"There's no reason why we can't (win)" : Kevin O'Brien

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  1. Del
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    Del Tracer Bullet

    Dec 21, 2016
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    Kevin O'Brien believes his latest hundred can be the springboard for a dramatic Ireland success just as his last one set up a stunning World Cup victory over England seven years ago.

    O'Brien was the toast of Ireland again at Malahide on Monday as he marked their debut Test with the country's maiden three-figure score at this level, an innings that gives them a chance of an unlikely win against Pakistan.

    Ireland ended the fourth day of this one-off match on 319 for seven, a lead of 139 runs, after being made to follow-on.

    They were in danger of an innings defeat when O'Brien came in at 95 for four on Monday, with Ireland still 85 runs adrift of Pakistan's 310 for nine declared.

    But O'Brien responded with a composed 118 not out and together with Stuart Thompson, who made a valuable 53, turned the tide in a century partnership for the seventh wicket.

    It was a similar story in India seven years ago when O'Brien walked out to bat at 106 for four, with Ireland chasing an England total of 327.

    But his 50-ball century, still the quickest in a World Cup match, powered Ireland to a superb win.

    Monday's innings was O'Brien's first hundred for Ireland in 169 matches in all formats since his Bangalore bonanza and meant the Irish had a shot at becoming only the fourth side in the 141-year history of men's Test cricket to win after following-on.

    "It's a very proud and emotional moment," O'Brien told reporters after stumps.

    "Hopefully now we've put ourselves in a good position to try and go ahead and win it. There's no reason why we can't (win)."

    O'Brien, however, said the Bangalore hundred remained his best innings -- at least for the time being.

    - 'Bangalore number one'

    "I still think for me Bangalore is definitely number one, just for the sheer moment it was and against who it was, in the World Cup.

    "If I can continue on tomorrow for another hour and a half, that 118 changes to 170-odd, this could top it."

    Pakistan recalled left-arm paceman Mohammad Amir -- who had already dismissed Ireland captain William Porterfield, O'Brien's brother Niall and their fellow top-order batsman Gary Wilson to reach 100 Test wickets earlier on Monday -- when Kevin O'Brien was on 99.

    But an edged two against Amir, not his best shot perhaps, saw the 34-year-old O'Brien to three figures in 186 balls with 10 fours.

    "They sniffed an opportunity to try and get me out on 99 and fortunately another thick edge went past the fielder and I got two runs," said O'Brien.

    "It was just relief, really. Emotional -- first Test and all that.

    "My mum and dad don't miss a game and my wife was there as well, and obviously Niall's in the side. I'm very proud."

    - 'Bite you back' -

    Pakistan's Azhar Ali praised O'Brien for a "composed knock" of more than five hours, saying it had been a "very special innings".

    The tourists might have already won this match, however, had they not dropped both Ireland openers, Ed Joyce and skipper Porterfield, in single figures off Amir on Sunday.

    Azhar, who missed Porterfield in the slips, said: "Obviously any time in Test cricket you drop catches, you give chances to the other team and it bites you back.

    "But the way our bowlers bowled today, especially in the first session, I think they got the game back in our hands but, again, the innings of Kevin O'Brien was a very special one," added Azhar, who has 14 Test hundreds to his credit.

    Amir was repeatedly on and off the field Monday after a chronic knee injury flared up again on Sunday.

    It was a concerning sight for Pakistan ahead of a back-to-back two-Test series against England that starts at Lord's on May 24, but Azhar said: "We are hoping the injury he's had is not much and we are pretty confident it's not going to take too long (to heal)."

    Kevin O'Brien on his way to a historic first century for Ireland in Test cricket, against Pakistan on Monday

    https://au.news.yahoo.com/obrien-eye...8758--spt.html
     
  2. Del
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    Del Tracer Bullet

    Dec 21, 2016
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    Full credit to him on his 100, played very purposely in second innings, if they can add another 80-120 more then Pakistan will certainly feel a lot of pressure to chase 180/200+ on a last day.
     
  3. Dare2Dream
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    Dare2Dream Talented

    May 4, 2010
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    Question is who from Pakistan can stand up and make a century. I would have had high expectations from Fakhar but of course he is not even playing.
     
  4. mohsin88ali
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    mohsin88ali Emerging Player

    Nov 8, 2017
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    Asad looked good during the first innings.

    But, as we all know TOO WELL, when it comes to chasing, Pakistan psyche themselves out most of the time.

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  5. iZeeshan
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    iZeeshan Tracer Bullet

    May 22, 2012
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    I think if Ireland scores 40 more runs, they're in with a 30% shot. A target of 220+ will put them at 50%.
     
  6. Del
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    Del Tracer Bullet

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    Asad is a mentally fragile player, who will flunk 8 out of 10 in tough conditions, and same looks true to Azhar too.

