Thursday, June 26, 2008

Fawad Alam - Pakistan's Finisher?

It has been just over a year since Fawad Alam has been part of Pakistan's ODI squad, though he's just played 9 ODIs during this time.

Its only recently - as recent as the Kitply Cup and the ongoing Asia Cup that Fawad has been considered as a first choice in the starting XI.

Fawad hasn't been a regular in the starting XI due to Pakistan's preference in the past for playing a specialist opener or a 4th seamer with Afridi and Malik sharing the spinner's role.

Fawad's inclusion in the XI has come about due to Malik shying away from bowling coupled with the need to strengthen the lower order batting that has weakened due to Abdul Razzak's exclusion and Afridi's lack of form.

I've come across a number of people who have questioned his inclusion in the side.

I don't blame them as with a frame as small as his, it is difficult to consider him a cricketer. He doesn't look a day older than 16 and doesn't seem the sort that one would want at the crease at the end of an innings.

Don't go on the look though.

Fawad Alam's unbeaten 63 against Hong Kong on Tuesday showed why the selectors and the team management have so much faith in him.

Fawad walked into bat when the score was 135-4 off 22 overs. In the next 7 overs, Fawad watched Misbah, Afridi, and Sarfraz walk back to the pavilion as Pakistan slipped to 161-7.

He then shared a record 100 run 8th wicket partnership with Sohail Tanvir and remained unbeaten at the end of the innings leading Pakistan to a 288-9, something they never looked like achieving.

Ignore the fact that it happened against Hong Kong, with all due respect to them.

A situation like the one described above is tough for anyone, let alone someone who was only playing his 9th ODI.

Fawad batted with responsibility, consolidated when he had to, and accelerated when he had to. He hit only 3 boundaries yet he scored his 63 at a strike rate of over 80.

Job well done I would say.

In 9 ODIs now, Fawad has batted 8 times and remained unbeaten 6 times.

Those not outs have given him a Bevan - Hussey type ODI average of 65.00. And that too with quite a healthy strike rate of 89.65.

He has usually come out to bat at the end of an innings, either during a run chase or while batting first, which explains the not outs.

It has only been 9 ODIs, but more often than not he has delivered.

The game against Hong Kong wasn't the first time that he played the finisher's role for Pakitan.

He did that in his 2nd ODI when he was given a game on Pakistan's tour of India last year. In the 5th ODI between the sides, Fawad came to the crease in the 45th over and remained unbeaten on 32 of only 23 deliveries.

He scored 32 of Pakistan's 45 runs in the last 6 overs of the innings leading them to a match winning total.

So 2 innings does not make one a finisher then does it?

For those still not convinced of Fawad's potential, I'll take them through what made him become a part of Pakistan's ODI plans.

Lets start with his domestic record.

First Class: 39 matches, 2,655 runs at 49.16 with a highest of 151. 19 wickets at 32.68.

List A: 47 matches, 1,398 runs at 46.60 with a highest of 127. 37 wickets at 35.18.

20-20: 17 matches, 268 runs at 44.66 with a highest of 54. 21 wickets at 11.71.

Fawad first showed signs of his talent during the U19 World Cup in 2004. He led Pakistan to victory over India in the semi final with an unbeaten 43 while chasing a target of 169. He had come out to bat with Pakistan in some trouble on 83-5.

His real shot to fame though was the 2006-07 domestic season, at the end of which the selectors were prompted to include him in Pakistan's squad after their disastrous World Cup campaign.

In the Quaid-e-Azam trophy (Pakistan's premier first class competition), playing for Karachi, Fawad was the 5th highest run scorer with 544 runs in 6 matches at 49.45 with 2 100s and 3 50s.

In the ABN Amro One-Day Cup, playing for the Karachi Dolphins, Fawad was the 2nd highest run scorer with 315 runs in 6 matches at 78.75 with 1 100 and 2 50s.

In the ABN Amro Patrons Trophy (first class competition), playing for Habib Bank, Fawad was the 6th highest run scorer with 295 runs in 4 matches at 59.00 with 4 50s.

And then came the ABN Amro 20-20 competition where Fawad Alam starred like no other.

He was the leading run scorer and the leading wicket taker, and led the Karachi Dolphins charge into the final of the tournament.

Even though the Dolphins lost to the Sialkot Stallions, Fawad was the man of the match in the final with an allround performance scoring 54 and picking up 5-27.

He also picked up the player of the tournament, best batsman, and best bowler awards in the same tournament.

Still not convinced?

I am.

Fawad is here to stay and he will only enhance his reputation as Pakistan's finisher.

Make your pitch on this post...



