Friday, January 29, 2010

You-su-full of Stubbornness

Now you might be getting bored reading post after post on the beloved captain Mohammad Yousuf. But then, if there's one thing Yousuf has learnt from Shoaib Akhtar it has to be how to remain in the limelight. Unfortunately though, he is also in the news more for all the wrong reasons than right ones. So since Mr. Captain considers himself so worthy of all the attention which he was denied while he was not appointed captain in 2007 or when he went away to ICL, we have decided to give him his due share.

On the eve of the fourth ODI in Perth, Mohammad Yousuf makes some very interesting comments in an interview. For the sake of Yousuf, lets not be too critical and lets try to find out (read: dig deep) the 'positive' aspects of his statements. So here we go:

Team was nowhere before I took over.

Well said Mr. Captain. He's correct. The team was 'nowhere'. Look it up in the dictionary, 'nowhere' is used to refer to an unimportant or uninteresting place. Indeed, so was the case. The team was in Pakistan and UAE (which is as good as home) and so rightly counts as 'nowhere'. Yousuf has taken the team 'everywhere' - to great places, namely Australia and New Zealand. Valid point Mr. Captain.

This is a new team and when the Pakistan Cricket Board gave me the team as a captain [it was] nowhere.

Lets not be too harsh on the captain. So what if Shahid Afridi, Kamran Akmal, Shoaib Malik, Younis Khan, and Yousuf himself have played over a hundred ODIs and a good number of Tests as well. Yousuf is a cricketer, not a statistician. He is not supposed to remember how experienced his players are. And he also finds the team new because he has only recently returned from ICL. Its been only six months. So if he insists, lets accept that it is a new team.

I have tried to make the whole team gel. In New Zealand in difficult conditions we drew the series [which was a] good achievement for me and my team.

That is also correct. The team has gelled together so well that they did not want to drop Kamran Akmal from the final test despite his pathetic performance in the Sydney test. So united the team is. And of course, in hindsight, drawing a series always seems an achievement in comparison to a 3-0 whitewash.

We play very good Test cricket in Australia … they did not win [in Sydney], we gave them that match. We did not take pressure because we are young and inexperienced.

Again, please excuse Yousuf for the lack of knowledge regarding statistics. We admitted earlier that the team is new and inexperienced. No need to plead to us Mr. Captain. We believe you. As for the Sydney test, see, he is so honest he credits the right reason for the reason. And also highlights another quality of his team that he has taken 'everywhere' - the opposition does not have to win against us, we gift them the match too. You must give credit to him for being so honest and appreciative of the qualities of his team.

A lot of teams from Pakistan that have come here have not played like this, and [those teams] have had great players.

So true. What he is trying to emphasize on is that none of the earlier teams have played like this. Better or worse is a different matter. None could get Australia's eight wickets down for a lead of 80 runs. Living in the past isn't always good, so we will also forget how Pakistan were robbed of a victory by the Australian umpires in 1997 at Hobart as Australia chased a mammoth 367. And yes great players those teams had and hence they didn't perform the way the team is performing this time. That is why Wasim Akram-led Pakistan won the triangular series in 1997 while the current team is 0-3 down when Yousuf made this statement. But then Yousuf didn't say better or worse. He just said it is a never-seen-before performance. We are stumped again!

And as a batsman I feel my form is excellent, better than the whole team. But unfortunately I did not make runs. I am hitting them right in the middle, but have not made any runs.

Oh of course. That huge thing in the ground called a scoreboard is useless. Runs don't matter. And given Yousuf's obliviousness regarding statistics, he surely doesn't care about scoring one more run than the opposition. What matters is that the ball should hit the middle of the bat. That sweet sound, aahh totally love it! Did somebody say the captain has got out edging behind the stumps half the innings on tour? Don't get him wrong here. He was just checking whether the edge of the bat also produces that same sound or not. Next time, he'll play a cover drive right from the edge of the bat.

So then, Mr. Captain has left us stumped on so many counts now. Now our voices should be completely shut. He says everything for a reason, and the reasons we just explored. Convinced, aren't we?

P.S: Mohammad Yousuf, how about you hire us as your lawyer/spokesperson whatever? :P


  1. Well Yousuf has got a point when he said tht the current team should not be criticised because earlier Paki legends that toured Australia have also performed badly, infact they were once bowled out for 50 odd runs in both the innings of a test vs australia in Sharjah.
    However, even then one cannot justify the poor performane of the current team. One cannot praise incompetency and he should realise it and work to improve the standards of the team rather than just moaning about the past.

  2. Mohammad Yousuf has made so many valid points in this interview, you just can't seem to criticize him for even one. If he insists that Pakistani 'legends' couldn't do a better job either, we will safely forget (for Yousuf's sake) that the Australian team at that time had the likes of Steve Waugh, Mark Waugh, Glenn McGrath, Shane Warne, Adam Gilchrist etc. Okay if Yousuf also insists that Australia are still as good as then, we will also safely assume that Ryan Harris is the new Glenn McGrath, Marcus North is the new Steve Waugh, Nathan Hauritz is as good as Shane Warne etc.

    Happy Yousuf?

  3. well written but nothing about our former quitter and captain.....with 33 average for a 1 down batsmen with previous few matches he averages about 10 or something with highest 11 in a domestic doubt he is a good test batsmen but in onedays he also need to review his place and stance:)

  4. MR yousuf is in the state of denials like our politicians;)
    New team: salman butt,kamran akmal,shahid afridi,younis khan,rana,asif,saeed ajmal,yousuf,(this is our new team:) ....just learn from amer ,Umer and fawad alam and move forward and do not sacrifice younsgter but sacrifice yourself........these younsgter brings hope with them and plz do notl destroy them.......

  5. don't mean to be critical, but not as well written as the previous blog entries!

    Anyway, Mr. Captain will soon be Mr. EX-captain.. and if he is not, i will stop watching cricket. well i have already..almost.. and i blame the current captain and what he has done to this team! :@

  6. agrees with the author Yousuf has failed to identify his weakness and thus he is completely unable to make any improvment.Indeed it has been a shambolic leadership however I agree with zedoo captain is not the only culprit here.The other main sinners are PCB managment who picked Yousuf as captain and also senior players like Younis khan,kamran akmal,Umer Gul...current coach.All these men have failed miserably...horrendously out of form senior batsman should be get rid off and we not only need change in the leadership but also PCB top hierchy needs a permanent holiday.

  7. i had great respect for yousuf for being a man and taking responsibility after the sydney debacle,but he's just faded away now. it's so disappointing.the ODI series has been a farce.

  8. problem is wid PCB---Pakistan has a lot of new talent but the management is corrupt.......never ever they have let any player play to his full potential....jahan tak yousuf ki baat hai tou after becoming captain---paagal hogYa hai bechaara!!!! kuch hii dino mein resignation aane wala hai, i bet!