It’s always a treat to watch Pakistan play !

Not because my forefathers hailed from Pakistan or Momina sings for Coke Studio Pakistan, I generally love to watch Pakistani Cricket team play. Also, it has got nothing to do with the fact that I love to eat Karachi naans.

Dear reader, being a logical Cricket fan; I like to see this team play. Please do not label me an anti-nationalist.

Here is a point-wise explanation of my feelings –

1. Highly unpredictable.
They work the extreme ways. Either they can go on to win (almost) in the fourth innings by chasing the improbable 400+ in the fourth innings or they lose consecutive Tests by a margin of an innings defeat. In the shorter format of the game too, they have a knack of playing with a zillion heartbeats. In 2007, Misbah almost scooped them the T20 World Cup which left me and my billion brothers peeing in the pants. And recently, on a funny note, they failed to score 2 runs in the final over of a game against the bowling of Maxwell. Heights of craziness! Do you remember their iconic celebrations at Lords’
when almost everyone had written them off ?

pakistani-team-at-lords

2. Raw talent.
It’s all about the raw talent. Neither do they have a proper set-up for promoting the first class level Cricket nor can they play on their home turf. PSL- their indigenous premiere league does push local talents to the limelight but the quantity is very less in terms of impact when compared to a sporting event like IPL .People who eventually make it to the team are primarily raw & naive and they come from non-cricketing backgrounds only on the basis of their talent.

3. Bowlers are their real superstars.
Baring a few batsmen like Hamid Mohammad, Inzaman , Mohammad Yousuf or Younis Khan it has always been the bowlers’ show for Pakistan. Right from Imran Khan, Wasim Akram, Waqar Younis, Saqlain Mushtaq or Shoaib Akhtar, it’s their bowlers who have primarily lead from the front and won games for them. Bowlers, I certainly feel are highly under-rated and they don’t get the credit they deserve. For me, it is a great leveler and I enjoy the competition between the bat and the ball when Pakistan is playing. Except the last few games, the pacers- Irfan, Amir, Riaz and Yasir have been phenomenal, that too in all the conditions.

4. Rib-ticking fielding.
Pakistan is one crazy fielding unit. Every time they are on field, comedy of errors is guaranteed. There is no concept of calling for a catch. Right from their former keeper, Kamran Akmal ; everyone loves chaos. Earlier, Inzy used to be the leader of the wolf-pack – right now Wahab Riaz does his part with full perfection.

5. They entertain.
Pakistan has a sublime history with their coaches. From Bob Woolmer’s mysterious demise to the great Mickey Arthur, someone who keeps on embarrassing himself by comparing Paki players with the legends, it’s always fun to have that “what’s next” moment when you see Pakistan play. Ramiz Raja’s commentary is a cherry on the top. He is the worst commentator that I know of. He is so bad that after a certain point, you actually start loving his stupid anecdotes. And don’t forget the fun in their post match presentation ceremonies. InshaAllah, boys played well are the most holiest 4 words ever.

Hope to see more of their games, more of pretty ladies in the stands and yeah watching them lose to India in World Cups is divine.

Cheers!

Sewaiyaan triggers Pakistani batting collapse, reveals Pakistan Bureau of Investigation.

Christchurch: Pakistani team seemed confident after the Caribbean boys put just 310 runs on the board, which was in sync with the Whatsapp message that predicted easy win for the men in green. Investigations revealed that during the innings break, while walking back to the pavilion Pakistani fielders saw a few fans eating Sewaiyaan and carrying a poster inviting them to have them outside.

#WontGiveItBack

#WontGiveItBack

Tempted with the invitation, Misbah discussed it with the team. Finally a unanimous call was taken that a plate full of Sewaiyaan is any day better than the empty cup and let’s finish the innings ASAP.Now the tussle started over the opening slot as to the surprise Misbah started padding up. Shehzad and Jamshed opposed the captain and claimed

that as openers they should get the chance to get out first to taste the sewaiyaans. Shehzad, Jamshed,Haris and Younis were already outside the stadium by the time Pakistan made just 1 run hunting for the sewaiyaan guy. They saw a food-truck parked nearby with a lot of WEST-Indian fans.The Paki fab-4 inquired about the sewaiyaan, to which everyone replied #WontGiveItBack and offered them a complimentary dhokla.

The fab-4 rushed back to the dressing room to inform that it was a hoax call. By the time they were back Pakistan was already 25-5 and a padded Misbah was rushing out to get his share.After knowing the grim reality he passed the message to the on-pitch pair to bat sensibly as they were fooled. Maqsood and Akmal gave it a shot but it was too late.

