What Pakistan gave cricket
Pakistan continues its legacy of being the most innovative and creative nation of cricket. Now Saeed Ajmal is working on inventing a delivery that has never been delivered in the history of cricket.
A few days ago he said that he was working on a new type of delivery, which he will bowl in an upcoming cricket series against England. In an interview with PakPassion.net, answering a question as to whether he has actually bowled this new type of delivery on which he was working on during the World Cup, Ajmal said:
“I didn’t bowl it because I wanted to stick to my best and most reliable deliveries in such a high profile tournament. I just never got a chance to experiment it, but I am still working on it. I am saving it for the series against the world’s number 1 test team, England, and will not use it against Zimbabwe.”
Ajmal remained very elusive about his new delivery, and refused to reveal any details about it, referring to it as a “a top secret”.
Pakistan has been phenomenal in bringing innovation to modern cricket. What Pakistan has contributed to the world of cricket is more than what any other nation has. Let’s review the contribution of Pakistani cricketers to this game:
Legendary off spinner Saqlain Mushtan invented the Doosra and delivered it successfully at an international level. No one could even think of delivering a leg spin from the middle finger of the right hand without changing his bowling action but Saqlain did.
Saqlain invented, mastered and then delivered it successfully at the highest level. The Doosra’s effectiveness is appreciated all over the world. Now, one cannot imagine an off spinner without the Doosra, in modern cricket.
After Saqlain, every off spinner, including Muralidharan, had to be excellent in delivering this ball for his survival.
Saeed continues the tale of innovation and creativity in cricket, after the successful invention of the Doosra by Saqlain Mushtaq.
Saqlain, however, was not the first Pakistani cricketer who introduced something new to the world of cricket. Pakistan has few other good inventors in all the departments of cricket.
From Fazal Mehmood to Muhammad Amir, Pakistan has always produced exceptional fast bowlers. Who can forget 7/1 by Sarfraz Nawaz (he took 7 wickets and gave just one run) against Australia with an old ball? Moreover, Mudassar Nazar’s golden arm and a post tea session, which earned 5 wickets for just 28 runs, was spectacular. Imran Khan’s exceptional spells against super powers like West Indies and Australia, too cannot be overlooked.
In addition to this, the Ws’ of Pakistan, Wasim and Waqar were masters at bowling toe breakers and swinging yorkers with the old ball. And now, every Pakistani fast bowler including Shoaib Akhtar, Umar Gul, Wahab Riaz, Muhammad Amir, and even the latest entry Junaid Khan has mastered the art.
The truth is this that the reverse swing is synonymous with Pakistan in the world of cricket. Fast bowlers from the rest of the world have just followed in the footprints of Pakistani fast bowlers.
The Indipper belongs to Imran Khan, who not only invented, but mastered the delivery and used it effectively against world’s best batsmen.
Mastering the Googlie, slow delivery and reverse Sweep:
Can you forget the “ball of the tournament” of the World Cup of 1992, which was delivered to Mark Greatbatch in the first semifinal? Do you remember dancing batsmen while playing a dancing leg spinner and shocked bowlers on getting punished even on a “well bowled” delivery?
The story is all about Pakistani cricketers. Although the Slow Delivery, Googlie and Reverse Sweep were not invented by Pakistani players, they mastered it so well that their names have been attached to these skills forever i.e. Googlie means Abdul Qadir, Reverse Sweep means Javed Miandad and Slow Delivery means Aqib Javed.
Introducing Spinners to ODI’s:
All credit for this goes to Abdul Qadir, who performed so well in One Day Internationals that the whole world started using spinners in limited over games. Before Qadir, spinners were not used in ODI’s. Qadir is also known as world’s most creative bowler. He would deliver 33 different types of effective and wicket taking deliveries, which were never named and could never be reproduced. Even Shane Warne admires his verity and considers him the best spinner the world has ever seen. Great Vivan Richards once said:
“Give me Abdul and I will reduce my fast bowlers in one day cricket”.
Using first 15 overs:
It was Pakistan who used field restriction for the first 15 overs for the first time at an international level. There is a misconception that Jayasuriya and Kaluwitharna introduced this technique.
If one sifts through history, one will find two brave openers Saeed Anwar and Saleem Yousuf who were used for this same technique in the late 80’s. The rest of the world, including Sri Lanka started using the same strategy later. Shahid Afridi’s hundred runs in 37 balls is the best example of using opening overs.
Using last overs:
Pakistan’s W’s with their reverse swing, and Saqlain with his Doosra used the last 10 overs as death overs for the opposition. They made five Hat tricks in these overs and caused a major dent to the opponent’s strong batting line up.
Who can forget Javed Miandad’s last-ball sixer at Sharjah? Moreover, the 22 runs against favorites of the 4th World cup, West Indies, by tail-enders Abdul Qadir and Saleem Jaffar was just spectacular.
The philosophy of fight back was given by Pakistani cricketers who have a long history of winning nail-biting matches.
Now again, a Pakistani cricketer is working on a new invention. Saeed Ajmal plans to deliver the Teesra against the world’s number one test team, England, in the upcoming series. Let us hope that this new invention restores Pakistan as the number one cricket team of the world again.
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