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20 Pitched:

  1. khansahab said...
     

    A very good thread.

    Some people don't want Fawad to be in the team. That is just because they feel insecure it might mean Malik or Misbah ul Haq have to be removed because Fawad is a great talent.

    You have done an excellent job by providing these stats. People against Fawad love to talk about domestic statistics to justify the inclusion of Salman Butt, Misbah, Malik etc so why can't the same indicators be used to justify Fawad's inclusion too?

  2. Q said...
     

    Thank you Khan Sahab.

    I agree - fawad is a talented cricketer though i dont think that he is a replacement for misbah or malik.

  3. Wasim said...
     

    Fawad is talented no doubt about it, today the wicket was not suitable for him, I will not say that he is a finisher/enforcer but he can be a rescuer,there is a maturity and calmness in his batting, he is too young and its not appropriate to judge him on the basis of one bad performance or one good performance, his bowling is improving but not suitable for dead pitches like in todays match, as he is not a great spinner of the ball.

  4. khansahab said...
     

    Fawad's bowling has appeared mediocre but I still feel he is not being brought into the attack at the right time. All bowlers were tried yesterday before the 15th over, Afridi was the last one and then Tanvir was tried again. Fawad got to bowl in the 20th over but by then India had already reached half the target.

    I am not saying that had Fawad bowled earlier he would have changed the course of the match. But it is imporant to give a youngster confidence and not make him feel that he is the very last option available.

    Q,

    Malik played a brilliant knock yesterday and I think we can't praise him enough. It reminded me of those days when he was my favourite player. But generally his batting has become weak since he acquired captaincy and I feel if Fawad is given the chances in the middle order he can replace Malik as an all rounder because Malik is not the same batsman he used to be.

    Someone will have to go because the team's performance is substandard and it just won't win. We can't wait until December when Malik's contract runs out and Misbah becomes captain.

    Younis or Misbah or Malik, at least one or two of these players have to be sacked. Afridi is not performing with the bat but his bowling is very good. So it would be unfair to remove him. He is also a candidate for captaincy because of his bowling.

  5. Wasim said...
     

    Fawad was given the bowl at the right time, which spinner like Fawad gets bowling in the 11th over.
    No body is indispensable,If Afridi is bowling great then Malik is also averaging 45.45 with the bat he has scored 1000 runs in 28 matches which is better than Dhoni's 903.
    The problem is on dead pitches we have to play an extra bowler against teams like India, either we have to drop a batsman or we have to drop an all rounder, the Karachi wicket was not suitable for Fawad or any spinner, the selectors should play the team according to the requirements and not by default.

    I think we pull out knives after one bad match, and shower heaps of praises after one good performance
    the team lost because Gul got injured.

    The team is doing fine keeping in view the current talent pool,these players should be given more time to settle down their win loss ratio is not that bad.

  6. Saqib said...
     

    im not convinced about fawad to be honest... yes hes a good batsmen but he doesnt appear to be that good a bowler... personally i would prefer malik to fit the good batsmen who can bowl a bit, his century yesterday showed that, it was an epic knock and basically higlighted why malik should be batting higher and not lower... i would much rather see a good bowler in fawad's place mainly because we need to strengthen our bowling not our batting right now

  7. Anonymous said...
     

    are u wasim or r u saqib? woteva u r u seems to be a typical nut case who luv this sheepish captain, man the whole world is saying that he is a gutless spineless selfish captain and u r praising him like he is a deity. ne1 who praises malik must be a weirdo and u r saying faw alam is not a finisher? how many times he ended not finishing? none, 'coz his scores are when pak batted first and he remained n.o. 6/8 times whereas we all know that misbah is not a finisher he messed up 2 big occasions by trying to play some weird shots u must be blind not to see that or ignore it coz u simply luv to lyck his woteva. pak's biggest joke is asia cup awards where these 2 paki players malik and akmal adjudged as best batsman and best fielder/wicketkeeper, ahead of gambhir/dhoni/sangakara and who are these jokers who give awards to these sialkotiyans? no wonder pakistan cricket team is going down the drain.

  8. Hasan said...
     

    And you sir, have the ability to type like a three year old.

    Great job.

    Anyhow the topic at hand was Fawad Alam and not your pathetic typing skills or grammar. Fawad Alam is not a proper all rounder. He leaves much to be desired with the ball, which is why we have him in the team. Afridi makes for a better bowler than him and Tanvir on the other hand makes for a better batsman than him. So why is he in the team?

    You Anon, however fired randomly into the dark. Yes Malik is a sheepish captain. Congratulations on pointing out the obvious. At least we can safely assume that you can watch and have some semblance of what cricket is. Now no one in Pakistan praises Malik as a deity. Everyone places their trust in him up till now where his captaincy has come under fire.

