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Role of Afridi, Malik & Hafeez in Pakistan Cricket's steep decline

Discussion in 'Cricket Talk' started by Del, Jan 2, 2020.

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  1. Del
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    Del Fantasy Draft Wins: 1

    Dec 21, 2016
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    I know a lot has been said about various players & selection policies etc. However, I dont think many realize the fact that decline of your cricket is inevitable when your spinners are given role of specialist batsman only because they have played few fluke innings.

    The biggest problem is that such players, who arent batsman and are "constructed" as batsman will always have limitation compared to a player who has been playing as specialist batsman since get go. Icing on the cake, these "constructed" batsmen like Hafeez, Malik and Afridi are incapable of absorbing pressure, specially against big teams, hence we have lost so many games while these players being part of playing XI and keep out much more deserving players. We usually cry about lack of batting culture, but on contrary how can we expect to have it when your key players were Hafeez, Malik and Afridi etc.

    That said, wondering what folks thing about it?
     
  2. Shahzad.Firdous
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    Shahzad.Firdous Cornered Tiger

    May 29, 2010
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    Afridi was never a batsman first, he was always a bowling allrounder, a bowler who could slog beautifully whereas Hafeez and Malik were batsmen first always! Malik started his career as a bowling allrounder but later on developed his batting significantly to play as a specialist batting allrounder!! Hafeez was always a batsman first!! If Malik did not know how to bat, he wont be batting this well, he already knew how to bat but for some reason started as a bowler first, his bowling wasnt as good as his batting and he was always a batsman first in my opinion!!
     
  3. Del
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    Sorry, I dont agree.

    Both Malik and Hafeez were spinners, who were turned into batsmen latter in their carriers. This is a vital aspect of our downfall, in my opinion.
     
  4. Shahzad.Firdous
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    Shahzad.Firdous Cornered Tiger

    May 29, 2010
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    Malik ki bowling itni achi nahi ke kisi bhi format mein as a specialist bowler khel sake he can play as a batting allrounder in all formats aur test cricket mein uae jaisi pitches per khel sakta hai!! Hafeez ki bhi bowling itni achi nahi ke kisi bhi format mein as specialist bowler khel sake eventhough Hafeez ki bowling Malik ke muqable mein buhat achi hai and he has been one of the top bowlers too but variety nahi hai Hafeez ki bowling mein, that is the difference between a Hafeez and an Ajmal and Afridi!! Afridi ki bowling itni zabardast hai ke teenon formats mein sirf bowling per hi woh khel sakta hai in my opinion!! Afridi > Kaneria even in test cricket imo!!
     
  5. Del
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    Del Fantasy Draft Wins: 1

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    As I said, I dont buy any of this - sorry.

    Both Malik and Hafeez were spinners and not specialist batsman.
     
  6. Shahzad.Firdous
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    Shahzad.Firdous Cornered Tiger

    May 29, 2010
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    I can accept Malik and Hafeez as specialist batsmen but not Afridi!! Similarly, I can accept Afridi as specialist bowler but not Malik and Hafeez!! Hafeez ko to phir bhi accept kar lon as bowler only but not Malik!! Malik ki batting buhat achi hai Asian pitches per aur woh No. 5/6 per foreign pitches per bhi khel leta hai Malik sirf English pitches per struggle karta hai!!
     
  7. Shahzad.Firdous
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    Shahzad.Firdous Cornered Tiger

    May 29, 2010
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    Afridi during his prime during Bob Woolmer era was good enough to play both as batsman and bowler in all formats!! Woolmer got the best out of Afridi!!
     
  8. Del
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    Del Fantasy Draft Wins: 1

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    Specialist batsmen dont fail in tough conditions, specially outside of Asia all the time.

    Specialist batsmen dont fail 9 out of 10 times in 2nd innings while chasing.

    Specialist batsmen dont bogged down in crunch moments.

    Specialist batsmen dont have difficulty in facing pace.

    Specialist batsmen dont become bunny of "ABC" bowler.
     
  9. Shahzad.Firdous
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    Shahzad.Firdous Cornered Tiger

    May 29, 2010
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    Hafeez ki batting buhat improve hui in this decade aur end mein to woh bilkul proper batsman ban gaya tha aur uski bowling to hai hi zabardast hamesha se!!
     
