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  1. #1
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    "The way I play is that I never hold back my natural stroke-play" : Faheem Ashraf

    The Pakistan Test team's unenviable fall from the giddy heights of being regarded as the world’s number one team to its current standing at the number five position has brought much despair to its devoted fans.

    Apart from the obvious and spectacular batting failures, the need for a fast-bowling all-rounder was dearly felt throughout the series against Australia. The lack of a quality player to fill this key role in any international team was cited as an important shortcoming in the Test squad which played in Australia.

    Whilst it is a matter of grave concern that the chief selector Inzamam-ul-Haq has found it near impossible to identify candidates for the all-rounder role in the Pakistan Test team, it is also encouraging to see that there is talent such as that exhibited by the twenty-three-year-old Faheem Ashraf which augurs well for the future.

    In an exclusive interview with PakPassion.net, Faheem spoke about his passion for helping Pakistan attain greatness, his experience of playing for Habib Bank Limited (HBL) in the recently concluded Quaid-e-Azam trophy and the National One-Day Cup and his hopes of being selected for the tour of the West Indies later this year.




    Most youngsters who begin to play cricket are overawed by the promise of future fame but in Faheem’s case, cricket is just another way to serve his country as he remarked “My interest in cricket was really sparked by watching the 2007 World Twenty20 although my initial interest was towards joining the Army as I saw that as a way of serving my country. My father and elder brother studied law but I always wanted to do something big for my country so I decided that cricket was my path to that goal.”

    Faheem’s rise to fame has been a steady journey through various levels of school and regional cricket but throughout his career so far, he has sustained a level of performance which seems to earmark him for future success. From his First-class debut with Faisalabad in 2014 where in six matches he scored two-hundred and fifty runs and took nineteen wickets to his move to National Bank of Pakistan (NBP) where he impressed all with two-hundred and seventy-one runs in eight matches whilst taking twenty-three wickets, Faheem has continued to set the bar high in to his current stint with HBL.

    “I debuted in First-class cricket for Faisalabad in 2013 and played for them for two years during which I was made their captain. I had a fantastic season with Faisalabad and then in 2015 I joined National Bank (NBP) as I was told that one would get good chances to play in that team. The only problem there was that most of the key players like Kamran Akmal, Zia-ul-Haq, Nasir Jamshed and Mohammad Nawaz were missing due to a variety of commitments and there was a real danger that the NBP team would be relegated. I thought to myself that I needed to be playing cricket at the highest domestic level and this may not be possible if I continued playing for NBP. This is the reason I joined Habib Bank in the 2016/2017 season.”

    The 2016/2017 First-class season proved even better for Faheem as he continued his upward trajectory with twenty-eight wickets in eight games as his side HBL reached the finals of the high-profile Quaid-e-Azam trophy and subsequently won the departmental edition of the National One-Day Cup. He may have done the hard yards but Faheem knows that he would have struggled had it not been for the help of his HBL coach Kabir Khan.

    “I give a lot of credit for my good performance this season to our coach Kabir Khan. He is the kind of person who goes out of his way to impart confidence to his players. He told me that I was in the team because of my skills and the team had the potential to be champions. He was of course right as we were finalists for the Quaid-e-Azam trophy and won the National One-Day Cup for departmental teams.”

    Of course, the National One-Day Cup was a magnificent success for the HBL team and for Faheem, this was an excellent way of showcasing his talent to the world as he was declared the best bowler with nineteen wickets to his name. This is a tournament Faheem recalls with great pride and the final of the tournament where he guided his team to victory has a special place in his memory as he explained “The final of the departmental tournament was a special occasion and Kabir Khan really inspired us to do better. He told us that despite being tired having played so much cricket in the tournament, this was the time to stand-up and be counted and to know that people will remember us if we win the final of the tournament. I bowled well to pick up one wicket but when we started batting, we seemed to be doing well initially until Fakhar Zaman had to retire. Our captain Ahmed Shehzad then stepped up and played a fantastic knock but then we had a mini-collapse and it appeared that we would fall short of the 233-run target. Before I went out to bat, Kabir Khan told me to play the way I was most comfortable with. I had made up my mind that I would not give my wicket away and in the end Zohaib Khan and I got us to the target with relative ease; I remained not out on thirty-four.”

