Thursday, January 31, 2013

Key Partnership

The 3rd wicket partnership stand for both sides is a highly significant one. Amla and Kallis are South Africa’s best players and Azhar and Younis are Pakistan’s best players as the batting goes, specifically with regards to technique in defence and accumulating runs. Both number 3 and 4 batsmen respectively have an outstanding partnership record together and have a thorough understanding in the middle in developing partnerships. Azhar and Younis will always be remembered for piling on over 200 in just over 2 sessions against England in Dubai around this time last year. 22 wickets had fallen in the space of 4 sessions, however these two then got together to set out their stall, rein themselves in, churn out the runs, wear the Number 1s down and prolong the duration of the innings to make the process mentally and physically draining for Strauss and company as well as allowing their match winning bowlers some rest up in the pavilion. Younis was the main scorer, however Azhar came into his own by holding up an end, spending time in the middle and not giving a sniff of a chance to England’s bowler to dislodge him while Younis was beginning to flow fluently at the other end. To bat 2 FULL sessions without losing a wicket in a series where ball had dominated bat and wickets had fallen in clusters was a remarkable occurrence. Despite the skill and personnel of both bowling groups, these two partnerships know how to grind, wear and frustrate bowling attacks with methodical and determined play and both sets of bowling groups will be hoping they don’t have to find each in the middle at the same time often during the series, if at all ever. I expect a 100+ partnership stand between the Azhar and Younis during the course of the series when they will find themselves in the middle together at 2 down. I expect at least 1 FULL session during the course of the 3 tests where they go unharmed without losing a wicket to grind away the South Africans with some resolute application. Kallis and Amla best showed their powers during the test at the Kia Oval in July last year where they made England look like Zimbabwe with a 600 odd for 2 score line. Also, during the opening day of their tour of Australia they stamped their mark and set the tone for the series in Brisbane on November 9th, only 2 down at stumps.  

Azhar to make the highest individual score by a Pakistan batsmen during the course of the series. If not, YOUNIS

Friday, January 25, 2013

Warm Up Game Tweets

Interesting to see Jamshed given preference. Taufeeq who didn’t do much wrong. Encouraging seeing NJ reign himself in + battle for his runs
In his last 3 innings for Pak the number 3 blocker Azhar Ali has faced 70 deliveries for 10 runs at the expense of getting out 3 times. @fredboycott
Hafeez scored them at a good lick today. For a player who is technically susceptible, attack is the best form of defence here in SA
Ontong, Parnell and Martin van Jaarsveld who was down at Kent are the names I recognise in the SA XI for this warm up
After 8 consecutive test series opening up together+putting on most 100+ Pak opening stands Hafeez+Taufeeq combo has come to an end it seems
Yet another 100+ opening stand for Hafeez + Jamshed. They’ve put on 4 in 50 over games+ first time they partner in the longer form they do, too
Our 3 best batters at 3, 4, and 5 only manage 11 between them. Only 1 knock left before Jo’Burg
Misbah started his tour with a 4, played out a couple of dots and then departed
When Eng toured + won the Ashes they had 3 warm ups before Brisbane & same amount when winning in India. Pak have 1 before facing World NO1s

Apart from the usually highly dependable Pak middle order faltering, the signs in first innings of tour were positive

Safraz in the runs and tail wagging – more encouraging signs here. The day of rabbits at number 8, 9, 10, 11 have long gone

First wicket of the tour. Junaid strikes.

Gul strikes 31/2

yet another 100+ opening stand for Hafeez+Jamshed. That's 6 for Pakistan at all major levels by them in just 12 innings I believe

Time for Azhar to 

Our 2 best batsmen need time in the middle. Azhar Ali and Younis Khan. Will be the key partnership to break in the test series for RSA

Our 2 best batsmen need time in the middle. Azhar Ali and Younis Khan. Will be the key partnership to break in the test series for RSA.

