Stories about Wahab Riaz

With their powers combined, this is what an India-Pakistan combined XI would look like

Tomorrow, all statistics and records will go out the window – it will be all about which players perform best as a unit under pressure. But before the big eleven, let us see which team has the better players. Rohit Sharma versus Nasir Jamshed The competition for the opening slot is as good as a walk over. All the talk before the World Cup around India’s batting is about Virat Kohli but at almost 28, this World Cup comes at the prime of his career for Rohit Sharma. Sharma has an average close to 39 but he is one of those ...

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The ‘chosen ones’ for the 2015 World Cup

Cricket is not just a game in Pakistan; it is the blood of this nation. Thus, it is only natural that the hopes and dreams of 180 million people are placed on the shoulders of 11 men in green. Every cricket enthusiast in Pakistan was busy guessing who the ‘chosen ones’ for the squad were going to be before the names were finally unveiled by the National Selection Committee. Senior players like Kamran Akmal, Shoaib Malik and Umar Gul were dropped while pace bowlers like Sohail Khan, who last played international cricket in 2011, made a comeback. What came as a surprise to everyone, ...

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Defeating our demons

On January 6, 2010, I sat with my head in my hands as I tried to make sense of what had just happened. Some brilliant (read: not) captaincy and some strange fielding – attributed largely to Mazher Majeed’s influence on the team – meant that Pakistan squandered a 206-run lead and, with it, the chance to beat Australia on home-ground. For Pakistani fans, this was a hard pill to digest and that can largely be put down to Australia’s complete dominance of Pakistan over a number of years – basically our entire cricket-following age. At Hobart in 1999, Australia chased down 369 against a ...

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Super Sarfaraz

In an era where wicket-keepers have become the mainstays of their respective batting line-ups around the world, Pakistan continues to languish at the lowest end of the production line of wicket-keeper and batsman all-rounder. The last wicket-keeper to score a Test century for Pakistan before today was Kamran Akmal, who achieved this feat at Karachi’s National Stadium five years ago. And now, the jinx has finally been broken by the newest member of the exalted street fighter’s club in Karachi – Sarfaraz Ahmed. Sarfaraz is playing in his eighth Test and these matches have spread over four and a half years which ...

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Misbahul Haq, only second to Imran Khan and Javed Miandad as captain!

On January 14, 2013, I wrote a piece stressing the fact that Misbah is very much a necessity for Pakistan’s One Day International (ODI) cricket. I argued that Misbah has been far better than his colleagues and should not be dropped, predicting that he will fine tune his game-plan and will improve as a batsman. Well, as it turns out, Misbah has indeed stepped up his game since then. Misbahul Haq of Pakistan bats during the ODI match between South Africa and Pakistan at Sahara Stadium Kingsmead on March 21, 2013 in Durban, South Africa. Photo: AFP Almost a year ...

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So what if Gul won the T20i Performance of the Year Award, we still need to bring back our yorkers!

There was a time when yorkers used to be the favoured delivery of every seam bowler, especially in those matches that had limited overs. This was usually played when the opposing team was looking for quick runs, towards the end of an inning. If played perfectly, the yorker is a delivery that is almost impossible to hit. Even the most accomplished of batsmen face difficulty trying to get a yorker bowled at a fast pace. Pakistan had bowlers who could deliver yorkers almost at will. Sultans of Swing (Wasim Akram and Waqar Younis) had mastered the art in the ‘90s and, then we had ...

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Misbah, your days as captain are over

Before I begin, let me make a couple of things clear just to avoid the usual debate. I am a huge Misbah fan and he is my favourite player. I am not an Afridi or Hafeez lover. However, you just cannot deny the facts or ignore the reality of the cricketing situation for Pakistan under Misbahul Haq. There is no doubt about the fact that Misbahul Haq has been Pakistan’s best batsman over the past year or so. With 1,119 runs in 26 One Day International (ODI) matches at a healthy average strike rate of 53.28 and with 570 runs at an ...

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Pakistan vs India: Play Akhtar and Ajmal

The Pakistan team faces a bowling dilemma as it prepares for the semi-final in Mohali. Umar Gul, Abdur Razzaq, Muhammad Hafeez and Shahid Afridi will most certainly be on the team. The questions to be answered are: Who will be the third spinner? Who will be the third seamer? Here’s a SWOT analysis: Third Spinner: Saeed Ajmal or Abdul Rehman? Saeed Ajmal Strength:  Ajmal offers the amazing doosra and a whole lot of variety. Once he gets into rhythm he can pick up wickets at will. Weakness: Unfortunately, he can be expensive if off color and at times in pressure situations, he tends to overuse the doosra. Opportunity: He ...

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A World Cup without the trio

For Salman Butt, Mohammad Amir and Mohammad Asif, February 5 is judgment day – the day when their future in cricket will be decided. As the court’s verdict is pending, there are many questions floating in the minds of avid cricket lovers; will the players get a fair trial or is the ICC hell bent on making an example out of them? Are they really guilty of those charges? Setting these questions aside – as the answers will be given to us soon- I want to reflect on how their possible exclusion from the World Cup squad will affect the team ...

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