Meanwhile, the matter got escalated and we may see a sewaiyaan ban in Pakistan.

On a funny note, here is the match summary (In case you wish to give a damn!)
Feb21, 2015                                                                             Christchurch, New Zealand
Pak– 160/10 (39 Overs) Lost to WI 310/6 (50 overs)
MoM- Andre Russell for his all-round performance of 33-3 and 42 off 13 balls with the bat.

Transformers: Raw Boys to Resilient Men(Under-26)

The piece of post contains the list of batsmen who have evolved from brash and talented bunch of folks to responsive and deliverable commodities in the cricketing household. Watch for these guys in 2015 (in all formats of the game) as they get transformed to real men,who now possess the ability to read the game and turn it single handedly through their sheer passion and commitment.


  1. Kane Williamson [24 years 120 days]
    New Zealand batsman Kane Williamson is one of the brightest sparks in the game today, and it should only be a matter of time before Williamson goes on to engrave his name among the likes of kiwi greats -Richard Hadlee and Martin Crowe.He has scored over 2600 runs from 34 Tests at a scintillating average over 40 .Without any elementary doubts,Kane is one of the complete players of modern day era. He already has made his way into the list of Top 10 New Zealanders to score most Test centuries for his country.With 7 centuries, he is next only to Sir Donald Bradman, Sachin Tendulkar and Sir Gary Sobers as a batsmen with most 100+ scores before turning 24.

    Williamson kick started his Test career by scoring 131 in his maiden Test innings against India in 2010 to become only the eighth New Zealander to score a century on his Test début. Later in 2012, he went on to play a match-saving unbeaten 102 in the fourth innings against the mighty Proteas.In the recent times after taking on the manhood in 2014,in his second tour of the West Indies in June 2014;Williamson finished as the top run-getter with 413 runs, including two hundreds that contributed to a historic series win for the kiwis.

    The innings of 192 against Pakistan is by far his best knock that reflects his character.Take a bow for that ! Williamson’s batting has reassured the team management, here’s a batsman who’s not just good enough in one format, but an asset who can bat classily at the No 3 position across formats.Kane averages over 40 in both Tests and ODIs.

    Williamson can well be compared to Virat Kohli, in terms of pacing his innings .He times the ball to perfection and is effortless in finding gaps. Williamson is rock solid and calm in everything . He not only defends sublimely but attacks with absolute control as well. His fastest CLT20 ton (of just 49 balls)playing for Northern Knights is the prime example of his adaptability,embracing the change of format.

    He is the complete man and the most apt batsman to endorse Raymond clothing.

    Kane Williamson - A legend in making.

    Kane Williamson – A legend in making.


  2. Steven Smith[25 years 187 days]
    Capable of taking the attack to the opposition, never say die spirit and giving more than 100%in every game that’s what Steven Smith is all about.Smith is currently one of the finest fielder out there and the most innovative batsman as well.He came into limelight in the first innings of the last Test of the 2013 Ashes Series at The Oval,where he scored his maiden hundred,reaching the total in style by hitting a six off a spinner.Then in 2013 at Mohali, he demonstrated his true grit by absorbing the pressure and delivering at a crucial stage.Smith’s 92 was a message to the world that he is a dark horse who can take on the bowlers outside the sub-continent as well.

    Currently,he is proving to be a captain’s nightmare.After his back to back match winning knocks against the Proteas this is what ABD had to say-“You’re going to have to work hard for your wickets, and if you get a busy cricketer at the wicket it makes it very difficult for you to control the innings, to keep your rhythm and just to pace it a little bit better. He makes it really difficult for us in doing that “In the T20 format he is the go-to man for Rajasthan Royals.Smith is in such impressive touch across all formats that he should enter the Test series against India as Australia’s most in-form batsman.He has provided an example of how to grasp technical and mental maturity.Smith at the moment is the potential successor of Michael Clarke.

    Steven Smith- Future of Australian cricket.

    Steven Smith- Future of Australian cricket.


  3. Gary Ballance[25 years 14 days]

    His back to back tons at Lord’s and Rosebowl has not only made him earn the emerging cricketer of the year award but he has made him worthy enough to
    fill Trott’s shoes with extreme efficiency. The heavy built Zimbabwean born southpaw is only the third English player to have scored hundreds in his first two
    Lord’s Tests, after Andrew Strauss and Jonathan Trott. He is an exception catcher as well.He understands the importance of his wicket and the that’s clearly evident from the fact that he likes to spend time on the crease and tries to capitalise as much as he can. Currently Gary averages 61 from his 8 Tests. Watch out people. Be scared ! Very very scared of Gazza in the years in come.