    Whilst fifty-over cricket has its own charms, the fact remains that a cricketer’s true progress can only be gauged in the longer and more intense four-day format. The secret to Faheem’s success in this format thus far has been based on a simple theory of playing strokes he is good at and bowling balls which have the greatest percentage of success.

    “My philosophy in the four-day game is pretty simple. The way I play is that I never hold back my natural stroke-play but then I am also careful about playing according to the needs of the team. I also believe that if you hold back on your best shots, then you will not be able to score runs which doesn’t help the team either. The same thing applies when bowling. If one bowls their normal wicket taking delivery more, then one is likely to get better results.”

    Like many other players knocking at the door of selection for the national team, Faheem has a deep desire to serve his country and help his team to success. His performances with the ‘A’ team as well as in the Quaid-e-Azam trophy and the National One-Day Cup seemed to have raised expectations for his inclusion in the series against Australia but that failed to materialise, leaving him rather disappointed. However, he is now looking forward to Pakistan’s next overseas challenge in the shape of the tour of the West Indies in late March as he remarked “I have played in two ‘A’ tours; one against England Lions in the UAE in early 2016 and the other in October 2016 against Zimbabwe in Zimbabwe. Whilst the matches against England Lions were competitive, the Zimbabwe tour was tougher as we were pitted against their senior players. Given my excellent performance on the 'A' tours and the current domestic season, I like many others was hopeful of a berth in the Pakistan squad for Australia but was a little disappointed when this did not happen. I am now looking forward to ensuring that I continue working hard and am able to convince the selectors for a place in the squad bound for the West Indies in March of this year. I hope I'm picked for the series against West Indies”, he concluded.
    Last edited by Abdullah719; 26th June 2017 at 20:43.


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  2. #2
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    Reading this I am shocked why he didn't get a lookin for the Australian tour

    I do hope he makes it for the Windies tour


    For the latest updates on Cricket, follow @PakPassion on Twitter

  3. #3
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    Any videos of him bowling?


    Hum na hon hamare baad, Sarfraz Sarfraz

  4. #4
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    He has a good,solid record,especially in the past season.He should definitely be tried in the West Indies tour.We are in dire need of a quick allrounder.

  5. #5
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    Officially he is only 23 so still has plenty of time on his hands. Shouldn't set short term goals for himself like "I want to be selected for the WI series" because if he doesn't get selected then he will be disappointed.

    I heard his performance has been good in the domestics, hope he is in the squad to develop further because the domestics will only ruin him.


    #Mein inko rolaonga

  6. #6
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    Stats are good but I would like to know whether he has potential to be a genuine allrounder of international class or another Bhatti or Anwar in making ? Does he has pace, Height, built ? all matter. I have never saw him on video/TV, please let me know if someone knows about him.

  7. #7
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    Needs to work on his batting if he's to become an international class AR.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by moghul View Post
    Stats are good but I would like to know whether he has potential to be a genuine allrounder of international class or another Bhatti or Anwar in making ? Does he has pace, Height, built ? all matter. I have never saw him on video/TV, please let me know if someone knows about him.
    From what I have heard he is a good bowler and fairly nippy too, bowls in the high 130s to 140kph region. However, his batting is nothing to write home about.


    #Mein inko rolaonga

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Syed1 View Post
    From what I have heard he is a good bowler and fairly nippy too, bowls in the high 130s to 140kph region. However, his batting is nothing to write home about.
    I heard the complete opposite....

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by mz123 View Post
    I heard the complete opposite....
    These are his numbers on cricinfo:

    Name:  Capture.JPG
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    #Mein inko rolaonga

  11. #11
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    First class and List-A bowling is good. First class batting is ok, List-A batting is atrocious.

    Let's not even talk about T20.


    #Mein inko rolaonga

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Syed1 View Post
    These are his numbers on cricinfo:

    Name:  Capture.JPG
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    hmm fair enough....should definitely improve his batting . Looking at these stats, why pick him over yamin or amad butt ?

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by mz123 View Post
    hmm fair enough....should definitely improve his batting . Looking at these stats, why pick him over yamin or amad butt ?
    I think those two had a very bad domestic season this year and have certainly fallen in the pecking order.


