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Thread: Cricket World Cup 2007

  1. #1

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    Cricket World Cup 2007

    Cricket World Cup 2007

    Can Pakistan repeat their 1992 World Cup success story under Inzamam?

    Inzamam-ul-Haq shot into prominence as a batsman with his superb knock against New Zealand in the semi-final of the 1992 World Cup in Australia, which Pakistan, under Imran Khan went on to win.

    And now Inzamam leads Pakistan, who were the runners-up in 1999 in England, to the World Cup in the West Indies in what may be his last quadrennial extravaganza and though the burly great one-day player may stand nowhere near Imran in leadership qualities, he leads a side that is as mercurial as it gets – world-beaters on one day and no better than minnows the other.

    In Inzamam, Pakistan have one of the best one-day batsmen in the world – one of the six who have more than 10,000 runs to their credit in ODI cricket. Inzamam is considered to be one of Pakistan's best batsmen of all time and has the ability to pick the length of a delivery very early and play very late. Even though Inzamam has a burly frame, his footwork is generally considered to be fast, enabling him to position himself early for shots. At present Inzamam averages just over 50 in Test cricket and nearly 40 in ODI cricket and is especially strong playing shots off his legs and is considered to be amongst the best pullers in the game. Inzamam's ability to play at his best under pressure is widely accepted among critics. His 60 off 37 balls in the 1992 World Cup semi-final, 138 not-out against Bangladesh in Multan, and 184 against India in Bangalore are few examples of innings where Inzamam has performed under immense pressure. Apart from becoming the second batsman to score 10,000 runs in one-day internationals after Tendulkar, Inzamam also has the distinction of scoring a century (184) in his 100th Test, thus becoming only the fifth player to do so.

    Pakistani vice-captain Younis Khan is regarded as one of the best players of spin bowling in the world, being particularly strong on the leg side. Along with Mohammad Yousuf and Inzamam, Younis has formed a formidable middle order batting line up for Pakistan. He is the second fastest Pakistani in terms of innings to reach 4000 Test runs, behind Javed Miandad. Younis reached the milestone in 87 innings, just one more than Sachin Tendulkar took. Younis is also a skillful infielder, and since the 1999 World Cup, he had effected the fifth highest number of run-outs in ODI cricket of any fielder, with the highest success rate.

    In Mohammad Yousuf (formerly known as Yousuf Youhana ), Pakistan have their most technically-equipped batsman, who in 2006, set a world record for the most Test runs by a batsman in a single calendar year. Yousuf has scored over 7,000 ODI runs at an average of 41.01 (3rd highest batting average among Pakistani batsmen after Zaheer Abbas and Javed Miandad) and over 6,000 Test runs at an average of 56.65 (highest batting average amongst all Pakistani batsmen) with 23 Test centuries. He has the record of scoring the most runs without being dismissed in ODIs, 405 against Zimbabwe in Zimbabwe in 2002-03. He has also scored a 23-ball fifty in ODIs, and a 68-ball hundred. In Tests he has scored a 27-ball fifty, which is 3rd fastest by any player. He was top scorer during the successive years of 2002 and 2003 in the world in ODIs. In 2006, Yousuf broke two world records both held earlier by West Indian great Sir Vivian Richards. The 32-year-old smashed an unparalleled 1788 runs in just 11 Test matches with the help of nine centuries – his second record – taking him beyond the Windies great yet again. Yousuf is known for his ability to score runs at exceptional rate through his great technique and composed strokeplay. Yousuf is also a skillful infielder and since the 1999 World Cup, has effected the ninth highest number of run-outs in ODI cricket of any fielder.

    In Shahid Khan Afridi , Pakistan have one of the most explosive batsman in world cricket, who holds the joint record with Brian Lara for the third fastest ODI century off 45 balls in April 2005 that came against India and also holds the world record for hitting the most number of sixes in ODIs (224). He has an ODI strike rate of 108.16 runs per 100 balls, the highest in the game. This attitude has been transferred to Test cricket as well, with Afridi scoring at a strike rate of 86.13 in Tests, even higher than that of the excellent Adam Gilchrist .

    Pakistan have a world-class all-rounder in Abdur Razzaq , who has achieved the double of 1000 Test runs and 100 Test wickets. He has the ability to both hit out or graft for runs, and this versatility has given him the experience of batting at every position. He is also a useful and accurate fast bowler who has troubled some of the world's leading batsmen. Razzaq's second century, an unbeaten 107, was made against Zimbabwe in Multan in 2004 and he saved Pakistan from a disastrous start and eventually won them the match. His first fifty came steadily in 90 balls, before accelerating in the second fifty, which was scored in just 21. Also in 2003, he scored a rapid 89 off 40 balls against New Zealand. He has the rare distinction of being one of very few cricketers to have opened and batted in the other nine batting positions in ODI cricket.

