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How good COULD Pakistan be?


Hall of Fame Member
I were thinking of this when I was watching the Sussex-Surrey match, and seeing Mushy and Saqqy bowling together.

Pakistan could have a bowling attack of:

Generic Seamer*3
Mushtaq Ahmed
Saqlain Mushtaq

This is a very strong attack, with the two spinners providing great turn, along with Afridi or Razzaq as an allrounder.

But Pakistan have Kaneria and Abdur Rehman instead of Mushtaq Ahmed and Saqlain Mushtaq...
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Cricket Web Staff Member
An attack including Mohammad Sami and Rana Naved-ul-Hasan instead of Mohammad Asif and Shabbir Ahmed is not as strong as it could be.


Cricket Web Staff Member
But why point-out that an attack could be stronger with Saqlain and (possibly - remembering that it's been a long while since he performed at Test level) Mushtaq in it, when you also point-out that it could be weakened by the presence of two massively inferior seamers in place of two obviously superior ones? :huh:


Cricket Web Staff Member

Pakistan's attack would indeed be a better one if Mushtaq had not ceased performing in Tests (for no apparent reason) in 1998 and if Saqlain hadn't been injured in 2003.

Injury, sadly, is part-and-parcel of sport, but why did Mushtaq, who has performed with excellence in domestic cricket and had been performing for years in Tests (after a rocky start to his career), suddenly go wrong in 1998? It's a great mystery to me, and a great shame, as he was well on-track to become a far better bowler than Abdul Qadir.


International 12th Man
i see the attack of Asif, gul, shoaib and shabbir as a very strong bowling attack in both one day and test. as far as spiners go saqlien has been out of form for a while. if he makes it to the team it is good or else i say having afridi there as a spiner with support of malik is much better than playing with spacialist spinners like Kaneria.


State Vice-Captain
Pakistan could be awesome - they have such talent at their disposal. Infact, when classing teams on sheer talent, I think that they and Australia would be fighting it out at the top, miles ahead of the rest.

For me, their main two problems are poor discipline and lack of focus. If their new coach can sort these things out, I think we'll see a swift rise up the rankings from the Pakistani side. It's a big 'if' though...


State Vice-Captain
Oh yeah, for sure. And I don't hold any great hope that a new coach will get anymore out of them than Bob Woolmer and his predecessors did. Too much of a fixation with religion, and I don't think that's going to be an easy habit to break the team out of.


Cricket Web Staff Member
The fixation with religion has only been suggested as a problem of late, though.

And TBH, for every negative that comes with it, there's a plus-point too.


State Vice-Captain
So what do you think they need to do to maximise their talent and potential? Is there anything that can be done to improve them? Or does it just come down to the individual players' lack of consistency?


Cricket Web Staff Member
TBH, it comes down to "Pakistan being Pakistan". Not merely does it seem to be tolerated - most Pakistani cricket affectionados (even high-ranking journos like Kamran Abbasi) profess an unabashed love of the turbulence of their team (even if in most cases it doesn't extend to some of the catastrophes we've seen in the last 8 months).

And really, I don't blame them. International cricket would not be the same if Pakistan ever became consistent over a long period of time.


International Regular
My question is,

Where are the youngsters?

And no, it's not a rhetorical question...

Barney Rubble

International Coach
Pakistan in cricket = Holland in football.

Destined to forever be a great side on paper, but never to be that successful.


Cricket Web Staff Member
Never? No, certainly not. Pakistan have had many successes - the thing being, they're rarely sustained.

And they're not always an especially good side on paper, either - they've had oodles of extremely mediocre players reprisent them.

thierry henry

International Captain
Having said that, he was "only" a good test bowler, I'm thinking more in terms of ODIs though where he was borderline great. At a stretch, I can accept that Kaneria can make the test team ahead of him. Sorta. Kinda.