On the whole, the New Zealand tour has been a resounding success. Finally, we successfully managed to break the shackles and win a Test Series and ODI series after several attempts and that too on foreign territory.
There were plenty of encouraging signs. Thanks to New Zealand Cricket for having us and providing an excellent tour schedule. It was an exciting, thrilling, significant and well contested tour where many great on field moments were witnessed.
Overall we have won 5 out of the 11 encounters across all formats on this tour. And we have only lost 4 out of 11 encounters (2 being iT20s). The next step is the World Cup which the whole Pakistani fan base is very excited about and it would be reasonable to feel more hopeful and optimistic about Pakistan's overall chances of doing well in the grand tournament now after some refreshing and pleasing outcomes.
-Misbah Ul Haq: Was absolutely outstanding throughout. By far the stand out performer.
-Umar Gul: In the Test Series was the leading wicket taker with 13 scalps at an average of just 20. Coped with the added responsibility of leading the attack magnificently.
-Wahab Riaz in the ODI series: 8 wickets for 145 runs in 3 outings effectively. At an average of approximately 18 and a SR of 20 was certainly an in form bowler who grew in stature and demonstrated his credentials in this starting line up.
-The emergence of Ahmed Shehzad who should be an integral part of our World Cup Plans. The youngster thrived, made his mark and impressed one and all. His backers and supporters who were demanding for him to break into the national team certainly showed their worth and accurate assessment of his usefulness and capabilities as an exceptionally talented young opener.
-Razzaq's batting form in the ODI series where he averaged 9.
- Shoaib Akhtar's fitness levels which is a significant area of concern.
-Sohail Tanvir's shocking and highly expensive bowling performances in the ODI series.
- Younis Khan's contributions in the ODI series which were poor by his high standards.
-Not playing a specialist spinner in the starting line up when you have 2 available in the 15 man squad and one of them will play in the sub continent during the World Cup with the assistive conditions. Questionable selection here as neither got any valid preparation and therefore face the possibility of being undercooked when the World Cup gets under way in 2 weeks time.
In short, 2011 has provided the magical change Pakistan Cricket needed. So far everything is running well. It would also be good if we could take this opportunity to congratulate the all important figures in Waqar Younis, Shahid Afridi, Misbah Ul Haq and Intikhab Alam for their hard work, continued support and achievements during this Tour. All have played their parts with their leading authority and can take a great deal of credit for the conduct, personal performance and team performance.