Pak team to arrive in Delhi
The Pakistani cricket team arrives in Delhi on Thursday for five one dayers and three Test matches.
This time the hype around India-Pakistan matches is not as much as it used to be. After all, the two sides have played each other in nine Tests and 22 one dayers in the last 3 years.
However, its still India and Pakistan the biggest rivals in international cricket.
In terms of administrative matters the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) and the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) are equally lackadaisical.
The PCB named Younis Khan as the vice-captain for the tour of India. He’s the third vice captain for the team since the World Cup.
New Pakistan skipper
After Mohammad Asif and Salman Butt, Younis seems to be a strange choice given that he refused the captaincy earlier, which is why Shoaib Malik is the current compromise candidate.
“Shoaib is an intelligent cricketer but only time will tell whether captaincy will benefit him or not. Leadership can be a boon as well as a bane,” said Imran Khan, former Pakistan captain.
So far, Malik has had a fairly mixed bag as captain. Pakistan lost the Test and one day series against South Africa at home – a result that has them slumping to fifth in the one day rankings and 7th in the Test rankings.
All that seems to have erased memories of the great run that Pakistan had in the Twenty20 World Cup – a run that ended with a loss to India in the finals. On that occasion, the captain didn’t endear himself to many people when he spoke at the presentation ceremony.
“First of all I want to say something, I want to thank Pakistan and Muslims all over the world,” he had said.
That might have been a case of a poor choice of words but what was far worse was when Malik admitted that his team had not been aware of the bowl out rules in the Twenty20 game – that was after Pakistan lost to India in the league stage of the World Cup.
Knowing the rules is one thing but what about knowing how to manage his team. Not much can be said as yet about how Malik will handle the more difficult members of his squad especially Shoaib Akhtar.
Still early days for the 25-year-old, who has been in charge for just eight one dayers and three Tests. Naturally a series against India will be a big test but at least the all rounder knows that he’s been in top form against the arch rivals.