    Gary Ballance- Lord of the Tests.

    Gary Ballance- Lord of the Tests


  4. Quinton De Kock [21 years 35 days]

    This boy has certainly come of age over the past few months.
    At 20,De Cock became the first Batsman in the ODIs to hit 3 centuries from 3 matches in the series.What made it more special was that De Kock had managed a 100% conversion rate from his fifties to hundreds;that showed no sign of ending, even after he turned 21.Quinny is equally a handy customer with the gloves as well.He is the fastest to get 50 dismissals in ODIs and 6 dismissals in a game.Also,he holds the honour of being the fastest to score 1000 runs in ODIs.

    “He plays a bit more fearlessly, takes on the bowling upfront and then settles in and gets the big runs. Quinny is a fearless cricketer but at the same time he is quite intelligent with the way he goes about his business. But he probably doesn’t think about the game as much as the other guys which is a positive.The way Quinny plays has been very refreshing for us. He can obliterate any bowling attack.
    He is going to be a superstar”  -Amla on Kock.

    Quinton De Kock- The mini dynamo

    Quinton De Kock- The mini dynamo


  5. Ahmed Shehzad [23 years 13 days]
    The Kohli look alike is held in high regard in his country and is the most promising youngster out of the lot.Currently he averages 48 and 34 in Tests and ODIs respectively. Shehzad was exceptional with the bat against the mighty Ozies in UAE in 2014. His knock of 176 was by far his most composed innings. He has a lot to offer to the green caps.The gritty stroke maker is hopeful in ending his nation’s quest for a quality batsmen.

    Ahmed Shehzad - The Green Sparta

    Ahmed Shehzad – The Green Sparta

If Kohli chases well, India sleeps well !

“Euphoric”. “Audacious”. “Militant”. “Arrogant”. “Fearless”. “Exuberant”.  “Passionate”. “Explosive”. “Combative”. Match winner

These are certain set of traits that very few of us can proudly stake a claim to. Well that’s Virat Kohli for you- Epitome of a modern day cricketer.
Virat means mammoth in Hindi. Kohli indeed is mammoth in terms of his technique, his ability to chase skilfully and win matches for the team.

Virat Kohli

A focused head over his shoulders with a sense of maturity beyond his brash demeanour, Kohli reads the game like an Indian mom who can effortlessly manage a supper of 10 people with utter grace and delicacy. His resonant cover drives are as proficient as his majestic punches and flicks through the on side. Branded as the angry young man of a youthful Team India, he wears his emotions on his sleeve. Not only has he brought in new dimensions and stability to the Indian batting line up, his glorious energy in the field has raised the bar as well.

What separates champions from the good players is the fact that they stand out as the purple bulls. Yes! I would call him a purple bull because of two reasons. First because has been consistently delivering for team India over the years and has also got the tag of a Run Machine. Secondly, the way he soaks pressure and rages the ranks of his opponents through his astonishing dexterity while chasing in crunch situations.

Game after game, he has put victory in the Indian kitty. He is the man every Indian looks up to when he sees a target of 300+ on the screen.
In 63 innings when batting second, Kohli averages 62.77 at a strike rate of 89.23, with ten centuries, an average of 6.3 innings per hundred. So far in his career, Kohli has scored 65% of his ODI runs in chases; the corresponding percentage for Sachin Tendulkar is 47%, for MS Dhoni its 44%, for Viv Richards 45% and for Brian Lara 52%.  This has made him India’s best chaser, with a stunning average of 64.68 while batting second.

“I sort of like batting under lights, If I have a target on the board, it is always easy to analyse how many runs you need in, say, a Power play, or what sort of situation you are playing in. I always like a target on board and sort of analyse my game and sort out how I want to go about it.” – Kohli says when asked how he strategizes to go about batting second.

I think hunting targets has become a habit for him. Sometimes I feel he is playing with a cheat code, programmed to chase triumphantly ; the way kids do when playing in the simulator. He has been around for only five years in one-day internationals, but Kohli has set such an incredible pace with his landmarks that he is already joint third in terms of hundreds when batting second. Only Sachin Tendulkar, with 17, and Chris Gayle, with 11, have more centuries in chases than Kohli’s ten.

I can proudly admit the fact now that if Kohli chases well, India sleeps well. He has certainly changed the saying “If Sachin plays well, India sleeps well.”

Well comparisons with the greats are bound to happen when you are in such sublime touch but I feel it shouldn’t be the case with Kohli. He is such an uncanny character and is a divine force in itself that if you try comparing him with anyone you would eventually feel that you aren’t doing the justice to the latter. He is not the next Sachin or Viv Richards. He is the first Virat Kohli.

