Stories about batsman

Steven Smith – Much more than just an ‘accidental hero’

Australia needed someone to take a stand for them, and once again, Steven Smith came to the rescue. There is nothing more to be said to praise this young lad who became the first batsman in cricketing history to score a century on his debut as the Test and ODI captain. Australia, currently playing against India and England, were set to chase a target of 303 in the fourth match of the Tri-series against England at Hobart. Smith came in at number three – considered to be the most responsible batting positions in cricket – after Aaron Finch departed and ...

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12 similarities between Pakistan’s 1992 and 2015 World Cup squad that will blow your mind!

Here are some of the similarities between Pakistan’s 1992 and 2015 World Cup squad that most of us are not aware of: 1. Venue 1992: Australia- New Zealand 2015: Australia- New Zealand 2. Captain Imran Khan Niazi of Mianwali (1992) Misbahul Haq Niazi of Mianwali (2015) 3. Captain’s injury In 1992, Pakistan’s captain, Imran Khan entered the tournament with an injury. In 2015, Misbahul Haq has also sustained an injury just before the World Cup. 4. Surprise all-rounder Ijaz Ahmed (1992) Haris Sohail (2015) 5. Opener who can also bowl Amir Sohail (1992) Mohammad Hafeez (2015) 6. Two leg-spinners in the squad Mushtaq Ahmed and Iqbal Sikander (1992) Shahid Afridi and Yasir Shah (2015) 7. Middle-order batsman  Inzamamul Haq, ...

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Why can’t we invest in better helmets for our cricketers?

On November 10, Ahmed Shehzad considered himself to be the unluckiest of cricketers when a bouncer from Corey Anderson not only deprived him of his maiden double century in Test cricket, but also knocked him out of the Test series when he was in the best form of his life. But just a couple of weeks later, he was forced to pull away his thoughts when a similar delivery, hitting the same spot on the body, knocked Phillip Hughes out of this world. Both these openers were hit by a cricket ball carrying a momentum of 350, on either side of their foreheads, Shehzad on his right temple while ...

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A lethal weapon or a regular red leather ball?

Cricket, the gentleman’s game, has seen so many changes since its inception, from coloured kits to batting power-plays, from mongoose bats to LED stumps, but one thing that has remained unchanged over these years is the hard, solid, weighing 5 3/4 ounce red cherry – the cricket leather ball. And once again, the hard round ball has delivered a fatal blow which has plunged the cricketing fraternity into darkness and has also raised a question on the safety of the cricket ball. Once again it has been proved that it will hit harder than the stroke of any bat – the ...

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The history of the ‘doosra’: Spinning cricket the other way

Two decades ago, when Pakistan was playing Australia in the deserts of Sharjah, the young spin wizard, Saqlain Mushtaq, broke the traditions and started spinning the ball the other way from the conventional off-spin to deceive the batsmen. The wicket-keeper, Moin Khan, would often shout from behind the stumps, “Saqi Bhai, doosra abhi karna hai.” (Bowl the other one now, Saqi Bhai) Tony Grieg picked it up from a stump microphone and eventually likened the word to the delivery after confirming it with Saqlain in a post-match interview. Thus, the term became a part of cricketing culture. Over the years, the same unconventional delivery ...

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Can Saeed Ajmal break the ‘curse’ of being the best bowler of Pakistan?

Over the course of several decades, one constant factor in Pakistan cricket has been the quality bowlers it has produced. From masters of reverse swing to the fastest bowler in the world, and from subtle drifters to the inventor and master of the ‘doosra’, Pakistani cricketers have added magic to the art of bowling. Cricket would be a much different game without the bowling contributions of our players. It would have been more of a batsman’s game with much less flair. But at the same time, to be the best bowler of Pakistan is a truly cursed position. Our masters ...

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Asia Cup 2014: Is Kohli the ideal replacement for Dhoni?

Many might not know this but the upcoming Asia Cup series is not the first time that Virat Kohli’s skills as a captain will be tested. Kohli led the Indian Under-19 (U-19) team in a series in Malaysia in 2008 and it was there that he earned his merit as a leader for the first time. Similarly, he led the Indian team in a series against Zimbabwe in 2013 and was also captain for a few matches against West Indies in the same year. On both occasions, he further reiterated his value as a skipper. India is one country which makes the best use of ...

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Is fast-bowling a fading art?

Ever since I started following the game of cricket, the aspect that has fascinated me the most is the sight of a genuinely quick paceman running down from his bowling mark to rattle a batsman. I still remember the day I entered a cricket stadium for the very first time – early 2000 – only to witness the run-up of the legendary Waqar Younis. Although I observed the craftsmanship of Wasim Akram as well, the swift yet smooth approach of the other ‘W’ mesmerised me the most. I used to be hooked to the television screen just to see Waqar Younis running ...

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Javed Miandad or Hanif Mohammad: Who is Pakistan’s best batsman?

The Karachi Parsi Institute lies in the heart of old Karachi. It is hallowed ground, a place where history was made some fifty-four years back. On a sultry Karachi afternoon with a few thousand spectators in attendance, Hanif Mohammad crossed Sir Donald Bradman to record the then-highest first class score of 499, a record which stood for thirty-five years. The swaying trees witnessed much but nothing more precious than that nugget.   It was there, in the KPI Cricket ground where I raised the question of who is the greatest ever Pakistani batsman. In the ensuing debate the names of Zaheer, Majid, ...

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Can Moin Khan help Umar Akmal become a complete wicketkeeper?

Rashid Latif and Moin Khan are easily the finest wicketkeepers Pakistan has ever produced. Which of the two was a better choice is debatable but both had the ability to represent the national team on any and every platform. Be it Shoaib Akhtar’s deadly pace or the reverse swing of Waqar Younis and Wasim Akram or the doosras of Saqlain Mushtaq, wicket-keeping wasn’t a problem for Pakistan as long as these two men played for the country. During their tenure, the captains even enjoyed the special leverage to use one wicketkeeper as a replacement for the other for a good ...

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