Stories about Test cricket

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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The king of comebacks

Cricket is a love story, a baffling relationship, one that tugs at your heart, crushes and then serenades you all over again. The love you try relentlessly to give up on, the one you know you’re always going to run back to. Pakistan cricket has shattered us and then put us back together more times than I can remember. Misbahul Haq is our messiah, a patient captain, a world class player who took over the team when our hearts were irreparably broken from the spot fixing scandal and nurtured us back to health. And every few months, he finds himself ...

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Umar Akmal: From child prodigy to cricketing enigma

Umar Akmal came onto the international cricket scene when the national team was surrounded by catastrophe. Rebellions, groupings, match-fixing and a loathsome competition for captaincy were the highlights of the Pakistani side. This was a mini flashback of the 90s, when the captaincy changed hands every time the team played badly and instability became the norm of the team. Akmal forced his way into the debris of one of the most colossal batting orders in the history of Pakistan’s cricket, on the back of the Australia A tour of June/July 2009. He had a walloping start in international cricket; just in his third game, ...

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Dale Steyn: The best fast bowler ever!

While the whole cricket fraternity was going gaga over Dale Steyn’s bowling heroics during the second Test match of the last series played between South Africa and Australia, a couple of my friends came up with a peculiar yet interesting theory. According to them, due to the dearth of good fast bowlers in Test cricket, batsmen, in general, have become complacent, and as a consequence, their techniques have become more vulnerable against top quality swing bowling. Some very good bowlers, taking advantage of the technical deficiencies of modern batsmen, have mustered up career figures that are comparable to the best of all time, even if ...

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Afridi: Back with a Boom Boom!

We have all seen, admired and enjoyed the likes of Gilchrist, Jayasuriya, Gayle and Sehwag destroying bowlers with their powerful shots which could ruin the careers of bowlers and change the scenario of any match. And we all revere the player who literally makes our hearts skip a beat, for whom any ground in the world is not big enough, who still has the maximum fan following even among fans of rival teams and for whom the stadium erupts with chants of ‘Boom Boom’ when he comes to bat. A few years ago former England cricketer, Geoffery Boycott, said, “Shahid Afridi is fantastic, I love ...

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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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Pakistan vs Sri Lanka: Team green is breaking records and flying high!

Many young cricket fans in Pakistan regret being deprived of watching the great moments of Pakistani cricket live in Sharjah. Whether it was Aqib Javed’s seven-wicket haul against India in 1991 or the great six of Javed Miandad – these youngsters missed these classic moments which were later discontinued due to the ban on the Sharjah Cricket Stadium. But this regret was wiped out on January 20, 2013 when the Pakistan cricket team added to the countless memories of the Sharjah ground by achieving yet another milestone when they gave birth to a new world record in Test cricket by chasing a target of 300 ...

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Remembering the ‘Prince’ – Brian Charles Lara!

This is how it would happen – all cricket lovers would be hooked to their television sets, analysts would gush out new superlatives and the Caribbean beaches would light up to a string of thumping music. All hell would break loose as Brian Charles Lara, a bat in the cup of his palms, would stride out of the dressing room, sensing a rat on the cricket pitch.   It would truly be a sight too bewitching for any cricket lover and if it happened to be his day, then even the most skilful of bowlers would smell the dust. Why, you ...

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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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In the streets of Pakistan, shine tomorrow’s stars

Every Pakistani boy who has even a tiny bit of interest in cricket must have played street cricket, at one point or another in his life. The game is coined as street cricket or galli cricket in Pakistan as it is mainly played on residential streets in cities.  This form of cricket is played with a tennis ball covered with electric tape. Taping the ball is sheer skill and every boy that has played the game has either mastered or tried mastering this art. The ball should remain round shaped after the taping otherwise it will move around in the air as well ...

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