    #Mein inko rolaonga

  14. #14
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    Average boosted by the not outs to over 32 and exposed in list A hence averaging a measly 14.

    No speed guns in Pakistan so can not say he would be in the high 130's to 140 range as some say unless seen in videos.

  15. #15
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    He isnt hood enough to play international cricket. Dont know why he is in Pakistan A team


    "Life is Pain"
    ~House~

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Syed1 View Post
    From what I have heard he is a good bowler and fairly nippy too, bowls in the high 130s to 140kph region. However, his batting is nothing to write home about.
    that could be another bhatti


    If you always do what you have always done, you will always get what you always got #improve

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Syed1 View Post
    From what I have heard he is a good bowler and fairly nippy too, bowls in the high 130s to 140kph region. However, his batting is nothing to write home about.
    That's encouraging, its easy for a bowler to improve his batting but I have hardly seen a batter who improved his bowling a lot.

  18. #18
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    If not Yamin or even Amad, pick this guy.


    Hai yeh Josh-e-Junoon, hai yeh apna yaqeen, ke jo tum mein hai dum, woh kisi mein nahin!

  19. #19
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    We discussed him at length in the QEA Final thread.

    He is at least six inches too short to succeed as a bowler in international cricket. There is no hope for short, mediocre medium pacers.

    He could only hope to be a Top Five batsman who bowls a few overs.

    Amad Butt has far more bowling potential.

  20. #20
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  21. #21
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    Bit of a surprise to see him in the ODI squad, hope he does well.


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  22. #22
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    wish him the best an hope he suceeds, but i feel both Hammad and Yamin were better options. We need a batting alround not a bowling one


    "Last time Uganda toured Canada, half their team ran away to start a new life" - cricfan967

  23. #23
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    I hope he does well when given the chance to play.

    As mentioned above, Yamin & Hammad are better options for sure but hopefully this guy puts in some good all-round performances.

    Having a pace A/R in the squad is better than having no pace A/R in the squad.


    Hai yeh Josh-e-Junoon, hai yeh apna yaqeen, ke jo tum mein hai dum, woh kisi mein nahin!

  24. #24
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    Hopefully he gets a chance so we can see what he can do.

  25. #25
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    Wish him the best of luck, not seen him play before; what can you guys tell me? going by his recent List A stats he seems to be someone who is mainly a bowler but can bat a little bit


    Ah, so this is what it feels like

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by shaz619 View Post
    Wish him the best of luck, not seen him play before; what can you guys tell me? going by his recent List A stats he seems to be someone who is mainly a bowler but can bat a little bit
    Harmless trundler. Has shown some ability with the bat.


    A skilled hawk conceals its talons.

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chief Destroyer View Post
    Harmless trundler. Has shown some ability with the bat.
    What about his skill with the ball? can he swing/seam it, variations etc?


    Ah, so this is what it feels like

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by shaz619 View Post
    What about his skill with the ball? can he swing/seam it?
    Don't know. Haven't seen him swing it.


    A skilled hawk conceals its talons.

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chief Destroyer View Post
    Don't know. Haven't seen him swing it.
    in comparison to Junaid and Riaz how would you compare him for the third seamer role?


    "Last time Uganda toured Canada, half their team ran away to start a new life" - cricfan967

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by pakistanigoneaussie View Post
    in comparison to Junaid and Riaz how would you compare him for the third seamer role?
    He's not a front line bowler. Even as an allrounder, his batting would have to be Yamin's level to earn a spot. If the pitch is flat which most of them will be and he comes in after 10 overs, he will get punished.


    A skilled hawk conceals its talons.

  31. #31
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    Why is Faheem Ashraf not playing today?

    What the hell are they doing???


    Sarfaraz, Babar, Shehzad, Haris, Talat, Fakhar, Umar.

  32. #32
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    His bowling is quite terrible,won't trouble the Indian batsmen at all on this pitch.

  33. #33
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    We will prefer azhar over fakhar then we say we will attack

  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by Arham_PakFan View Post
    His bowling is quite terrible,won't trouble the Indian batsmen at all on this pitch.
    I'd play him purely as a batsman to hit at 6.

  35. #35
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    Because Mickey said that we are going for wicket taking options.


