Random thoughts after watching parts of the two encounters yesterday
+ Umar Akmal is a class act. Glimpses were evident during the Australian summer. The best thing about him seems to be an air of calm in everything he does - batting, body language, outfielding and catching. There is none of the 'nervous energy' or 'passion' or 'excitement' which one associates with the quintessential Pakistani 'teenaged' cricketer from Aquib Javed to Afridi. All that remains to be done by the strongmen at PCB is to fast track him to captaincy and finish him.
+ Afridi tried to be proper batsman - play the first ball straight, run the singles, stay there and the runs will come and all that jazz. Only problem was they forgot to tell Luke Wright.
+ Kamran Akmal needs to play as a specialist batsman e or Pak need to field with a long stop.
+ England might have reached adulthood, but KP has some way to go before mastering batting in LOIs. Case point over no 19 of England innings.
- 8 off 12 required. KP plays it to Salman Butt and point and sets of for a suicidal run. Luckily for the non striker Wright, Kamran is the keeper.
- 2 off 9 required. KP chases a certain wide and smashes it straight to cover.
- 2 off 7 required. The earlier ball was a short one. This one is short too. KP tries to smash it into Carlisle Bay when all he needed to do was drop it down at his feet and take the single which will ensure a tie in the very least. Now 2 off 6 needed and new man on strike to Ajmal, the best bowler on view.
I cannot imagine MSD or Yuvraj or Raina or even DK doing any of the above mistakes. They would calmly play out the dot ball and proceed to hit the next one out of the ground.
+ AB faced 39 balls out of which he managed 3 boundary hits and scored 47. Albie Morkel faced 18 balls, cleared the ground five times and scored 40. 65 runs between overs 15 and 19. Lesson for the Proteas.
+ What is Gareth Hopkins doing in the NZ T20 team? Is Brendon McCullum so very overworked? I suppose that is one way of saying 'We are short of real talent'.
+ This may be Barbados but good spinners would still be useful. Daniel Vettori is an all season man, but look at Johan Botha. He struck twice in the only phase when NZ appeared to be in the hunt.