After levelling the Test series, the Pakistanis made a lukewarm start to the one-day series, losing the first two matches convincingly. But the way they fought and came back to win the series 4-2 speaks volumes for the character, dedication and aggression with which they played. Winning four matches in succession is not a cakewalk. Your temperament, physical fitness and endurance is tested to the fullest. The saddest part of the last two games was the fact that India lost both encounters in the first 15 overs itself. At Kanpur, the hosts lost their four top batsmen very early, and then came the onslaught from Afridi, who scored the second-fastest century in one-day internationals. The way he was batting, I doubt whether anybody could have stopped him. I pity the bowlers who had to bear this onslaught. Whichever shot he played, he connected to perfection. It was all Afridi, Afridi, Afridi.
Younis Khan - Current livewire, future captain.
India went into the Delhi game hoping to level the series. Their supporters in turn hoped for a nail-biting finish to the series, but the Pakistanis were in top form. They outclassed the Indians. This one-day series win was possibly Pakistan's best-ever performance against India in one-day cricket. Their captain Inzamam-ul-Haq showed his greatness as a batsman and growing maturity as captain. He has done a great job of shaping the team into a dynamic unit. The best thing about Pakistan's victory is that it was a classic team effort, with every member of the team making a contribution.
A player who had a wonderful tour was vice-captain Younis Khan. He started badly, but pulled himself together and went from strength to strength. He may not be flamboyant, but he is a gutsy cricketer and has the capacity of scoring big runs. The manner in which he led the side in Inzamam's temporary absences from the field showed that he meant business. He is a livewire, always involved in the game and is game to take chances whenever the opportunity arises. In him, Pakistan have unearthed a future captain.
Bob Woolmer, the coach of the Pakistani team, must take a lot of credit for the transformation of the side. There were lots of stones thrown at him when he took over, but he bided his time and got down to building a proactive team. One of the foremost visionaries of the game, Woolmer is targeting the 2007 World Cup. If he stays with the team for that long, I am sure Pakistan will come very close to winning the tournament. He has instilled the right work-ethics, and made the players aware of the need to work hard and never give up. He is a tough taskmaster, one who is not afraid to call a spade a spade. With Bob at the helm of affairs, the Pakistani team is poised to scale even higher peaks in the years to come.
Barring Inzamum the team is full of young players which include top class all-rounder like Razaq, Malik to name a few. These all-rounder make the difference in the team, they are match winners. Andrew Flintoff of England, Jack Kallis of South Africa, and Abdul Razaq of Pakistan are match winners of their team. If every team has one to two extra ordinary all-rounder then that team doesn't look back and Pakistan have few in their team hence they have every chance of becoming world beaters.
WAIT AND WATCH!