Misbah 43* from 100 (4 4s and 2 6s)

Misbah 50 not out at stumps. lead by 312 with 5 wickets in hand. Only Misbah of the middle order have got runs in this one. Safraz 19no
Misbah always gets out early in the morning after looking well set and unbeaten at stumps the previous day. Happens way too often
Winning draw in the warm. Ideally should have at least 2 more before 1st test but that will have to do with such an absurd schedule

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Batting Predictions for SA Tests

Individual Batting Predictions 
Azhar: 280 run at average of above 45 (4 50+ scores and over 700 deliveries faced in series)
Younis: 230 runs at average of above 35 (1 century along the way)
Shafiq: 200 runs at average of 50 (2 50s and a couple of NOs)
Misbah: 170 run at average of 30 odd (400 deliveries of grit, determination at the wicket, odd not out, 1 50) 
Taufeeq: 150 runs at average of 20 odd (1 century though)
Hafeez: 90 runs at average of 15 (walking wicket)
Smith: 200 runs at an average of 33 (1 50)
Alviro: 220 runs at an average of 35 (1 50)
Amla: 300 runs at an average of 50 (2 100s)
Kallis: 250 runs at an average of high 40s (1 100 and 2 50s)
ABD: 230 runs at an average of high 40s (2 50s)
Faf: 220 runs at an average in the high 30s (2 50s, odd not out)
Edgar: 80 runs at an average of 13 (no 50s)

Predictions Bowlers for SA Tests

Steyn, wickets 18, average mid-20s, strike rate high 40s
Morkel, wickets 13, average mid-20s, strike rate mid 40s, econ over 3
Philander, wickets 8, average mid 30s, strike rate 65
Petterson, wickets 6, average mid-40s, strike rate over 100

Ajmal, wickets 15, average low 30s, strike rate in the 50s, econ under 3.5
Junaid, wickets 11, average low 20s, strike rate in the late 30s, econ under 3.5
Gul, wickets 9, average mid-30s, strike rate in the 50s
Rehman+Irfan, wickets 10, average mid-20s, strike rate in low 40s
Hafeez, 4 wickets, average 30s, strike rate in the 60s, economy of under 3

Monday, January 7, 2013

Misbah’s Pakistan have beaten the number 1 ranked team 3-0 in pressurised circumstances given the events of 2010 spot fixing scandal on neutral grounds

Misbah’s Pakistan have now beaten the World Cup holders 2-1 on their home patch now, although this is in the one day format

When you have a statesmen captain like him who is renowned for being one of the leading intellectual figures in the team who is widely regarded and respected by his teammates, you know the national side is in safe company

The man who has restored Pakistan’s name, image, direction, team environment and respect when they were scandalous, homeless, unwanted and deeply disgraced

The man who has been an unsung hero and genuine saviour in desperate hours of need when the side was rock bottom and down and out

The man who was handed the thankless responsibility of rejuvenating and reviving a broken side on the brink of a Viking burial

With a Masters Degree in Marketing; clearly a well-polished individual, a temperamentally strong thinking player, a trouble free presence, a genuine talent spotter and a leader with renowned man management credentials; you know you are a natural leader in which the team stands in firm hands.

He’s had to wait patiently for his opportunities at the top level. He started his career late due to education. He comes from a more academic background as opposed to the remote areas where many Pakistani players come from. It’s a triumph in itself for a player like that to be able to fulfil his ambitions, despite starting so late and despite never having proper opportunities until there was a major vacancy, when he could have easily pursed a career as a top class professional elsewhere. With not the greatest talent and support in the world he has gone on to statistically match some of the greats in the world game and in Pakistan’s rich, but tainted cricketing history.

Never did he lose confidence or faith when he was out of favour. He always stuck by his self-belief, mental toughness and principles and now holds the highest WIN/LOSS RATIO IN THE HISTORY OF TEST CRICKET BY ANY CAPTAIN

He’s had to cope with 3 different coaches, 2 different chairmen, 3 different chief selectors and yet there has been no major hassle whatsoever. That in itself is worth a mention given its Pakistan Cricket.

As Pakistan Cricket Writer Osman Samiuddin says: ‘There is no shortage of remarkable stories in Pakistan Cricket, but Misbah ul Haq’s is something else altogether’