    However we can also safely assume you did not read the news. Pakistan also found Kamran Akmal's best keeper performance funny cause of all the catches he has dropped, but the award was given to him because he has taken the most amount of catches out of all the keepers. So that says something. Please get your facts first and then come and spew your shit all over these forums.

    Thanks Anon. Your heartfelt, poorly worded and poorly argued case has proven you to be retarded. Great job.

  9. Anonymous said...
     

    hasan r u wasim spokesperson or saqib's left ball? in any case you sound like an ole f'rt so keep on giving him ur smelly company there is something called sense of complacency and thats plenty in ur comments and also in the players whom u r supporting. ne 1 in the world would laff if u say akmal is a better keeper or a batsman than dhoni or sangakara whether he took more catches or dropped more he is one of the worst keepers in the world, even that bangladeshi keeper is better than him. and btw why do u have to sniff each others balls to support each others back? r u afraid that some 1 will bite u from ur rear? u guys are really weirdos i guess u oppose this blog because Q is not from where u r, am i rite? it shows from the arrogant style of ur writing that you are one of malik's and akmal's khatmal. neva mind dude take a hike and don't bother Q's blog for his good posts by splashing ur goaty shyte. Q just ignore these dozoes man wot u wrote is fi9 don't be intimidated by this ole f'ar!

  10. Wasim said...
     

    Anon/Javed

    Talk about love I think almost all the blogging world knows your love for Afridi, dude he is married get a life.I know you like to lick his balls on every blog, Btw is he your behnoi, your master or lover I can't understand why you become so personal when somebody critcizes him.

    Don't splatter your poop on Q's blog it is only for serious bloggers and decent people not for a crazy deranged individual who is completely devoid of any decency like yourself.

    Q knows how I have been criticizing Malik for not bowling there is a difference between honest criticism which is based on facts and criticism based on hatred, jingoism and superficial trash which has nothing to do with cricket, your blog is filled with the later.

    Hassan and Saqib please Ignore this idiot he thinks that your posts were written by me.

    Take your jingoism to your own piece of shit blog, Q is a balance headed decent individual who values a player on merit and not because of his ethnicity and he is gracious enough to understand difference of opinion and knows how to deal with it, he also knows how much I like and admire his blog so don't waste your time take a hike. Or ask Afridi to send you poster size picture of his balls so that you can lick them 24/7.

    Just go and read your post on your own blog where you wrote that Akmal has left a void in the team and he was much better than Sarfraz, lol at your selective amnesia.

    I never praised Akmal you did, I called Fawad a rescuer because he is not a pinch hitter he is a crafty batsman, his bowling is average and is not suitable for flat tracks,but then again one can't expect a crippled retard like you to understand all this.

  11. Q said...
     

    Take it easy guys.

    We are all from the same place I believe - Pakistan :-)

    Wasim, saqib, and hasan have been regular readers here and so have u anonymous - lets keep the discussions level headed and sane.

    Its alrite to criticize players, support some, and not support some bu ur attack shud be directed at the players and not at each other.

    Come on guys.

    My thoughts though:

    Malik is not a good opener but 4 years ago he showed us that he was an amazing top order batsman. Why he dropped lower down is a mystery but as long as he continues to open /bat at 3 for Pakistan he can be in the team solely for his batting, whether he bowls or not.

    As for Alam - well honeslty through my post I have higlighted why he's in the team and I know I havent discussed his bowling but he's playing cos of his batting and his past performance proves that.

    As for Akmal winning the award - as someone pointed out, its purely based on the stats. He took more catches than Dhoni and Sangakkara. No one has suggested that he's better but the stats speak for themselves.

  12. Hasan said...
     

    Anon.

    It is true. I speak for myself when I write here. No one else writes for me and no one shall.

    Your immediate about turn is almost fantastic. Your not making a point, but fighting for the sake of fighting. Your lack of coherence and given level of writing ability makes me laugh at the very thought that you might have a blog. If you do, why don't you post the link so the rest of the world can listen to the shit that you have to say.

    In case anyone is wondering, Anon does not have a case in point. He came here to start a flame war, but the end result was as follows:

    1) His poor writing ability impaired him. It appears that a five year old with a basic ability in writing and abuse came forth to tangle with some level headed individuals.

    2) His lack of being able to read. He did not read any arguments/stats put forth in his response.

    3) He randomly assumes that we are not Pakistani. Now I have made it clear in previous posts that I am an avid Pakistan cricket supporter but am slightly opposed to having Fawad Alam in our selection.

