Monday, May 4, 2009

The Kamran Akmal Digest

A short boy with bad teeth, oily hair, and a screeching voice is hardly the image one should have of a Pakistani wicket keeper; but once Kamran Akmal's career comes to an end, that image is what would be etched into peoples' memories.

Wasim Bari, Saleem Yousuf, Moin Khan, and Rashid Latif all displayed poise and grace behind the stumps. Akmal in comparison is an irritating fool whose "come on boys" is as annoying as someone scratching their nails on the blackboard.

In front of the stumps, however, is where Akmal displays the poise, grace, elegance, and a whole lot more.

His cover drives are a treat to watch and he plays them as well as anybody in the game. His square cuts are as powerful as Jayasruiya's, while his off-side play when in full flow is as elegant as that of a Saeed Anwar or a Saurav Ganguly.

Akmal's unbeaten 116 yesterday was another one of his many knocks, which have either won Pakistan an ODI, or helped save Pakistan a test match.

Sledgehammer posted Akmal's strange statistics yesterday and I feel compelled to add to that - facts, actually startling facts, that are hidden behind those numbers.

1. Akmal's 5 ODI centuries and 2 half centuries have all come in matches that Pakistan has won.

2. Akmal's 6 Test centuies and 8 half centuries have all come in matches that Pakistan has either won or drawn.

3. Akmal has knocked more cenuries in ODIs and Tests than any Pakistani wicket keeper. That list includes all the graceful men mentioned above.

4. Akmal's 5 ODI centuries as a wicket keeper are behind only Kumar Sangakkara (10) and Adam Gilchrist (16). That's more than Dhoni and more than McCullum!

5. Akmal's 116* against Australia yesterday is the highest score by a wicket keeper against Australia in an ODI. Yes that list includes every wicket keeper that has played the game.

I can't believe it myself that one can say that whenever Kamran Akmal scores 50 or more runs, Pakistan does not lose.

Hard to digest, isn't it?

He may be sloppy behind the stumps, he may look and sound like an irritating fool, he may have cost Afridi and Kaneria a number of wickets, he may not give you the impression that he is any good, but the fact remains that he has won Pakistan matches.

And boy can he bat!

Make your pitch on this post...

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6 Pitched:

  1. straight point said...

    does this includes the crucial runs (or may be matches) pak would have lost or not won coz his droppings...?

    his main skill is wicket keeping than if he scores well and good...or include his as batsman only and find a wicket keeper who keeps and well...

    also i would have liked to see his latest ton coming in 'live' match...

    whenever his place is in doubts he comes up with knock which allow him to drop more catches...miss stumping in following matches...and cycle continues...

  2. Abdullah said...

    What a superb knock. Hats off to Kamran Akmarl ! This is not the first time we have seen him playing match changing performances.

    Karachi 06 and Mohali 05 to name 2.In odi's fond memories of that first odi against Westindies last year and of course that supreme run of form against England in 2005.

    May not have been the best keeper Pakistan has had on the doorstep but certainly he has had some golden moments of achievement to cherish with the bat.

  3. Q said...

    SP, I agree with the fact that his main job is keeping but in these days not many make it into the team cos of their keeping skills only..

    The fact is that in the last year and a half his keeping has improved. He didn't drop any catches in these 5 ODIs and his place wasnt on the line when he scored the ton in the 5th ODI.. In fact he held on to some pretty neat catches.

    Last year against the Windies, he didn't drop any catches and won 2 of the matches for Pakistan..

    His keeping really went down during 2006-2007.. last year in the ODI series' that pak played, he didn't drop that many..

    Moreover, his previous 4 ODI 100s have all come in live games - in a VB series game against WI that Pak had to win to reach the finals.. 2 consecutive ones in the 2nd and 3rd ODI against England in 5 match series and 1 against Bang in the 3rd ODI of a 5 match series... this was the only 1 in a dead rubber.

    As for his 6 test 100s - 1 of them is the famous Khi ton in the 3rd test in which Irfan Pathan took a hatrick in the 1st over. Safe to say that 100 won Pakistan the test series. He hit 1 in the 1st test of that series too..

    His 1st test 100 came against India in Mohali - 1st test of the series..

    Then he hit one against England in the 3rd test of a series in which pak was 1-0 up.

    So the live match theory I don't believe in.. he has been consistent with the bat, esp in tests. He averages 35, which is pretty decent for a keeper..

    As for his keeping - it is improving..

  4. Q said...

    I agree Maza.. it was a super knock. And yes he has had some great achievements with the bat.

  5. BiLo said...

    I had always loathe Karman Akmal, in fact i could be judged as one of his BIGGEST critic. Yet he certainly amazed me with his century. I was jumping on the couch for his century and desperately wanted him to be the highest run-scorer wicket-keeper against Australia.
    After his century, i;ve certainly changed my view on Akmal. I don't LOATHE him, i just dislike him now!

  6. Q said...

    Bilo - if only Pakistan had the luxury to play him as a batsman and bring in another wicketkeeper..

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