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Sunday, March 27, 2011

Pakistan ki ‘Kaala Pathar’ Practice – Big Fear for Indian Media

Lol. This is Funny. Pakistani Players did practice on ‘Kaala Pathar’ today and Indian Media has already been frightened. Do you know what ‘Kaala Pathar’ practice means? Check this Video and laugh with us. Poor Indian Media.

Team management unlikely to budge on Shoaib

 Even as the clamour for Shoaib Akhtar's inclusion in the Pakistan team for its high-voltage semifinal clash against India gains momentum, the team management seems hell bent on keeping the maverick pacer out of the playing XI.

Former Pakistan greats such as Imran khan, Javed Miandad, Wasim Akram, Moin Khan and Rashid Latif all believe it would be worth a risk playing Shoaib as his replacement, Wahab Riaz, has not played in India before nor is bowling well in the tournament.

However, if a well-placed source in the Pakistan team is to be believed, the team management including skipper Shahid Afridi and coach Waqar Younis, are not in favour of Shoaib playing in Mohali on Wednesday, as they are irked by the maverick pacer's behaviour after the defeat to New Zealand in the league phase.

"People don't know the situation within the team. After that match, Shoaib had behaved very badly with Kamran Akmal and other players, and the situation would have badly got out of hand if the manager and coach had not intervened," the source said.

The source added that Shoaib made some "disparaging" remarks against Kamran after conceding 28 runs in a single over against the Kiwis, prompting the team management to drop him for the matches against Zimbabwe, Australia and West Indies.

"He was fined for his behaviour and since than the truth is that he has also not trained with heart and appears to be content to prepare for his retirement now," the source said.

Shoaib had, a few days back, announced that he would retire from international cricket after the World Cup.

"The match against India is a big high-pressure game and the management does not feel that Shoaib is in the right mental or physical shape to face such a challenge, and it would be a safer option to bank on youngsters, Wahab, or even rookie Junaid Khan," the source said.

"Probably when PCB chief Ijaz Butt arrives in Mohali for the match, the management will have discussions with him on Shoaib's future."

He also pointed out that the management would take a close look at the pitch before deciding on its attack.

Ramiz raja backed PAKISTAN to win semi against india

KARACHI: Former Pakistan captain, Ramiz Raja, has backed the national team to put up a spirited fight in the World Cup semifinal against India in Mohali on Wednesday.

"It is very difficult to convince me on something. But, as far as this Pakistan team is concerned, I am totally convinced that even if it loses the semifinal it will not do so without putting a big fight," Ramiz said.

The cricketer-turned-commentator said that while everyone is under the impression that the crowd pressure in Mohali would affect the performance of the Pakistani players, he thinks otherwise.

"The way I look at it the pressure will be bigger on the Indian players because they are playing in front of their home crowd. The expectations are high from them, so they have to deliver," he said.

Ramiz admitted that on paper India appeared to have more resources, but believed that either Pakistan's bowlers or India's batsmen will decide the fate of the high-voltage semifinal.

"One thing I am convinced about is that I have not seen a more well gelled, motivated and united Pakistan outfit and the credit goes to Shahid Afridi who has led the side well and turned them into a 15-member unit instead of a 11-member playing eleven."

Ramiz said the spirit in the Pakistan dressing room was the driving force and would serve them well in the semifinal.

"When the odds are stacked against you it is usual for all 15 players of a touring side to stick together and be motivated to perform above themselves," he said.

The former Test opener pointed out that Pakistan have a very strong bowling attack and, unlike in the past, the team's overall performance in the tournament has been consistent.

"That is why I am backing this Pakistan team to be tough against India and they might be in for a big surprise," he stated.

He also felt that Pakistan held the edge in bowling and fielding departments over India.

"I also appreciate the way the Pakistan team management has made no concessions on discipline and that has paid dividends in the long run," he said.

Lawson predicts Pakistan-New Zealand final

Impressed with their consistent showings in the tournament so far, former Pakistan coach Geoff Lawson on Sunday backed Shahid Afridi and his men to emerge winners in the much-anticipated World Cup semi-final against India.
"Pakistan have played some good cricket, their guys look really good... and it could be a Pakistan-New Zealand final" Lawson, who coached Pakistan for 15 months since July 2007, told reporters here.
Pakistan, who thrashed West Indies by ten wickets in the quarter-final, are set to take on India in a high-voltage clash in Mohali on Wednesday, while New Zealand play Sri Lanka in the other semi-final a day earlier.
Lawson, who is presently the coach of Indian Premier League team Kochi Tuskers, pointed out that Pakistan had defeated India in Mohali in 2007.
The former Australian speedster, who succeeded Bob Woolmer as Pakistan's coach in July 2007, was sacked before his two-year contract ended, despite leading the team to the final of the inaugural ICC World T20 in South Africa.