    I pin my hopes on Harry, Imam (has to give him credit, boy has played well) and some what on Bobby too. Because some of these have to raise their hand in 2nd innings, when we will be chasing (like today).

    Azhar and Asad can be good in first innings, but on deteriorating 4th/5th day pitch, in bowling supportive conditions, when opposition is getting on you, I don't expect them to bail us out.
     
  7. mohsin88ali
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    mohsin88ali Emerging Player

    Nov 8, 2017
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    You do remember that it was the same fragile player who almost single handedly won us the biggest chase in test history and that too against Australia in Australia.
    And Azhar was instrumental in that last day chase against SL.

    In my opinion, the reason Asad has not been performing is the number change.
    He was very good at 6, he should have stayed there.

    Imam performed well, let's see how he does against Anderson and co.

    Damn these selectors, we NEEDED Fawad against England.

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  8. Del
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    Del Tracer Bullet

    Dec 21, 2016
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    I highlighted the key words, "Almost" and "SL".

    A) Almost is not good enough to win games, you need to take your side over the line. Which he was unable to do so in AUS, and then take cake ceremony was cringeworthy.

    B) What Azhar did was good, but remind me, how many more times he was able to repeat that performance. Even those runs came against the toothless SL.
     
  9. mohsin88ali
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    mohsin88ali Emerging Player

    Nov 8, 2017
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    Come on, you are being TOO hard on him. He did his part, if only some of the other batsmen had done theirs.
    Which is something one NEEDS to pull off such chases.

    It was Sarwan and Chanderpaul for WI when they chased 418.
    Bradman and Morris for Aus when they became the first team to chase 400.

    On the other hand, even a wonderful 221 from the great Gavaskar wasn't enough to take India over the line when rest failed against England.

    It was a LAST DAY pitch. EVERYONE grows fangs on such.
    Give credit where it's due.

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  10. Del
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    Del Tracer Bullet

    Dec 21, 2016
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    Bhai full credit to them for what efforts, but all I am saying is the, I yet have to see consistent performances from both, where they will win games for their team.

    PCB has invested so much into these two, and I really hope that we haven't backed the wrong horses all these years.
     
  11. mohsin88ali
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    mohsin88ali Emerging Player

    Nov 8, 2017
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    With over 5000 and 3000 runs respectively, i think they have performed more than OK.
    And please explain to me WHAT EXACTLY do you mean by "winning the matches"?
    Do they NEED to "stay till the end"?
    By that logic, both Sarwan and Chanderpaul didn't do their jobs in the match mentioned above because Omari Banks had to finish it for them, right?

    Its all about the roles my friend.
    If an opener has scored a century in a 300 chase but the rest crumble and team losses, he DID HIS JOB BUT OTHERS DIDN'T.



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  12. Del
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    Del Tracer Bullet

    Dec 21, 2016
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    Both have been ok but since the departure of Misbah and Younis, there has been a decline in their performance, nobody can deny this, specially Azhar's.

    I thought its very easy for anybody to cypher what is "winning the matches" for your team. Tell me on how many occasions, both have won games for Pakistan? Dont bring up that 100 against SL trundler, and even if you bring it in the argument, then also tell how many times Azhar has repeated that performance? Specially against big boys.

    Looking at Azhar Ali, you can hardly recognize if the guy is on 2, 20 or 200; because he has very few gears. The guy is good in grinding the opposition in making 50 runs on 256 balls, but his runs doesn't hurt opposition, because he waste so much time.

    Perhaps the only batsman who will make 300 runs, but will opposition will comfortably draw the game.

    This shouldn't be the role of anybody in the team, who play as specialist batsman. Yes, see off the new ball, but then start playing your shots. Hovering over innings SR around 2/2.5 doesn't win you game these days.
     
  13. mohsin88ali
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    mohsin88ali Emerging Player

    Nov 8, 2017
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    So you are saying that Azhar's 300 doesn't matter because they came in 1st innings and played NO part in Pakistan's win?
    By this logic Inzi's 329 didn't won us the mstch as well because they came in the first innings and the match was "won" by Shoaib and Danish when they dismissed NZ in both innings, right?

    Yes, there has been a decline in his performance, i NEVER denied that. But some people take more time to get accustomed to "responsibility".
    Think of it as this, a women (Pakistani) gets married aged 30, she lived with her parents all her life (obviously), never had to manage a home/run it at a budget.
    Now, she has to be responsible for an entire family, it's gonna take her some time, you know?

    Not to mention, those idiot selectors did a number on his confidence when they made him the odi captain and he failed MISERABLY. He didn't even deserved to be in the odi team but.......
    He is much more suited to tests, that is the format where he should have been made captain.