    The wicket-keeper of the Pakistani team, Kamran Akmal , is also a quick-scoring batsman. His first Test century (109) came at while batting at number eight position at Mohali, coming in with Pakistan in a lead of 39 against India in the first Test, ensured that his team could draw the match. As an opener he has scored two back to back centuries in ODIs against England. Coming lower in the order in Test matches, he played inning to be remembered. He saved Pakistan from score of 39/6 to a competitive 245, which helped Pakistan win the match and series. His batting has been highly productive recently, with seven international hundreds in the last 16 months, encompassing both Test and ODI cricket.

    His career may been plagued with injuries, controversies, and accusations of bad attitude, but there is arguably no greater sight in cricket than Shoaib Akhtar running in to bowl his 'torpedoes', which have made him to be recognised widely as the fastest bowler in the world. Shoaib is particularly known for his ability to bowl at great speeds that even the best batsmen find difficult to play and for his ability to swing the ball at high speeds, both with conventional outswing and inswing and with reverse swing and has produced many match-winning displays. Shoaib has the reputation of being the world's fastest bowler and till date has bowled the fastest recorded ball in Test cricket. Shoaib has also bowled over 100 mph (160 km/h) twice in one dayers, with his fastest recorded delivery being clocked at 161.4 km/h, the fastest delivery reliably recorded. Shoaib has been one of the game's most colourful personalities in contemporary cricket and has enthralled fans world over with his bowling quality while also frustrating them by getting into controversies.

    Mohammad Asif , who was suspended by the PCB, along with Shoaib, after the pair failed drug tests for the performance-enhancing substance nandrolone, has immaculate length control and a natural ability to swing the ball both ways. He is also quick to spot a weakness in batsmen and work on it. He is a modern-day fast bowler based on the likes of Shaun Pollock and Glenn McGrath.

    Danish Kaneria is very much in the tradition of Pakistan leg spin bowlers and possesses the variety of a fine googly and the flipper. Good control over length and willingness to bowl long spells is what marks him out as a bowler to watch out for. Success in the one day arena has been more elusive, Pakistan usually opting to play the two spinning all-rounders Shahid Afridi and Shoaib Malik instead. While not particularly fluent with the bat, he does chip in with useful innings occasionally, frustrating opponents seeking to swiftly wrap Pakistan's innings. His fielding can be best described as unreliable or sometimes even comical.

    Shoaib Malik started his career as an off-spinner, and now has become a very useful batsman as well. He has performed especially well against India and has batted in a number of positions. Most of his early successes have come in ODIs. Malik gives Pakistan the flexibility to play a game with three all-rounders along with Razzaq and Afridi, or have one for reserve. Malik is capable of hitting big shots, but he also has the ability to defend, if needed. He has had many good spells with the ball, especially in one-day cricket where he once took 4/19.

    Opener Imran Nazir is an aggressive player who can terrorize bowling attacks when at his best. He can hit the ball tremendously hard and is especially good at powerfully putting away the bad balls. An accurate timer of the ball, he has the ability to carry out his natural game regardless of the match situation but is quite liable to get out quicker as the pressure builds upon him.

    Mohammad Hafeez was one of the several young all-rounders the Pakistani team turned to after their poor Cricket World Cup display in 2003, in which they were eliminated in the first round. He is a right-handed batsman and a right-arm off-break bowler. Hafeez generally opens the batting and is also skillful boundary fielder.

    Rana Naved is a right-arm fast-medium bowler capable of generating good pace with late swing, he is a genuine strike bowler although prone to conceding runs. Naved was also amongst the several players Pakistan turned to immediately after the poor 2003 World Cup campaign. As of June 27, 2005, he is an important member of the ODI team, with 55 wickets at the good bowling average of 24.60.

    Pakistan take on the hosts West Indies in the opening match of the World Cup on March 13 in Jamaica

  2. #2
    Pakistan Can win the World Cup this time.... But their main problem is in the Opening slots. that mean both bowling & batting...

    There is No Akthar, No Asif neither Razzak... it will be very tougn without main strike bowlers. Rana struggled in South africa & also through out last year.. Also inconsistent Opening Batsmen also big problem for pakistan. I think Inzy, Yusuf, Yunis & 4 allrounders are crucial to pakistan. Specially Afridi,Azhar, Malik & Akmal. (I like to take him as allrounder, coz he is good batsmen)

    If Gul & sami bowls well in first 20 Overs & openers Nazir & hafeez can score few big & steady partnerships ............ God Knows......

    This time I bet/wish for one of following three teams to win the world cup.

    1-Pakistan (Great Inzys last WC)
    2-West Indies (Great Lara's last WC)
    3-Sri Lanka (Great Sanath's last WC)

    March 13th we can wait for some hottest match from pakistanis.

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