Stories about strategy

Pakistan’s brittle batting exposed

Yesterday’s clash against Canada uncovered a bitter fact about the Pakistan team – a fact that was made foggy after successive wins in the World Cup – which will yield valuable repercussions. The question of Pakistan’s batting vulnerability always exists, exposing the team’s inability to trust its own top-order under pressure. Panic was their nemesis. For a team, who was recently added into the list of favourites to win the World Cup, to perform abysmally against minnows is an indication of a contradictory mix of complacency and lack of self-belief. Complacency was apparent as our openers failed to perform again, playing ...

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Pakistan vs Canada: Notes from an unhappy fan

After a tie with India and a horrific loss to Ireland, England were all over the news. Being the spoilt brat that it is, the Pakistan team couldn’t take it; how could it watch silently as England stole the limelight? They wanted the attention back on themselves, and their match against Canada did just that. Electing to bat first, Pakistan put up one of the worst batting performances by a top ranked side in this tournament. In their match against Zimbabwe, Australia also went slow but eventually put an above par total on the board and kept wickets intact. But Pakistan ...

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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 beat Sri Lanka: Victory is sweet!

After having made two wins in two games, the Pakistan cricket team has given the country a reason to rejoice. For most of us Pakistanis, the World Cup has in fact just begun. We are beginning to believe that Pakistan are a force to reckon with after defeating Sri Lanka, one of the favourites. However, as extensive praise is being heaped on the team and congratulatory messages being sent across, we mustn’t forget that this was just the second game of a fairly long tournament ahead. We must cheer the boys on, but ensure that complacency doesn’t creep within the ranks, as ...

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Sri Lanka vs Pakistan: Momentum should be taken forward

It was a pleasant sight to watch Shahid Afridi use his experience against Kenya. Pakistan had set a daunting target and he opted to bowl with an attacking field and returned with a record performance, an epitome of the captain leading from the front. Abdul Rehman, however, went for a defensive field and mainly bowled a flat trajectory. This was quite surprising given a spinning pitch with the minnows facing a huge target. He should’ve bowled with a positive frame of mind, taking wickets with added close-in fielders. That would’ve given him a few scalps too and provided him with added confidence ...

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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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Will the Nokia-Microsoft partnership work?

For 10 years Nokia dominated the smartphone industry. But in the fourth quarter of 2010, Android overtook Symbian as the most used smartphone operating system (OS) for the first time. This may not come as a shock but if you look back a year, you’ll notice that at the end of 2009 Nokia had 44 per cent of the market share while Android had a mere 9 per cent. How did Nokia react to this? Simple: they killed Symbian. The start of Symbian’s troubles Since the iPhone brought about the touch revolution, Symbian looked like it was in trouble. Nokia first embraced this fact ...

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Confessions of a fundamentalist: We’re going to get you

I have a confession to make: I am what some of you might call a fundo : a fundo strategist to be precise. I was recruited in secret by a group of people calling themselves the “Tehreek-i-Nifaaz-i-Duniya-i-Jahaane-Musalmaniya-Pakistan.” It is  a top secret group made of representatives from different religious parties, banned outfits, sympathisers and financiers. Our group composition Our group operates like a small company. We have an an established mission (evident from our name) and a chain of command: nigraan-e-nizameen (board of directors) markaz-e-tazobarkar (core strategy group) majmuah-e-teelibaaz (general workers) I am the naib chaalbaaz (deputy strategist) and report to the emir chaalbaaz (chief ...

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How to generate business excellence

I’d like to shed some light on a topic much debated in companies that have survived more than five years and would like to get out of the break-even trap. They wish to bring their capabilities at par with the corporations they once aspired to be, and the key is operational excellence. This is achieved by building operational capabilities, which in turn come about by undertaking structured programs for epic-systematic high performance. To develop a rewarding development program, four factors are crucial to a corporation’s goals: Aim to create value by developing a marketing road map that grants a systematic process for ...

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Obama is not a balm for India

It’s festival season in India, with Diwali, the festival of lights, just round the corner. This year, the annual event seems to be overshadowed  by the upcoming visit of US President Barack Obama. I don’t remember this kind of excitement occurring with regard to a visit by any other foreign head of state. Today, no news bulletin is complete unless there is some mention of Uncle Sam. Both Hindi and English  newspapers are full of stories describing not only the political significance of the trip, but also bits of Obama’s schedule. We know where he will be staying, what he ...

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