  10. Shahzad.Firdous
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    Shahzad.Firdous Cornered Tiger

    May 29, 2010
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    Every batsman goes through difficult phases in his innings and career! Trick is not that he is struggling, trick is whether he throws it away or remains persistent and gets the job done or not!!
     
  11. Del
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    Thank you for saying it ... you dont improve your batting while playing for National team.

    I cant imagine how many game we couldve won if a specialist batsman wouldve been give chance to play ahead of him for even 2 years, let alone a decade.
     
  12. Shahzad.Firdous
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    Shahzad.Firdous Cornered Tiger

    May 29, 2010
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    Even the best struggle while chasing!! Not everyone is Mr. Cool like Inzamam, Steve Waugh or Michael Bevan!! And its not Hafeez's job to finish a game as he is batting at 4! Its the job of Malik who bats at 5 and I think Malik was super cool during run chases as evident from the way Malik chased down a difficult target against Afghanistan in that Asia Cup game and on many other occasions!!
     
  13. Del
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    Del Fantasy Draft Wins: 1

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    Leave it bro, you cant convince me.

    Yes, difficult phases come and go, but in case of the said players, there was only one phase (go figure which one was that).
     
  14. Shahzad.Firdous
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    Shahzad.Firdous Cornered Tiger

    May 29, 2010
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  15. isaacking
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    isaacking Talented

    Jul 16, 2010
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    Steve Smith also started as a spinner, so the concept of bowler turning into a better batsman is not wrong it just we invested in to players.

    To add insult to injury we had round about 5 so call alrounders in playing 11.

    To make it grave mistake we never let go of them even when we knew they will never be consistent match winner, they just kept on playing on and on.



    It is preferable to be Man of Understanding then to be a Man of Knowledge.
     
  16. ShokoTolo_LoloMoto
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    ShokoTolo_LoloMoto Talented

    Apr 16, 2010
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    Here is my opinion.
    The cause of "deep decline" is not the "end product" that we see in the form of Hafeez, Malik and Afridi.
    I can write a book about the details of the problems on the grass root level that has resulted in our historic inability to continuously produce world class batsmen.
    We were NEVER able to produce world class batsmen on continuous basis. Our system churned one or two great batsmen once every DECADE. This is a historical fact.

    What do you think? Having one Baber Azam in the team will change the batting culture and we will start producing 5 more Baber Azams in the next 5 to 10 years? It's highly unlikely.
    We will probably produce another good batsman perhaps in the next 10 years. This is how averages catch up in our system and we automatically find a diamond in the dust.

    So to keep it brief, here is my short analysis.

    Malik.
    He started off very good and with great promise, but took a nose dive in his batting quality after he was made captain for the very first time. He never recovered from there. There was also some talk about him being playing some politics in the team that caused grouping and rifts, and then he faced the allegation of getting back into the team due to political nepotism (Firdous Ashiq Awan and whatnot).
    Nonetheless, Malik was a very good athlete in the field (opposite of Hafeez). He set a good standard in the field for youngster to idolize.

    Hafeez.
    Wrong investment by PCB to begin with.
    Probably, PCB was fearful to try to select and train new talent and replace it with Hafeez, but the longer he stuck with the team, PCB thought it's harder to kick him out because of all the investment done into him.
    If we had smart, qualified, brave and HONEST people in the PCB administration, Hafeez should've never been let to play this long. A wrong investment that yielded nothing significant.

    Afridi.
    A controversial figure. You either love him or hate him.
    He was a very, very limited batsman. Yet a decent bowler and another great athlete in the field.
    And in my opinion, our best bet to get the best out of him was NOT to advise him to change his game.
    IMO, under every captain and coach he played, he was given one same advise, "Play slow, play cautiously, play long innings, play with patience, play with less risk, araam sey khelo, khayaal sey khelo, ahista khelo, daykh kar khelo, etc etc.
    In 20 years none of the captains and coaches on top of Afridi, understood that if Afridi was capable of listening or doing what they were asking him to do, he would've listened and done it by now.