    About strike rate, you keep forgetting, this is PAKISTAN.
    We either hack away or we block. There is NO middle ground. Plus we still bat with 80’s and 90's mentality.
    Why, because "we are perfect the way we are", "we don't need to LEARN" especially from our mistakes because that my friend, ACTUALLY REQUIRES you to ADMIT that you have a fault.
    And no Pakistani has any faults whatsoever...(sarcasm)

    Oh, what i wouldn't give to have two batsman from Mumbai's second eleven and two from third eleven.
    Those guys are technical marvels in their teans and ours.............

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  14. Del
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    Del Tracer Bullet

    Dec 21, 2016
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    I made a general point that his runs are impotent usually, if you compare his runs with the likes of Cook, Roots, Khawaja, Warner, Smith, Markram or Amla. When these guys bat long, make big hundreds, double or triple hundreds, then opposition comes under the pump. If you give then chase, then they will make you pay and take a game away from you - which is not the case this Azhar. Hope you understand it now.

    And as for RR, yes I know about batting culture of Pakistan very well, but we are not that bad either to maintain 1.8/2.0 RR for 1/2 sessions, which is usually the case then Azhar bats.

    Asad's SR is not bad at all, and same goes for Harry. Next time keep an eye on RR when these play and when Azhar is on the crease.
     
  15. mohsin88ali
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    mohsin88ali Emerging Player

    Nov 8, 2017
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    Khoaja hasn't even made a double yet let alone a triple. He has made just over 2000 runs in half of Azhar's matches with a below average and a sr just a couple of runs more, and only 6 centuries.
    You should have mentioned Kohli or Williamson or DeVilliers instead.

    India has played Vijay for many years now(he was dropped because of injury NOT performance) he has played 56 matches, which is just 7 short of Azhar, Vijay has scored 3800 runs which is about 1400 short of Azhar. Do you think he is going to surpass Azhar in his next 7 matches?
    His average is 40, Azhar's 47. His sr is 46, Azhar's 43. He has made 11 centuries with no double, Azhar has 14, with 3 doubles including one triple.

    Williamson has scored just 200 runs more in 2 more matches, his sr is just 7 better than Azhar's. With only one double.

    Root has 13 centuries, one less than Azhar. With no triple.

    Even Kohli has just 400 odd more runs than Azhar with 4 more matches.
    He does have better average and a superior sr with more centuries but........
    HE IS VIRAT "FRIKKING" KOHLI.

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  16. Del
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    Del Tracer Bullet

    Dec 21, 2016
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    Bhai sahab, you still dont get it, so I wouldnt emphasis any more.

    All in this thread I have been trying to say that his runs don't hurt opposition much. If I turn on a TV to watch 1/2/3 day game, and this guy is batting then I would have to wait for scoreboard to show up, because I cant tell from his batting that if he's batting on 2/20/120/200.

    Yes I forgot to mention those player you named, but my focus was on players play at top 3 positions. Therefore, I don't think DeVilliers falls in the category.

    And as for Khawaja, yes he hasn't made 300 yet, but again, this is not the point. I will take aggressive, daunting big 100 over a snail place 300.

    Also, I guess in one of the posts above, you mentioned Inzy's 329. Are you tell me that Azhar possesses the same caliber as Uncle Inzy?
     
    Last edited: May 16, 2018
  17. mohsin88ali
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    mohsin88ali Emerging Player

    Nov 8, 2017
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    We can agree to DISAGREE than.

    Last i checked, MAKING RUNS was the POINT for batsmen in tests NOT hacking away like a certain "Khan Sahib".

    Do you really want EVERYONE to be aggressive in a test line up?
    Thank god India didn't had such mentality after Sehwag started making centuries for fun, otherwise, they would have dropped trudlers like Dravid and Laxman long before their retirements.

    Inzi made 8830 runs in 119 matches, with 25 centuries.
    Azhar currently has 5200 runs from 63 matches with 14 centuries.
    Do you really believe that he won't surpass inzi in 50 odd matches?

    And before you bring it up, Yes, i do remember that inzi was a big match player.

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  18. Del
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    Del Tracer Bullet

    Dec 21, 2016
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    When I used the word 'aggressive', I didn't mean that Azhar or anybody else need to tonk sixes in every over (it doesnt mean that one shouldn't punish bad ball).

    Rather I was highlighting the fact that how Azhar bogs down and starts playing median overs one after another. I understand he's not a stroke makers but it doesn't justify to sucks all the innings momentum by either playing median or play 5 dots then take single on last bowl to repeat for the whole session in a hope then bowlers will be grind in the scorching sun.

    We need better players who can keep up RR around 3, because this is how you can be 300+ at the end of the day, which is not the case with you usually and we hover around 270ish total at the end of the day.
     

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