    4) He automatically assumes I am old because of my writing style. Well, fair is fair because I automatically assumed that he was a retarded five year old. Better to be wiser than a small retarded prick.

    5) Q, your blog is great. I found it through JRod's blog links and have been a regular visitor since January of this year. It is refreshing to see a Pakistani blog that is regularly updated and written in the way you do.

    6) Anon. I will have you know I am born and bred Pakistani. Do not randomly assume for a minute that I am not. I did assume you to be Indian though so fair is fair. Your poorly worded attack and argument made it seem like you are Dhoni supporter. The question does beg to be asked. Is Dhoni as good as the world makes him seem? He has dropped simple catches before, even in recent times. He bats well against weak teams or on flat tracks. Yet to make a major impact elsewhere.

    Anon. Please grow a pair and use your real name. Its OK if you do not have a pair though. Grow them. It takes about 10 minutes and it might be painful, but it will teach you a valuable life lesson.

  13. Q said...
     

    Thank you Hasan. Your comments nd opinions are always well respected here.

    Its fine for you to have your own thougts on why you would not like Fawad Alam in the team.

    I believe he has a future as a number 6 for Pakistan and he can do Bevan did so much for Australia.

    But the selectors have listened to you this time - Its Mansoor Amjad ahead of him today..

  14. Anonymous said...
     

    wasim btw who is javed? i am sure u must be taking about javed miandad right? is he ur wife or cysto's new b/f or a secret lover? or the father of a secret child that she has and she neva told ya? oh i am sorry i should have asked u first do u have a wifey? but its not important is it? 'coz u r a very sharing caring guy its obvious from the way u speak from both ends and u have named the top one as wasim and the bottom one as hasan? and u2 keep changing ends right? btw how is ma baby i mean queer malik? i heard he/she/it is in hiding? u need to do some more 'barrack' to cheer him up with a couple of beers if u need any help i can send u a bananabender from queensland u can share it with hasan, half this way and half that way take it whichever way - choice is urs and its for free.

    ps
    malik is my kinda baby i like her2.

  15. Q said...
     

    Anonymous - its quite obvious from the language used as well as the style of writing that Wasim, Saqib, and Hasan are 2 different people.

    Why do u keep insisting they r the same?

    Wats rong with u?

    Why r u attacking them and bringing their family in when the discussion should really revolve around the cricket?

  16. Saqib said...
     

    3 people Q :p

    You've provided some good statistics on fawad as a batsmen, but the question remains, is there space for him in the team? and if so in who's place? malik? i dont think so... he deserves to be stripped of the captaincy but i think he should stay at the top order (ideally number 4 with yousuf going to 3 and younis dropping to 5)... i personally am not conivnced of fawad mainly because i feel his bowling is not up to par.... seeing as how tanvir and rao can bat a bit i'd much rather see a specialist bowler in his place...

  17. Q said...
     

    Oops, ur rite Saqib - 3 people :-)

    Well Fawad's place shud be what he had in the previously. Not in place of Malik but instead of Mansoor Amjad.

    Why Mansoor came instead of him I still don't know. Mansoor's a talented leggie but recently he's been more of a batsman.

    Fawad's bowling is weak but he still provides a bowling option.

    A specialist bowler there will weaken the batting way too much.

    Tanvir and Rao cant be relied on all the time.

    We're missing someone like Razzak.

    Ideally I would have Nasir open with Butt, Malik at 1 down, followed by Yousuf and Misbah. No Younis.

  18. Wasim said...
     

    Anon/Moron

    I can tell you who Javed is, he is the father of his own sister, he is fatherless bastard, OOPs let me rephrase he had mutliple fathers whom he has never seen so he tries to adopt fathers on different blogs,is it mere coincidence that you like the names Wasim, Saqib and Hassan as your fathers name or did your mom specifically gave you a hint.

  19. Anonymous said...
     

    so wasim howz ur wife? is javed her mian or dad of her only child? and why are u so upset with javed miandad? he is a good player isn't he? may be you don't think he is, but she reckons him as the best with his bat, u shud have some courage to ask her one day. yeah one day when you think u r brave enough to face her. :-) btw the concept of multiples is from Punj rite? it means 5, so r u from that famous land which is famous for five in one? so tell me now who is the fifth one? one is javed, the other is wasim, the third is saqib, fourth is hasan, no biggy just tell us who else has been drinking water from that flowing river? :-) is it a behti ganga or what?

  20. Q said...
     

    Guys why cant u keep the discussion around cricket? Is it that important to discuss wives and dads and sons and daughters an sisters and gangas and all?

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