    Keeping this in mind that Afridi is a very, very limited batsman who has a very, very limited ability to listen to the coach/captain, I would've treated Afridi by saying this EVERY TIME when he went out to bat and REGARDLESS of what the match situation was,

    "I would pat at his back and say, GO GET 'EM"

    Would that make Afridi hit a century every time? NO!
    But, IMO, it would've increased the probability of him scorning more runs if he knew that the captain is behind him and coach is supporting his style of play, INSTEAD of expecting something from Afridi that was not in his nature and that he didn't know how to do.

    Afridi also dug a hole for himself due to this. The crowd expected him everytime to set the field ablaze. And apparently it doesn't happen everyday.
    This put additional pressure on Afridi under which he crapped out more often than not.

    But in general, expecting Afridi to change his game according to the match situation was a fool's dream.
    You either don't bat him or let him bat the way he knows how to bat.

    Even though, there are many other specialist batsman (who had no contribution with the ball and hardly anything special in the field) who had the same short comings. They only knew ONE WAY to bat. And soon as you'd ask them to bring a versatility to speed up or slow down their scoring rate to cope with the game situation, they would crap out.

    Misbah is a prime example. Tuk tuk was THE ONLY WAY he knew how to play and survive. Soon as you asked him to play fast, 9.9 out of 10 times, he would fail and get out.
    Sharjeel Khan is another example. You ask him to play slow and easy and free of risk, he will get out.

    This lack of versatility in one batting skill, is a widespread problem in our batsmen. Most of them know only one way to play. Soon as you ask them to change their scoring speed (slow or fast) that is against their style, they will crap out.
    So singling out Afridi as exception is not really an exception.


    There is another side to Afridi though.
    Cricket these days, is not just a game or sports anymore. It has become business where money matters a lot.
    You need to generate money if you are cricket board.
    And credit goes to Afridi cuz he was one of the reason why crowds came to the ground and many fans followed him on the TV and through live streaming.
    Afridi also won the highest number of Player of the match awards for Pakistan.

    So even though, he was a very, very limited batsman who wasn't treated smartly to get the best out of him, he managed to somewhat compensate his short comings by bringing revenue to the table.

    As they say, "Money talks and bull$sh!t walks.
     
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2020
  17. Del
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    Del Fantasy Draft Wins: 1

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    Good post.

    My only issue is why invest so much into these limited, bits and pieces players?

    Why not invest into proper batsmen like Babar and Abid?

    And this disease still exist in form of Azhar and even Shan, specially former, who wasnt a batsmen (but a leg spinner) in the first place. And than we wonder why dont they perform. Simply put, their ceiling is very low, thus we cant compete with big boys.

    Also, we all should keep in mind that not every other player is Smith.
     
  18. ShokoTolo_LoloMoto
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    ShokoTolo_LoloMoto Talented

    Apr 16, 2010
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    As you answered your question by yourself in the last line.

    Our broken system simply does not produce good enough batsmen in the quantity that we require.
    And the other factor is, we don't have honest and smart enough people in the selection committees and in the board administration to find those diamonds in the dust.

    For how long Abid has been ignored, the example is in front of you.
    If there was a sharp set of eyes in the previous selection committees, they would've identified the talent in him long time ago (instead of looking at the domestic scorecards and automatically dismissing him), selected him for proper training under a qualified and a successful batting coach, and then tried him in the international arena.

    Nepotism is another factor.
    Parchi players like Imran Farhat, Shan Masood block the spots of better talented players for years.
    Personal likes and friendships is another factor. This iftikhar guy was included in the TEST side that visited Australia purely due to Misbah's personal friendship.

    It's a combination of a "totally broken domestic setup" ruled by a "very dishonest and incompetent PCB administration" all across the board.
     
  19. ComradeVenom
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    ComradeVenom Tracer Bullet

    Jul 24, 2012
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    Actually the system is incredibly weak. I dont blame players for wanting to stick around beyond their skills and abilities. We can blame individual players for their selfishness and stubborness but who wouldnt want to keep on playing if the opportunity is laid on a plate.

