Monday, December 17, 2007

Half Fit Shoaib Akhtar Better than the Rest...

Shoaib Akhtar went to India with a multi-purpose agenda, which looked like:

  1. Take lots of wickets and win matches for Pakistan.
  2. Improve image in the public eye. Shed 'Bad Boy' label.
  3. Gain respect of the PCB, the captain, the other players and show 100% commitment to Pakistan cricket.
  4. Sign a Bollywood movie.
Besides the first point on the agenda, Akhtar managed to do everything else. His PR manager made sure that he clicks him at the right moments to promote an image of a team man enjoying his cricket. Akhtar ensured that he played every test despite not being fully fit so that no one doubts his commitment. And he also signed a bollywood movie for a rumoured Rs. 8 Crores (more than what Shahrukh and Aamir Khan make!).
Had he not played the 2nd or the 3rd test due to his chest infection or back injury, everyone would have criticized him for not being committed. When he played and broke down everyone criticized his decision to play. Akhtar was in a catch 22 situation and I believe he made the right decision.
A half fit Shoaib Akhtar was a better bowler than the rest of the Pakistan attack put together! Only Kaneria took more wickets than him, only Arafat (who played 1 test) had a better average and strike rate than him, and no other bowler threatened the Indian batsmen the way Akhtar did. He ever performed better than the Indian pacers Zaheer and Munaf. The figures speak for themselves. So who would you have in the test team? A half fit Akhtar or a fully fit Tanvir or Sami or Rao?

Definitely Akhtar!

Make your pitch on this post...



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6 Pitched:

  1. Miriam said...
     

    I'd like a fully-fit Shoaib please, which isn't an option at the moment. However, while I can see that playing him half-fit might have a short-term benefit in that he is still able to perform (albeit not at his top level), I'm not sure about the medium/longer term. Wouldn't he be more likely to be fully-fit for longer periods of time if he didn't play when half-fit? Why not give him some time to recover, and give some experience to the junior players (which may also have the benefit of finding another matchwinner).

  2. Q said...
     

    Anyone would like a fully fit Shoaib Akhtar Miriam, but I don't think that will ever be possible. He was out of cricket for a good year, how much longer can u give him to regain fitness.

    Because of the way he is he will always break down in matches. Substance abuse never helped anyones cause.

  3. Ottayan said...
     

    Q,

    I agree with you partly.

    A half-fit Akhtar is better than any fully fit Pakistani bowler.

    However,to find him gasping for breath liked a beached whale is demoralising to say the least.

  4. Uncle J rod said...
     

    I'd like an Ahktar that wasn't a complete tool, fit or unfit. One who doesn't play less matches than Bruce Reid, one who doesn't get involved in drugs, legal or non legal, one who could bowl spells as long as, at least shaun tait (5 overs), and one whose first and last priority was winning games for his country.

  5. Ottayan said...
     

    Q,

    Have said some nasty things about Shoaib in my recent post.

    Care to have a go. :)

  6. Q said...
     

    Ottayan, I just did :-)

    His problem is he speaks too much! He's an attention seeker thas why I think he'll do better in his life in bollywood ;-)

    But that doesn't take away the fact that even at 50% fitness he was better than other Paki bowlers in the series against India...Sad but true.

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