World Cup 2011 quarter finals: Remaining calm is crucial for Pakistan

Published: March 15, 2011

Shahid Afridi is dismissed by Zimbabwe spinner Ray Price as wicketkeeper Tatenda Taibu reacts. PHOTO: AFP

As the 1992 champions aim to get back to winning ways in the World Cup, the team management has the very important task of lifting the morale of a much maligned outfit after the heavy loss to New Zealand.

A lot of criticism has come the way of Shahid Afridi and his men, which would have dampened the spirits of a side that had won three successive matches before facing New Zealand. Here I must emphasise that the situation that Pakistan find themselves in, is not as desperate as most experts have made it out to be.

The team has now qualified for the quarter-finals and the defeat against the Kiwis came at a most opportune time, when they still had games in hand to rectify the mistakes they committed.

One glaring weakness that has been hurting Pakistan, is the poor show put up by the openers so far. Young Ahmed Shehzad has clearly not come to terms with the pressure of playing in such a huge tournament.

It’s now time to try Kamran Akmal as Muhammad Hafeez’s opening partner before the quarter-finals, in order to give him time to settle. Consistent failures from the opening pair has put a lot of undue pressure on the rest of the line-up and promoting the wicket-keeper could be a solution for Pakistan’s opening woes.

Talking about Kamran, inevitably brings up the topic of his dismal show behind the stumps. All the speculation about trying out Umar Akmal as wicket-keeper, is not at all a palatable option in my opinion. Wicket-keeping is a specialist job and trying out a make-shift option will ensure that Pakistan sees many worse days behind the stumps. The management must stick to Kamran, and give him their full support and confidence as he remains a crucial player.

I feel that Afridi has been erring in not playing Saeed Ajmal which is hurting the team badly. Afridi has been the only wicket-taker for the team and has enjoyed little support from the other end. Ajmal is a proven wicket-taker, and although Abdur Rehman does a decent job containing batsmen, he is not as potent as Ajmal. The off-spinner has the ability to apply pressure in the middle overs, and he must be played in the remaining group matches so that he gets the chance to get into his groove.

Pakistan remain a talented outfit despite the blunders that have been committed on the field. There is nothing wrong with this side that cannot be sorted out quickly and there is absolutely no need to panic. The team management will do well to remain calm in the face of all the criticism and concentrate on the task at hand with full confidence.

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.

  • Eeman

    Who wrote this article?Recommend

  • Inzamam

    @Eaman –
    Bismilla-e-rehman-e-rahim.Thank you allah!
    I is not wrote this article. Everytime I is talk them anything and they is disturb it in something.
    This people is make all things and write them in this paper after taking my name.
    I is always batting and tell boys to do same pinch. Recommend

  • Rehman Malik

    @Eeman: You can’t just read the article and shut up, you do have to ask stupid questions. It doesn’t make a difference even if Inzi didn’t write this article. ET might have translated this from Urdu. DOES IT MAKE AN IOTA OF A DIFFERENCE? Recommend

  • Haris

    inzy you yungsta beauty! i agree with you about kamran and hafeez opening and drop shehzad. but kamran is a useless wicket keeper he should have never been picked for the world cup it should have been his brother adnan he is a better keeper Recommend

  • Raza

    that’s exactly what i was thinking because i doubt inzamam ul haq can write so well!Recommend

  • Haroon

    If English was the criteria to play cricket and have a cricketing sense then English would have won WC 5 times at least!

    The article is the opinions of Inzamam who’s 19 centuries out of 25 were match winning innings! Another master called Miandad who is ridiuled for his English was the corner stone for Imran’s Tigers! A man for whom Viv Richards had said that if he had a choice he would get Mian in his team and watch him all day long!Recommend

  • ALEX

    Why Did You WRITE This?Recommend

  • parvez

    You are down right funny. Now want to see your answer to Alex’s question. Recommend

  • Inzamam


    I is wrote this article because I retire but is still follow behind cricket. I is especially in the world cup without batting I only sit on the TV and watching my boyz playing inside the TV. But when I was watch Newzealand match then I dont like my boys. Newzealand is beating their balls and they doing nothing. But I is still believe my boys as they working hard with their balls in the next game. And so I write this Alex.Recommend

  • Pakistani

    Please don’t insult our heroes…….Well in recent time Salman Butt is our only player who can speak English very well and see what He did…. Recommend

  • Eeman

    @Inzamam: You sit on the TV and watch your boys playing in the TV. How do you do that?Recommend

  • Ali

    To Eamen,Raza and everyone else who has been insulting and blabbering here. I pity you and feel sorry for you. Its because of this Colonial thinking and people like you the nation is nowhere. So what if a person can’t speak English. there are millions all over Europe here who can’t speak English properly yet they are not secluded from society but are an effective member of the society and take pride in whatever they do. This is just insane and astounding that you people do this to our National heroes. Stop being such ignorants and learn to respect people who are worth something. Take pride in your own language.

    Yaad rakho Pakistan mein sabko moqa nhn milta angrezi seekhney ka, iska matlab yeh nhn ke woh faltu haiRecommend

  • Ali

    Inzi you are great, We love you, keep on sharing your views man and dont worry about idiotsRecommend

  • Adam

    ET is a rubbish bin when it starts publishing comments like the ones above from “Eeman” and “Inzamam”. My respect for ET has been going down the drain with these comments. The so called editors of these pages have no dignity at all!!!!!Recommend

  • Eeman

    Oh come on. I was just kidding. We love Inzi. Recommend

  • Blunt!

    Get a life, Inzamam is funny!Recommend

  • The only Indian here

    Eman – English should not be a criteria dude …. in that case the mighty football players of Brazil and Argentina should be laughed at. Inzy rocks !!Recommend