    What we have is a cricketing culture where seniors are valued too much, where lobbying can get players selected and where the support staff are so weak and insecure that they dont have the balls to make cut throat decisions.
     
  20. godzilla
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    godzilla Smooth Operator

    May 12, 2016
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    one partially agree with the OP, I think Hafeez and Malik to some degree at times were excellent players in the limited overs formats, particularly given the options, but were overall mediocre. what I agree with is the propensity to back payers for years because of a fluke. but its not just the selectors and coaches, this is the mainstay principle for most of the fans too - it seems that you have to be a Pakistani stratospheric intelligence to understand that a few innings dont define a player's skill. the same thing for playing the wrong players in the wrong format - its a never ending torture for anyone watching.

    the same is happening now though, there still isnt any meritocracy, and the PCB still refuses to learn from its mistakes.

    look at imams domestic performances in FC, and look at his performances in tests, same with shan. Look at the same for fakher in odis. look at the same for abid in FC/test. look at Younis in LA vs FC and then in ODI vs Tests, - how does a guy get to play 255 inning s when he averages 31 - thats proof tright there that you cannot mix formats. the list just goes on and on. before imam, it was Shahzad that lost us far more games than hafeez or Malik, all for a handful of innings where he scored centuries, and yet after 81 innings he still averages 32, in ODIs which tells you just how shit the Pakistani Ponting's other innings must have been if to have taken his century average that low.

    anyway, thats my two cents. often its not a question of who doesnt deserve place in the side, but who least deserves it. we have been undone by generations now of politically appointed incompetent chairmen, rotating door failed dinosaurs in the selection processes, and very little motivation for change.

    the present regime looks like it might be different, the change in the FC structure, some degree of professionalism in the pay structures, but theres still so man of the decrepit failed personnel still in key posts, and there are still so many poor selections still taking place that its not particularly hopeful.
     
  21. Shahzad.Firdous
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    Shahzad.Firdous Cornered Tiger

    May 29, 2010
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    In limited overs cricket, you need allrounders to balance your 11 and to give you flexibility and in test cricket too, you need a 5th bowler, this is where these 3 players come in!! By playing Hafeez and Malik as 5th and 6th bowlers, you can easily add another batsman into the team thus strengthening your batting and allowing you to set bigger totals for your bowling to defend or give the side enough batting strength to chase big totals!!

    @SwingNSeam @Del
    So, I dont think they have damaged Pakistan cricket. In my opinion, they have improved our cricket!!
     
  22. Shahzad.Firdous
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    Shahzad.Firdous Cornered Tiger

    May 29, 2010
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    @Del Just have a look at this 11. How much flexibility Hafeez, Malik and Harris Sohail give to this team simply cus they can bowl: (This should have been our World Cup 11)

    ODIs
    1. Azhar Ali
    2. Fakhar Zaman
    3. Abid Ali (wktkeeper)
    4. Babar Azam
    5. Harris Sohail
    6. Hafeez
    7. Shoaib Malik
    8. Shadab Khan
    9. Wahab Riaz
    10. Amir
    11. Shaheen
    Reserves: Hassan, Faheem, Yasir Shah, Imam ul Haq, Fawad Alam.
     
  23. Passionate Pakistani
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    Passionate Pakistani Fantasy Draft Wins: 1

    Jun 10, 2011
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    Afridi, Malik n Hafeez all have been infuential in Pak wins.
    Issue is not them playing, Issue is them playing beyond their expiry dates.. though i still believe both hafeez n malik should be in t20 teams
     
  24. Shahzad.Firdous
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    Shahzad.Firdous Cornered Tiger

    May 29, 2010
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    Ajmal, Afridi and Hafeez trio was the best spin trio in the world during Misbah and Afridi captaincy era and in 2011 WC!!
     