Martin Crowe believes “Kohli has the intensity of Rahul Dravid, the audacity of Sehwag and the extraordinary range of Tendulkar”. So does I!

Virat is class, glamour and substance packaged in a single cricketer.

He has got excellent footwork and above all, the stamina due to which it becomes very difficult for any bowler to get him out especially once he is settled. This is evident in his batting average which is 52.16 in ODIs, 46.51 in Tests and 43.63 in T20s which clearly puts him far above his contemporaries.

Former Australian captain Ian Chappell described Virat Kohli as the  ”prince” of Indian cricket and said that the youngster will go on to break Sachin Tendulkar‘s records.

Ravi Shastri says “Kohli is now a yardstick of reliance”.

Even after reading this entire write-up if you still hate this guy then No Problem! You are alright. You can HATE him and possibly because of these reasons –

Reason 1: He looks better than you or probably has got a better tattoo and a hairdo! Well whatever! Anushka Sharma (B-town hottie) is by his side, not yours mate. Period

Reason 2: If someone messes up with him, he gives it back onto his face. I believe Australian fans would fall under this segment. Ozies it’s not the same team India anymore, who would fall prey to your stupid sledging gimmicks. You hit us once, we hit you back twice. Folks get ready to get the standing ovation of Virat’s middle finger again if you try provoking him the way you did at SCG in 2012.

Reason 3: He is still a better batsman than all the batsmen of your team combined. Virat Kohli has scored (13) more hundreds than the cumulative count (11) by team Pakistan since 2011.Pakistanis would surely hate him for that.

Reason 4: Dedication towards the game!
Nothing matters more to him than cricket. He doesn’t play for money or respect. Virat only plays for his nation. The fact that he went onto play the game next day, when his father died shows his commitment towards the game. Bookies I am sorry .He is not the man you can bribe.

Reason 5: Virat makes top class bowlers look paltry.
Malinga is definitely his bunny. He belts him all around the park mercilessly over and over again. Recently when India Kohli-fied (qualified) in a do or die game against the Lankans in Australia, this is what Tony Greig had to say-

“For sheer class and audacity, this knock of Kohli will stand out in the annals of cricketing history for eternity.  He will cherish this knock – something he can tell his grandchildren (133* vs. Sri Lanka in CB Series, Hobart, February 28, 2012) “.His rampage caused India to achieve the target in only 36.4 overs.

Reason 6: Neither is he a superhero nor is he worshipped!
He is expressive. He abuses. He shouts. He has temperamental issue like a normal human has. I agree he doesn’t keep his emotions under check at times and crosses the line by swearing on the opponent’s mother and sister but that is how he is. I mean it’s always good to be hated for who you are, rather than being loved for who you are not.

Reason 7: In future he may cross all the milestones, which your favourite players have built over the years! The three most probable records which might break are –
a) Most centuries by a player in ODIs. Currently Sachin holds the record 49 centuries in 463 games whereas Virat has already hit 19 in 134 games.

b) Highest ODI batting average (100+ games)
Currently Michael Bevan is leading the chart with 53.58(6912/232) and Dhoni is on second spot. Considering the fact that Bevan doesn’t play anymore and Kohli bats at number 3; which gives him ample opportunity to get closer to the milestone with the kind of form he is in, definitely he can outplay Dhoni as well (who bats lower down the order).

c) Fastest century in ODIs
On his day, definitely he can score a ton in less than 36 balls. After that 52 ball ton against Australia, I think many of you would agree with this hypothesis.

Reason 8:  Kohli gives India the head start edge!
He has matured pretty fast and is already looked upon as the safe successor for the next generation team while majority of other teams are still playing and being lead by aged fellows who serve more as accumulators rather than accelerators. So by the time they revamp their team, India would be roaring and leading the ratings.

Reason 9: He is more popular than you or rather your favourite celebrity/cricketer!
Currently he is the Election Commission’s national icon along the likes of Aamir Khan and the face of the youth in the Indian advertising sector.

Reason 10: Not only is he the numero uno in the ICC ODI batsman rankings, he is heading the most eligible bachelor list as well!
Recently when gave Kohli gave a CHOKE slam to the proteas in the ICCWorldT20 semi final, he got a marriage proposal from the English cricketer Danielle Wyatt on Twitter. God! This guy has some insane female fan following.

Well what I am trying to say is –

“Sher hai Kohli India ka mere yaar, Abki baar Modi Sarkaar”!

On a serious note, I think if he can continue the kind of form he is in and can cope up with fitness and injuries over the next 6-7 years; Virat Kohli will be the name to remember for the next 10 generations to come at least.