Play Shahid Afridi like Anil Kumble

The Pakistan captain Shahid Afridi is a different bowler in this World Cup, and it shows. He’s the leading wicket-taker by far. Although the Indians have had no problems with Afridi’s bowling in the past, it would be a mistake to underestimate him. He dismissed four Sri Lankans in the league game Pakistan won, including fine players of spin like Dilshan.
What Afridi has developed since the last time we played him is a drift into the pads, which has got him a bunch of LBW and bowled wickets. His leg spin will be easy enough to read; it’s the drifter into the pads that we need to watch out for.
The more experienced players only have to remember how they played Kumble in the nets. Aravinda de Silva negated the threat from Kumble by playing him straight, treating him like an inswing bowler, and not a spinner. It meant avoiding cuts or pulls unless it was a long hop. India can do the same to Afridi.
Keep the pitch dry and bare
There have been suggestions that the Mohali curator Daljit Singh should be asked to prepare a bouncy, seaming track to expose the inexperience of the Pakistani top order. Fortunately, that will be hard to do in the heat of late March, because Pakistanwould certainly be better off than India on a bouncy track - Umar Gul is in great form, Wahab Riaz has pace and they can also call upon Shoaib Akhtar for one last hurrah. India has only Zaheer, and he relies more on swing than bounce and pace. Much better to stick to our spin-based gameplan. And let’s not forget, the Lankan spinners got as many wickets as their pacers against the Pakistanis, so it’s not as if they have mastery over playing spin. Pity we don’t have a good leg-spinner though, for the bouncy Mohali.
Check for the dew
Mohali generally gets a fair amount of dew in day-night games, but it’s not clear how much there will be at this time of the year. The World Cup has had only day games at Mohali so far, and the teams batting first have piled on the runs. But with dew, batting under lights may be an advantage. That’s something Dhoni needs to check before the game.
Be flexible with powerplays
India have failed to derive any advantage from the batting powerplays so far. They’ve either collapsed or been forced to take it in the 45th over when you can’t put it off any more. They should think of taking it earlier when they have two set batsmen at the crease. The only caveat is not to go berserk when they do take it - even six or seven an over, without losing wickets, would be fine.

Misbah-ul-Haq praises Shahid Afridi's role in uniting Pakistan team at World Cup

Misbah-ul-Haq knows it easily could have been he who was leading Pakistan into Wednesday's World Cup semifinal against India. Three days before the big match, though, he is quick to praise the influence of the man who was eventually given the role.
Test skipper Misbah was in the running for the World Cup captaincy, but Pakistan's performances in the February series in New Zealand led the selectors to keep faith with Shahid Afridi in the one-day format.
On the evidence of Pakistan and Afridi's performances so far, it appears to have been an inspired decision — even it was very, very late — and Misbah showed no sign of any bitterness.
"Everyone is standing behind him at the World Cup," Misbah said Sunday.
Unity hasn't always been a feature of Pakistan squads, and the selection of Afridi over Misbah led to fears that there might be a split in the camp between supporters of either player.
Misbah said one of Afridi's key qualities, however, is his willingness to listen to the opinions of players such as himself and Younis Khan, another former captain in the squad.
"I think there is always differences in opinion but we always talk to the captain about what he thinks," Misbah said. "He's really good at that.
"He listens to the players, especially the senior players and the coaches, we just decide everything with a good co-ordination, and that's why everything is going well. It's a big thing actually."
It helps when the captain is also the leading bowler in the tournament with 21 wickets.
"He has led the team by example," Misbah said. "He is performing really well, just taking wickets at the right time, so that really helps the team when the captain is performing like that."
Pakistan's team spirit has been one of the notable features of its run to the semifinals. Coach Waqar Younis believes the players have been united by the obstacles they have faced, including the suspension of international matches in their home country and the lengthy bans given to a trio of players following last year's spot-fixing scandal.
Experienced pace bowler Shoaib Ahktar was dropped from the starting XI midway through the group stage, but he hasn't complained and has continued to train energetically.
On Saturday, an intense training session included the players sparring with boxing gloves. On Sunday, the squad and support staff split into two teams for a lively game of football on the pitch at the PCA Stadium before getting back to the more routine work in the nets.
"The big plus is the team is really playing like a team," Misbah said. "If you saw the recent performances ... it's really just a good example of teamwork.
"Everyone is chipping in at the right time, putting the right input at the right time. Everyone is fulfilling the roles the team demands of them."
Misbah's point about everyone playing a part, rather than one star player standing out, is evident in Pakistan's batting performances. The team has won six of its seven matches, but no player has scored a century.
India's highly regarded batting lineup has scored four, including Virender Sehwag's 175 against Bangladesh in the opening match of the tournament.
Pakistan's highest score was Misbah's unbeaten 83 in the 11-run win over Sri Lanka.
"It's not a concern because we are winning. We will be happy if we win the World Cup without a single individual hundred," Misbah said. "It is no use if we get hundreds and are then knocked out of the tournament.
"It is an advantage getting big individual scores, but a timely score of 20, 30 or 50 is more important."

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