  25. Shahzad.Firdous
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    Shahzad.Firdous Cornered Tiger

    May 29, 2010
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    I dont agree with letting Afridi batting in the way he wants, cus thats hit the ball in the sky first ball he faces! He is never going to score anything batting that way and he never did! On a good party day, it might come off and it did! But, your game needs to adapt to the situation of the match and team's requirement!! There has to be a method to madness! Afridi performed best under two coaches - Bob Woolmer and Javed Miandad!! Cus, those two through different methods were able to get into his head and calm him down and made him realistic and asked him to take his time atleast when he first arrived at the crease. You just need to allow yourself precious 10 15 minutes at the crease before you can launch something and thats what these coaches made him do!! The adrenaline that is flowing when you first arrive at the crease settles down and you are able to sight the ball better and then when you are seeing it better, you can hit and then it wont be a mishit like it usually happens!! Afridis 144 at Kolkota in 98 was one of his best innings in my opinion but Afridi got agitated with Miandads method as you know Miandad is Miandad and how he works!! Woolmer's method was a sympathetic one and it worked best with Afridi!! So sad that Woolmer died post 2007 WC!! Woolmer was the best Coach Pakistan ever had and I believe Misbah is the next best you are going to get after Woolmer~~
     
  26. Shahzad.Firdous
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    Shahzad.Firdous Cornered Tiger

    May 29, 2010
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    Problem with Afridi's method is that there is only one chance for a batsman. You get a good delivery, someone takes a blinder, there is an accident and you are out as a batsman and with his high risk approach, he will get out anytime!! There is no coming back as a batsman! As a bowler, you will bowl whole day and you might bowl bad whole day but one good delivery will get you a wicket. Whereas, for a batsman you might have batted superbly whole day but one good delivery that has your name on it will get you out! So with Afridi's high risk approach, he is going to get out anytime!! Whereas, someone who is more smart at when to take a risk and when not to like Razzaq will calculate his every move and be more successful just cus he calculates and reads the game better whereas Afridi simply relies on his instincts which comes off once every 3 months!!

    @SwingNSeam
     
  27. Shahzad.Firdous
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    Shahzad.Firdous Cornered Tiger

    May 29, 2010
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    Afridi is simply working against his own probability of being successful as a batsman!!
     
  28. Bilal123
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    Bilal123 Tracer Bullet

    Dec 11, 2010
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    Not sure about the argument of not being a able to develop batting skills after starting off as a bowler.
    Just look at Steve Smith and Kevin Pietersen. Both started off as bowlers in domestics then became batsmen. Very good ones too!
    Smith was actually picked for his bowling for Australia but then developed his batting so much that bowling doesn't relate to him no more.

    It is possible to switch but just need the skills and the infrastructure to support
     
  29. Shahzad.Firdous
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    Shahzad.Firdous Cornered Tiger

    May 29, 2010
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    Watson started as a bowling allrounder too and later developed into an opener at test level!!
     
  30. Del
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    Del Fantasy Draft Wins: 1

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    I dont give two hoots about flexibility if 8 out of 10 times my team lose the game, because end results matters to me and not flexibility.

    Also, no need to compare Harris with these clowns, who is a pure batsmen but can roll his arms too. I see him like Aamir Sohail.
     
  31. Del
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    Del Fantasy Draft Wins: 1

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    These two are the only successful candidate which successfully able to transform themselves due to many factors. Many others have tried but flunk, which speaks volume that not every Tom, Harry and his dog can do the same.
     
  32. Bilal123
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    Bilal123 Tracer Bullet

    Dec 11, 2010
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    You never know, you may have a 3rd player on the list soon, Yasir Shah is also heading the same way with his batting
     
  33. ShokoTolo_LoloMoto
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    ShokoTolo_LoloMoto Talented

    Apr 16, 2010
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    There are many such examples.

    Sangakkarra is the greatest one.
    He played in an era when keepers were not always expected to be batters - but this guy totally changed the game.
    Miandad also joined the Pak team in his early days as a leg spinner who could bat a little - but he totally transformed his potency.

    Where there is a will there is a way.
     
  34. Bilal123
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    Bilal123 Tracer Bullet

    Dec 11, 2010
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    Wow didn't know about Miandad. Good on him.

    I always thought that a real cricketer is one who can do all 3 facets of the game. Someone who wants to do well whether ball or bat is in hand, or even when running around after the ball!
     
  35. Del
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    Del Fantasy Draft Wins: 1

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    Their transformation occurred way earlier in their carriers. On contrary, Yasir is standing on his last legs.
     

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