25 July 2010

Salman Aleykum

Pakistan v Australia Test 2 [scorecard]

Half a year ago I was one of these people who took the mickey out of Salman after he had suffered his personal Run-out-Gate, and Yousuf's press conference on the issue is still one of my favourite audio tracks. At that time no one would have suspected that Salman would captain the Pakistani Test team just a few months later and lead them to their first victory over Australia in 15 years. But after Pakistan had finished their tour in Down Under with disastrous results the PCB went rampant and blew the whole shop up. Salman had been in the contention for the captaincy but suddenly Afridi popped out of retirement and immediately climbed the throne, giving in to his compulsion against any better advice. I was fuming at that time and wishing that a hole in the ground would open and just engulf him. That didn't happen and Afridiland deservedly went overboard in the first Test against the Aussies. The Afridi bubble had burst after just one match, Boom Boom pulled out and generously appointed Salman as his heir to the throne. The Boomster must be having foam before his mouth witnessing that exactly this humble, rather inexperienced and frequently mocked opening batsman takes Pakistan to a historical triumph. This is no attempt to belittle the breathtaking performance of the Pakistani bowlers or Pakistan's vastly improved fielding, or the stubbornness of Punter, who would spontaneously combust if he opted to field. One also has to take into consideration that this match didn't take place in Pakistan or the UAE, which adds even more value to the victory. It was the perfect time for Pakistan to play in England, with an in-form Asif and Gul available and Aamer being his usual wicked self. Now the Pakistan team has the momentum (yes!) on their side and will face the English with heads held high. It might be a severe case of romanticisation if some people herald a new era in Pakistan cricket, one swallow does not make a summer and Pakistan's difficult journey to becoming a top-ranked Test nation has only just begun, but the foundation has been laid and can be built on. All the best to the Pakistani team and good luck for the matches against England.

That fat old guy, behind who Mo Asif is forced to hide, shouldn't even be in the pic :/  (c) Getty Images



Mudassar @ CricketVibe.com said...

This could be the beginning to an new era a new fightback to get into the top 5 (at least) if that bloody fat guy and his friends will not mess it up once again.

Salman is a nice guy, isn't he? Even look at his smile much better than any of the other, humble but yet prominent.

I reckon English series is going to be a cracker as they are much better team than Aussies right now specially at home.

Wes ~ PFCNFS ~ said...

Yes he is nice and everybody liked his words at the match presentation, his field settings were sometimes a bit dodgy and made you think he has played under Yousuf for too long :P This is where he needs to gather experience quickly.
But I hope he will learn it, Gul can help. But you are right, England are the team to beat this summer.

Purna said...

Honestly, I don't know that it means much that Butt is captain. Pakistan are a team that actually have players who can bring about results on their days, irrespective of how good or bad the captain is. Plus, who knows how long Butt will be captain? I didn't watch the test (sniff sniff), but I heard that he was equally good and bad?

Wes ~ PFCNFS ~ said...

Pu, it does mean much... to me and many others :P

1) He's my latest bandwagon
2) I feel guilty because of Run-out-Gate
3) He's not bloody Afridi
4) He's nice
5) He knows something about batting in Tests (which makes him a special player, who can lead from the front)

I hope, though, that his new leadership style will introduce a new spirit into the team, i.e. an end to all these intrigues and blackmailings. This would be one of those first steps towards more success.

Sidthegnomenator said...

At least you're honest on the bandwagon thing, Wes LOL

But seriously, somoene else will be captain next week so don't get too attached.

Wes ~ PFCNFS ~ said...

I can't quite follow you Sid, why would he be replaced? He got confirmed for the rest of Pakistan's England campaign, after that we shall see what happens...

sunny said...

I find Salman Butt a pretty impressive player, he kinda stands out in the Stani team. And I think this despite my Dad trying to indoctrinate me he ain't any good. :)

Wes ~ PFCNFS ~ said...

Yes because currently he looks the only one who knows which way to hold a bat in Tests. Well tell your dad to imagine the PAK Test team without Salman and instead, say, Imran Nazir or so... He will quickly realise Butt's value :D