It was bright sunny day in Sharjah, I was about 10 years old (if memory serves me right) and my family and I had gone to see an India-Pakistan encounter at the Sharjah Stadium. I still remember that day vividly; Wasim and Waqar beginning the Pakistani attack, cheers all around backing their every ball. It was beautiful!
Those were the days when our fast bowlers were the envy of all other cricket selection committees. When you talk about legendary fast bowlers, Pakistan has had its share. Starting off with Imran Khan, moving on to the two W’s, Wasim Akram and Waqar Younis, then to the mercurial Shoab Akhtar and then more recently, Mohammad Aamir (though I may not approve of his actions, it remains a fact that he is the most talented fast bowler to grace international cricket in the recent past).
Times Have Changed
I have always believed that we are a more bowling-dependent team than a batting-dependent one. By which I mean we have depended more on our bowling to get the job than our batting.
However in previous years we depended on the speed, power and swing of our fast bowlers, whereas today it is the spin that’s doing the job for us. Agreed, Cheema bowled the final over and won us the Asia Cup, but it was the spinners that strangled the “Bangali” runs and brought us back into the match.
You have to agree that although we have produced some brilliant spinners in the past – the likes of Saqlain Mushtaq, Abdul Qadir and Mushtaq Ahmed – they have always been over-shadowed by the Imran’s, Wasim’s and Waqar’s.
The Spin Protagonists
Over the last year and a half (or so) our spin department has suddenly been brought into the limelight. It could be because of the dearth of fast bowlers or just because we are producing better spinners now…that’s anyone’s guess. The team has been carried out of the rut that Salman Butt, Muhammad Asif and Mohammad Aamir got us into by (drum roll): Saeed Ajmal, Shahid Afridi, Mohammad Hafeez and Abdur Rehman.
Sure, Afridi has been around for a long time and has around 350 wickets to his credit, but earlier he was a batsman who could bowl a bit (batting all-rounder), but where he left off with the bat he continued with the ball and now he is considered a bowler who can bat a bit (bowling all-rounder).
Where is the Pace?
As of today, the pace department has been left up to Umar Gul and… well actually, it’s just him. I don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings, but this bloke is not a particularly exceptional talent unlike his predecessors. I know he did perform in the T20s, but there is nothing special about his bowling and his record; just a bit more than a hundred wickets in each of the three forms and he has been playing for almost 10 years!
What’s that I hear? Wahab Riaz, Aizaz Cheema, Junaid Khan? I am not going to even dignify that with a retort!
The only good thing that’s happened to Pakistani fast bowling recently was Mohammad Aamir, and then all the bad things happened, and then he went to jail :(
The Future of our Pace Department – My Opinion
You really want to know what I think will happen?! (controversy, here I come!)
Well, I think Mohammad Aamir will make a remarkable come back to the international arena and live to be a legend. I can’t help it people, I just love the kid!
Laters…(Image Courtesy: Colin Malsingh)
Amir should not be given opportunity to re induct in Pakistani side in any case .Present down fall in fast bolwong department is purely temporary and pakistan will regain the status in the field of fast bowling very soon .Please do not support amir ,he is criminal and not crickter
i am bangladeshi but i really supported Md. Amir. my point of view he will be great bowler in whole world
You forgot to mention one more quicky ,probably he was quickest of all .Mohammad zahid .unfortunately he could not continue his cricketing career for a long time .any how Pakistani soil is very fertile soil for quick bowler .Insha Allah we will be producing some more quick bowler in the coming future.
I don’t know why commentators and people in general are against his comeback. He committed a crime and was punished. Granted he shouldn’t get any leeway only because he is an extremely talented bowler but, after all, to err is human. Let’s hope he doesn’t do anything like that again.
Mohamed Asif was one the most dangerous bowler…. Asif and aamir would have made one of best bowling pair of all time … But not be….
Shame on them for letting their country down(btw I’m a srilankan…)
In pakistan there are more fast bowlers then other country
I do not know why do you guys still praise Amir? Yes he was a good bowler but don’t forget he brought shame upon himself and pakistan. I do not think he should be given another chance!
My dear, App doodh say sulay huey hu? Jab aap itini ghaltiyan karnay k baad Allah say muafi talb kartay hu aur woh muaf kar daita hai. Hum main sy koi bhe gunah aur ghaltiyon sy Pak nhin hai. Agar woh apny gunah ka iqrar kar chuka hai aur wapis aanay chahta hai tou humain kya authority hai usay rokain. Agar Allah ko uski tobah pasand i tou woh pehlay jsa perform kr sakay ga wrna ghar bethay ga. lakin aik chance dna humara farz hai.
brother…aamir was trapped…and ya we all agree what he did was wrong..but he was only 17 back then…everybody deserves a second chance :)…
my comment goes to the man taller and sensible too he is not too quick but too patient and successful most bowler from Pakistan so far.From my point of view he is very efficient and a thinking bowler .If he goes with a captain thinking about his strength then he will become the legendary fast bowler from the side and can make the Pakistan proud of his talent and power.Yes he got power and a tall arm bowling action but don’t forget that he is a clean thinking and improvising man too.He makes the calculations and then execute and apply them to the man in front of him and make experiments right at that time when they are needed too.We should have a eagle eye view on him and should try to maintain his fitness and his aggression on the field..
Em talking about the man known as Muhammad Irfan………….Love him Rana Khizar Hayat\\\\\\
Yes you are right he will come back but you didn’t say anything about Muhammad irfan what about him his performance is also good in last two years…
Amir Khan not back
Yes amir will make diffrent , we are not producing despite bless waqar Akram who can coach , so far nothing come on shoib gets quick bowler
Pakistan produced some quick bowlers but if one can imagine about a real fast ,it was Jeff Thompson from Australia .He was really very hostile and quick .I have never seen a quick like him,
So in your opinion Waqar younus was not fast???
What a joke man … Waqar was lethal ..
Once Heard Imran khan in an interview he” Once jeff thompson bounced at viv, ball hit side screen, jeff thmpson was real quicky…..
I am surprised that Amir gets mentioned while asif does not…
Please first of all you change captain only one captain set in all formats now and make team sprit and do hard work and wins gamees
i like muhammad amir….i think he is amazing baller in the world…
Its captain who groom fast bowler’s. we can easily differentiate times when pacer’s evolved. pacer groomed well under aggressive captains like Imran khan, Wasim To some extent Waqar, rashid, Aamir suhail. After Inzamam become captain he was so defensive that pacer cant attack just line length bowlers came speed was side lined… Misbah is even more defensive. now we need aggressive captain to steer the ship pacer’s will be there… Talha. wahab & few others are available. coaches can do work of the field but on ground captain dont know how to deal with them. field setting are not there. bilal & Anwar can be handy but with aggressive captain. at the end i dont see any sensible captain who cAn deal other than younis khan but administration don’t want to see a good captain, because of thier wasted interest’s.