world cup

    @etribune in what capacity the first comment on this post has been approved, which is neither related to post, nor funny but simply disgraceful ?Recommend

  • SM


  • http://Multan ILLIDAN

    Lol Vinay, that really was Hilarious.
    Tanzeel, even urs was pretty funny to start with, but don’t you think that you’re overdoing it now? :PRecommend

  • http://www.tanzeel.wordpress.com Tanzeel

    If my boyz didn’t like my language I is quit. Have is fun. Periods.Recommend

  • 007

    Itni achi english :O :DRecommend

  • ehabs

    I don’t think Inzimam actually wrote this. O_oRecommend