    Sarfi as captain'll lead us to glory.Babar'll be our best odi bat & Haris'll be world class in tests

  36. #36
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    Not gonna complain. Imad is a proven performer in England and Shadab can not be dropped.


    "Our business is our business. None of your business" - Race 3

  37. #37
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    They have gone to attack, can't be having a defensive mind set! Gone with an attacking team

  38. #38
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    There are only 11 slots to be filled. Can't keep everyone happy.

  39. #39
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    Because Sarfaraz is the captain and you're not. Let the game play out before crying. Some of you guys, honestly.


    لَا إِلٰهَ إِلَّا الله مُحَمَّدٌ رَسُولُ الله

  40. #40
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    The pitch had no green whatsoever and sky was clear. So conditions weren't suited towards his bowling. Also, he hasn't played a match before, so he shouldn't have been given a debut in the pressure India match in the big tournament of the CT.

  41. #41
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    Fahim has already played the innings of his lifetime

    As a bowler he is cannon fodder


    #MPGA

  42. #42
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    We'll probably end up wishing he played instead of Wahab before the day's out. Imad I don't know. Hard to believe a team like India will be fooled by an arm bowler.


    I for one welcome our new In____ overlords - Kent Brockman

  43. #43
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    Faheem, Fakar and Haris Sohail instead of Wahab, Azhar and Ahmed Shahzad would have been a more attacking option.


    You have indeed in the Messenger of Allah an excellent example. (TMQ - 33:21)

  44. #44
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    because for some insane reason they think Azhar and Shehzad are 'attacking'. beats me!

  45. #45
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    Faheem Ashraf - Performance watch

    He's playing his first international game. Let's see how he does at a big stage

  46. #46
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    Sri Lanka might target him

  47. #47
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    He will get runs maybe 55* off 12

  48. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by Khwaja View Post
    He will get runs maybe 55* off 12
    That's over expectation.

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    Should have replaced azhar and not Shadab. I'd take a bowling all rounder's batting over azhar in ODIs


    "Our business is our business. None of your business" - Race 3

  50. #50
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    Expecting a good performance today by him with both bat and bowl.

  51. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shaik View Post
    That's over expectation.
    why if azhar can bat at 150 strike rate.. why can't faheem do 600??

  52. #52
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    138 kph

  53. #53
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    Already missing Shadab at point. Bad decision again by Sarfraz

  54. #54
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    Can be worked upon. Decent prospect

  55. #55
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    139 highest , just 138-139 just need 1-2 k to get into 140 that can happen with time.

  56. #56
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    he's generating good pace.. don't forget Aamer and junaid are bowling 135 kmph same pitch..

  57. #57
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    PP'ers wrong again... Faheem takes maiden wicket in third over of his career..

  58. #58
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    Hmm.


    15.2

    Fahim Ashraf to Mathews, no run, hops back and turns the length ball to the leg side. That one was bowled at 140kph

  59. #59
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shaik View Post
    Can be worked upon. Decent prospect
    Better than any specialist bowler in recent domestic tourneys. Players like this need to be given a run.

  60. #60
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    Jun 2017
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    231
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    Good for his confidence

  61. #61
    Debut
    Feb 2016
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    1,044
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    Bowling faster than Amir and Junaid. Never expected that

  62. #62
    Debut
    May 2017
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    Lahore
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    537
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    Shame on all the PP'ers who wrote him off... shame on all of you.. support faheem and hope best for his performance or else

  63. #63
    Debut
    Dec 2012
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    Occupied Kashmir
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    2,783
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    Decent pace from faheeem. I was expecting home to be around 125 to 130

  64. #64
    Debut
    Nov 2010
    Venue
    Between Venus & Mars
    Runs
    8,767
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    24 Post(s)
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    1 Thread(s)



    " Don't wait. The time will never be just right "

  65. #65
    Debut
    Jun 2001
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    UK
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    He's doing fine so far.

    Seemed a bit nervous initially which is understandable but has now settled down to bowl a good line and length.

    It seemed like he was the bowler Sri Lankans were going to target but I think he has surprised them a bit with his accuracy so far.



  66. #66
    Debut
    Dec 2008
    Venue
    Norway
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    Looks like a strong lad.


