umair.qazi

Umair Qazi

An investment advisor in Dubai who blogs at www.wellpitched.com/ and tweets @WellPitched

David Warner turns on the heat

There is no doubt that David Warner is a destructive batsman; however despite making his ODI debut three years before his Test debut, he was never the accomplished One Day International (ODI) opener and was more successful at Test level. That is quite ironic given his style of play, but his record shows how he excelled in Tests and never really did as well in the ODIs, during the initial part of his career. Photo: Screenshot In five years, between his ODI debut in January 2009 till the end of 2014, Warner played 50 matches, in which he ...

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The curious case of Shoaib Malik

Shoaib Malik has had one of the most intriguing cricket careers. He made his debut in 1999 – in 16 years of international cricket, we still don’t really know what his role exactly is. He is one of the very few cricketers who have played in every position from one to 10 in ODIs. Is he a batsman? Is he a bowler? Is he an all-rounder? He is definitely one of the best fielders in the Pakistan team; no one makes a catch in the outfield look as easy as Malik does. But what his role exactly is in the Pakistan ...

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Younis Khan: A legendary match winner

When Younis Khan helped Pakistan out of a precarious situation in Pakistan’s second innings of the first Test against Zimbabwe, you would have known that you were in for a Younis Khan special. When it comes to Test cricket, Younis Khan is arguably the best batsman Pakistan has produced. He always delivers when the team is in need, he is better than all when it comes to second innings performances, he saves Tests, he wins Tests and he is a team man. His exploits and relative standing compared to other batting greats of the game have been well documented. Now, we ...

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Umar Akmal: Bringing much-needed balance to Pakistani cricket

There was a time when Pakistan had remarkable wicket keepers who added valuable runs lower down the order. In those good days, besides Alec Stewart, no other team had players as capable with the bat as Moin Khan or Rashid Latif, especially, when it came to scoring fast runs near the end of an innings.   There was also a time when Pakistan had legendary players like Wasim Akram, Azhar Mahmood, Abdul Razzaq, Shahid Afridi and Shoaib Malik in their prime. These men could bowl and bat; they were the ultimate all-rounders. Additionally, the team boasted renowned players like Aamer Sohail, ...

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The ideal Pakistan ODI cricket team includes…

Pakistan needs a new One Day International (ODI) cricket team, and it needs one now. This can’t go on. It should be a criminal offence to keep players like Nasir Jamshed, Umar Akmal, and Asad Shafiq on the bench. Nasir played the first three ODIs, Asad played only the first, and Umar played none! Younis Khan and Shoaib Malik must go! There’s absolutely no way that Misbah or Whatmore or anyone within the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) and team management can justify the exclusion of the above players while Younis Khan and Shoaib Malik continue to enjoy a “no questions asked” run in ...

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Pressing questions: Should Misbah call it a day?

A series victory typically covers a team’s weaknesses as the focus then revolves around how the series was won, which players performed exceptionally, and then generally how good the leadership and management was. However, such is not the case in Pakistan’s 2-1 series victory over India. It is a great feat no doubt! Beating India in India and almost clean sweeping them is an achievement and a half; however the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) should not shy away from assessing the overall team performance during the series and fixing the ODI team. Pakistan’s Test and T20 teams are quite brilliant in my view. ...

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The time for Haris Sohail is now!

Two years ago Pakistan’s selectors put their faith in two young batsmen who had been scoring heavily in domestic cricket. Today, both these batsman – Azhar Ali and Asad Shafiq – are a permanent feature of Pakistan’s Test team and have become vital cogs in a strong middle order for Pakistan. They fit in perfectly into the void left in the middle order that was created when Inzamamul Haq and Mohammad Yousuf left. I believe, however, that now the time has come for another young batsman to be selected; in my opinion, it’s time to bring Haris Sohail into the ...

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Say no to Salim!

The man was an artist. I think he was one of the shrewdest minds to have played the game; one of the smartest batsmen ever; a man who made batting look like art. Besides Sachin Tendulkar, no one mastered Shane Warne the way Salim Malik did. His 237 runs against Australia in Rawalpindi in 1994 still remain one of the finest knocks by a captain. The score is the second highest score, behind Wally Hammond’s 240 runs, by a captain against Australia. Malik’s 92 runs average, in Tests that he captained against Australia is still the highest average amongst captains ...

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ICC awards nominations: Why didn’t Ajmal make it?

 “I don’t mind that I have not been shortlisted for any of the awards. I will try even harder next year and try to win the award next year Insha’Allah.” Saeed Ajmal’s reaction at not being shortlisted for any of the ICC awards that he was initially nominated for was probably the calmest reaction among former Pakistani cricketers and Pakistan cricket supporters. The news that Ajmal was no longer a nominee for any of the ICC awards came as a shock to every Pakistan cricket fan that I know. So are we Pakistani fans cribbing for no reason or are we justified ...

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Let Hafeez bat in peace!

In his blog in Dawn, entitled “Time for Hafeez to realise his true worth” Mazher Arshad discusses the true worth of Mohammad Hafeez. He basically says that like Shahid Afridi, Hafeez should realise that he is primarily a bowler. According to Arshad, Hafeez’s 30s and 40s will be more useful if he does this. The author also talks about Hafeez’s batting averages against stronger teams, in difficult conditions, and during this year, all of which are in the low to mid 20s. There is a valid point, undoubtedly. If it were any other opening batsman, he would have been dropped already. The fact that ...

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