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*Official* South Africa in Pakistan

Nazir Gone. What are selectors really thinking ? I mean why would you give chance to someone like Nazir again ? Has Pakistan become so talent-less ?
You need 'sifarish',political approach,etc more than talent to play at the top level for Pakistan.Of course,talented players also play but half of the players playing for Pakistan at anytime are 'sifarshis' and half are actually deserving.Its nothing wrong with being 'sifarshi' if you perform & prove through good performance that you deserve to play for your country.

And its not selectors who select the team,the selection is done by chairman(even some top level federal ministers are involved) & captain.So,the team you see is the combination of selection of all these.Some players manage to play because they belong to certain city or region(call it quota system or whatever you want).Selectors just sign on the already selected team.There are countless talented opening batsmen in Pakistan but they won't get a chance ahead of crap like Butt,Nazir,Hafeez because they either don't have sifarish or support of captain/personal relations with board authorities.So much corruption is in subcontinent cricket these days!
Good to see Pakistan winning this 2nd ODI after losing the first one.Lot is need to be done in the fielding & opening pair also needs to be changed.


School Boy/Girl Captain
Lawson has a lot of say in selection and its amazing to see him play Nazir as the opener.Neither Lawson impresses as a coach nor Malik shines as a captain.Don't see this team doing too well in near future.


International Coach
To say Nazir doesn't have any talent would be wrong, he is as talented as they come he has all the shots in the book so that's not the problem but his temperament and shot selection are pathetic which has been his undoing in international cricket.
Pakistan seriously needs to find a good opening pair if they want to do well consistently.


How does one already evaluate Lawson in his first month or so as coach? Would need at least a year and maybe more to start discussing the effectiveness of his tenure.


Global Moderator
Hard to tell at this point. From what I have seen this is the same old Pakistan from a year ago, only worse for obvious reasons.

EDIT: A bit off topic but I was just watching Lawson's debut Test against England yesterday where he took a 7 for in the first inning. Was quite a decent bowler. Incidentally, Woolmer was also playing in the same match.
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To say Nazir doesn't have any talent would be wrong, he is as talented as they come he has all the shots in the book so that's not the problem but his temperament and shot selection are pathetic which has been his undoing in international cricket.
Pakistan seriously needs to find a good opening pair if they want to do well consistently.
Nazir is just a brainless sloger just like Afridi,he neither has temprament nor technique to be successful as an opening batsman at international level.


International Regular
Butt needs to be in the side for Nazir. Maybe open with him and Akmal. Personally I think we need to have as few "openers" in the side as possible because frankly, they're all poo, and it doesn't take much of a specialized technique to open in ODIs anyway.


U19 Cricketer
Hope he gets an oppurtunity
he was pretty much the best player that series along with hameed
Pakistan's continuing troubles with their opening combination have forced the selectors to call up Khalid Latif and release Mohammad Hafeez from the 15-man squad to face South Africa in the third ODI in Faisalabad on Tuesday.

Pakistan have tried two opening combinations in two games so far and Imran Nazir, Mohammad Hafeez and Kamran Akmal have provided starts of 18 and 1. Hafeez was dropped for the second ODI and the highest score by an opener remains Nazir's 16 in the first ODI.

The 21-year old Latif has been on the fringes of selection to the senior squad for some time now. He first came to national attention when he led the Pakistan U-19 team to victory in the 2004 World Cup in Bangladesh.

He was unlucky to miss out on selection for the ICC World Twenty20 despite impressing during the various training camps held before the tournament. But solid performances in the recent home series against Australia A have finally paid off.

Latif ended the three-match ODI series in September as the leading scorer on either side. His tally of 228 runs included one fifty and a spectacular unbeaten 142 in Lahore as Pakistan successfully chased 332 against an attack that included Jason Gillespie, James Hopes and Dan Cullen.

"We are struggling with an opening pair at the moment," Salahuddin Ahmed, the chief selector, told Cricinfo. "We are already playing Kamran as an opener to make place for an extra bowler.

"Latif is a very good, upcoming youngster and was in brilliant form against Australia A recently. He fully deserves his place in the squad. Hafeez has been released and he will go back to regain his form in the Quaid-e-Azam Trophy."

It is understood that Latif will not play in Faisalabad but may get an opportunity later in the series. Still, Pakistan are likely to go in with their third different opening pair in as many matches; Nazir's continuing run of poor scores means Yasir Hameed will most likely open the innings with Akmal.

And in light of an impressive bowling performance in the second ODI, Pakistan will not risk Mohammad Asif for the third game. Asif sat out the first two matches with an elbow injury that flared up during the second Test in Lahore.


State 12th Man
From what i have seen of Imran Nazir hes not ready to learn or doesnt want to learn, being sent as an opener he just thinks he has to go at almost every single ball. He obviously has alot of talent but its being wasted. I beleive nazir or any pakistani opener can only change if he is sent with an experienced batsman (younis khan ideal) who can guide him to play positively and not play unecessary shots, the problem with the pakistani opening pairs is they are all inexperienced and nobody seems to have the time to guide them since all other batsman have their own different and important roles to play. BUT i have a really strong belief that younis khan can take this responsibilty and can be sent as an opener. Younis khan is coming inside the first 5 overs anyway so there will be nothing to loose for him.

Secondly this will give more batsman the opportunity to play in the middle order, like Yasir Hammed, Faisal Iqbal or whoever is performing well domestically.


International Regular
How Yasir Hameed has not managed to cement a spot in the ODI team is simply beyond belief. He has an average of over 41 as an opener, clearly better than any of our other tried failures. Maybe he ought to be more of a "sifarish" as BS would call it, if he wants his fair due.


International Coach
Well lets hope Hameed is selected then he can stick around longer than the likes of Nazir and Hafeez did.


Cricket Web: All-Time Legend
Khalid Latif gets call-up

Hafeez drops out of the squad, with Yasir Hameed likely to open the innings with Kamran Akmal. Hameed has been overlooked several times by Pakistani selectors, in both formats of the game and it's about time he gets a decent crack. The thing that has counted against him in ODI cricket is his strike rate, 67.80 is too slow in todays game. Very good average though and would be a good foil to some of the stroke players than Pakistan posess.

One thing that baffles me is why the Pakistani selectors continue to persist with Imran Nazir, who has proven in the past how hit-and-miss he can be. Basically just Shahid Afridi without the bowling capabilities. What's more, he's rarely put runs on the board domestically and doesn't even average 30 in List A cricket which is disgraceful for a country that regularly produces batsman who average over 40 in the shorter form.

Khalid Latif certainly looks a good prospect, him and his mates smashed the Australian A bowling attack around just a few months ago and has a superb record. 4 centuries and 2 fifties in 20 innings is very good, especially for a middle order batsman. I can only assume his performances against Australia A have leap-frogged him ahead of Fawad Alam in the meantime, who was hanging around the fringes of the national team for a little while.

Anyway, most of this doesn't matter too much because Pakistan will be carried by the usual suspects with the odd cameo from Shahid Afridi, Kamran Akmal etc. They continue to pick poor players like Hafeez, Nazir and Younis Khan and until they learn Pakistan will continue being inconsistent as an ODI outfit. There are so many more deserving players out there, particularly batsman.