    Ki Mohammad (saw) sey wafa tu ney tou hum terey hain
    Yeh jahaan cheez kya hai Loh-o-Qalam tere hain

  67. #67
    Debut
    Mar 2015
    Venue
    Multan,Layyah Pakistan
    Runs
    974
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    74 Post(s)
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    not going to work ... gun barrel straight. even not good enough to be 4rth seamer

  68. #68
    Debut
    Jul 2009
    Venue
    Bury
    Runs
    2,359
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    Looks very under cooked. Has no real variations, is not particularly tall. Bowls inconsistent lines and lengths I wonder if kids on PP even bother to watch players they push to be included in the team.

  69. #69
    Debut
    May 2010
    Venue
    UK
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    Quote Originally Posted by Abid Z View Post
    Looks very under cooked. Has no real variations, is not particularly tall. Bowls inconsistent lines and lengths I wonder if kids on PP even bother to watch players they push to be included in the team.
    Might be a bit harsh considering it's his debut, but he is lacking any real bite as a bowler from first viewing. No real swing or seam, that's the problem. Also slightly concerned to see him switch to round the wicket too quickly when he started straying down legside. Basically gave up on taking wickets with that move.

    Hopefully his batting will make his inclusion worthwhile.


    I for one welcome our new In____ overlords - Kent Brockman

  70. #70
    Debut
    Dec 2011
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    Quote Originally Posted by Abid Z View Post
    Looks very under cooked. Has no real variations, is not particularly tall. Bowls inconsistent lines and lengths I wonder if kids on PP even bother to watch players they push to be included in the team.
    Pandya type bowler. What do you expect him to be

  71. #71
    Debut
    Oct 2015
    Runs
    973
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    27 Post(s)
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    2 Thread(s)
    Good pace

  72. #72
    Debut
    Oct 2014
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hamza_ View Post
    Pandya type bowler. What do you expect him to be
    no he has pace but need to concentrate more on his line and length... Bowling too short or too full and wayward... good batting side will make the wahab out of him...

  73. #73
    Debut
    Dec 2011
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    Quote Originally Posted by ask_analyse_act View Post
    no he has pace but need to concentrate more on his line and length... Bowling too short or too full and wayward... good batting side will make the wahab out of him...
    Pandya has pace as well.

  74. #74
    Debut
    Jul 2009
    Venue
    Bury
    Runs
    2,359
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    10 Post(s)
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    1 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Cpt. Rishwat View Post
    Might be a bit harsh considering it's his debut, but he is lacking any real bite as a bowler from first viewing. No real swing or seam, that's the problem. Also slightly concerned to see him switch to round the wicket too quickly when he started straying down legside. Basically gave up on taking wickets with that move.

    Hopefully his batting will make his inclusion worthwhile.
    Yes I think he just needs another season in first class or a 20/20 league before being thrown into an ODI. Needs to work out what kind of bowler he wants to be. Doesn't look very tall to lift the ball off a good length or be a tight seamer. But is not a skiddy fast bowler either. His 86/87 mph dollies is are gonna make top class batsmen salivate esp as he bowls all round the wicket.

  75. #75
    Debut
    Oct 2010
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    Another pathetic fielder added to the team.

  76. #76
    Debut
    Jul 2009
    Venue
    Bury
    Runs
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hamza_ View Post
    Pandya type bowler. What do you expect him to be
    Pandya has better control and is quite accurate. But I think that's just experience.

  77. #77
    Debut
    Dec 2011
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    Quote Originally Posted by MRSN View Post
    Another pathetic fielder added to the team.
    Young and can improve. Overall a decent debut.

  78. #78
    Debut
    Sep 2015
    Runs
    605
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    Hardworking lad but Pakistan better then expect him to bowl against England because he will get killed. Shadab needs to be back for England.

    If Pakistan want to play him then he should come instead of Hafeez

    He should not be playing against England in place of Shadab, no way!

  79. #79
    Debut
    Jun 2017
    Runs
    805
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    was not as horrible as i expected, didnt get boundaries as much as amir

  80. #80
    Debut
    Feb 2005
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    Plenty to work with which is good..

    Can only get better if he is in the team. Will only regress if left to rot in our domestic circuit

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