Stories about Test cricket

Out with Sarfraz, in with Shoaib

This tour of South Africa seems to be a moment in Sarfraz Ahmed’s life where everything goes haywire. The rise and fall of Sarfraz and the emergence of Shoaib Malik from within his own ranks months prior to the World Cup, is a tailor-made story with enough grief and sorrow to hit the shelves and be sold out in its very first week. If we are to skip a few pages back, Sarfraz, standing in an oddly designed white coat, was lifting the Champions Trophy amidst cheers and celebrations on the streets of London. Sarfraz was on top of the world, ...

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No longer a gentleman’s game: Why Virat Kohli is the epitome of modern cricket

Winning a Test series in Australia has been one of the biggest challenges in world cricket. The formidable Aussies usually have a habit of sending visitors bruised and battered from their shores. So complete has been their domination at home that no Asian team had ever won a Test series in Australia till last week, when the Indians finally crossed the final frontier. The significance of the achievement can be gauged from the fact that several cricketing greats, from Sir Viv Richards to Imran Khan, have praised and congratulated Virat Kohli and the Indian team for this historic win. Remarkable performance ...

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Why the Pakistan cricket team deserves Mickey Arthur’s wrath

The cracks within the Test unit had started surfacing a while ago, with a disappointing loss in the Test series against New Zealand at home. Turbulence was felt by those up in the ranks, and yet everyone stayed silent. However, a humiliating defeat in the first Test against South Africa penetrated all the cracks in the Test squad and caused Mickey Arthur to experience a meltdown inside the dressing room. Arthur is well within his domain to criticise senior players who are neither performing nor learning from their mistakes. Pakistan had a golden opportunity – as it sat comfortably at 101 ...

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Do we have the right squad for the #PakvsSA Test series?

The last time the Pakistan Test team toured South Africa was in 2013, the year Pakistan, to everyone’s surprise, lost the Test series. The main problem was with the batting which seriously failed to live up to peoples’ expectations. Almost six years later, not much has changed, aside from the exclusion of Younis Khan and Misbahul Haq. This time, Pakistan has a slightly younger squad, with Babar Azam and Fakhar Zaman at the forefront. In spite of the younger players, the Pakistan team batting line-up still remains a major concern. Pakistan’s recent Test form hasn’t been great. In Pakistan’s last two ...

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Too many options, not enough slots: Which great bowler will make it to the 2019 World Cup squad?

Pakistan cricket is facing a dilemma at the moment– albeit a good one. There are simply too many decent fast bowling options for the ODI format, but only limited spots remain for grabs for the upcoming 2019 World Cup in England and Wales. It can be argued that Shaheen Afridi and Mohammad Abbas are much to blame for making selectors scratch their heads while formulating the pace battery for the upcoming world series. Shaheen was a future prospect that was meant to be kept under the wings for grooming, but who knew he would disobey and take off on his ...

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Is Mohammad Abbas the next Mohammad Asif? The next Vernon Philander? The next Glenn McGrath?

It is happening again. Pakistan has once again unearthed a world-class talent, and yet again, the expectations are sky high. Is Mohammad Abbas the next Mohammad Asif? The next Vernon Philander? The next Glenn McGrath? No. He is the first Abbas and it is time for him to make his own name in the game. If you ever need proof that hard work will eventually be paid off, you should refer to the story of Abbas. At 25 years of age (just three years ago), he averaged over 30 with the ball in first-class cricket, lacked the ability to bat, ...

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Men in Green vs Mighty Australia: Has Pakistan selected the best team for the job?

How do we even assess the embarrassing performance exhibited by Pakistan at the 2018 Asia Cup? If we briefly sum it up, we can definitely detect complacency, lack of mental durability and a mismanagement of human resources. Now, after its heart-wrenching exit from the event, Pakistan cricket’s next adventure is a two-match Test series against Australia, which starts tomorrow.  The Inzamamul Haq-led selection committee has announced a 17-member squad to face the team that ranks third in Test rankings. However, it seems the selection committee hasn’t learned from past mistakes and has picked players that are either inexperienced or unsuitable ...

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MS Dhoni – an era on his own

He came, he saw, he conquered. These words are the very least one can associate with Mahendra Singh Dhoni for his performance thus far in international cricket. By placing the ball behind the square through to the third man boundary for a single, he recently achieved the milestone of making 10,000 ODI runs. On July 14, 2018 at Lord’s, the home of cricket, he became only the 12th batsman in the history of ODI cricket to achieve this rare feat. MS Dhoni plays a shot during the second ODI against England at Lords in London on July ...

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Why Fakhar Zaman could be Pakistan’s wild card in #PakvsEng

If the checklist to become a Test batsman had 10 items on the list, Fakhar Zaman would miss all 10 of them. His technique and temperament are not made for Test cricket and he didn’t claim to be one either. What he does have, however, is the ability to shift the momentum of the game within a single session. This might be the wildest suggestion I would ever make but Zaman could be Pakistan’s wild card that could help beat England in the upcoming Test series. Rumours are floating around that Mickey Arthur is interested in introducing Zaman at number six ...

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Is Pakistan ready to play real cricket in Ireland and England?

Having played the shorter format of cricket for quite some time – with the Pakistan Super League (PSL) and West Indies’ tour of Pakistan – the national team and its audience have been craving the long and real form of cricket since last October. Currently, Pakistan is sitting comfortably at the top of the T20 International table, and if anything, this is evidence we’ve been indulging in this format for far too long. When it comes to ODI and Test cricket, the men in green are lagging far behind their real potential, as at the moment, Pakistan is ranked ...

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