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  1. #1
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    "Mohammad Amir needs to get his act together" : Mohammad Zahid

    Writing in his latest blog for PakPassion.net, Mohammad Zahid examines the factors behind the failure of Mohammad Amir and Wahab Riaz in the ongoing series against England, explains why a fast-bowling specialist is a necessity for the Pakistan Test squad and wonders why reverse-swing has deserted Pakistan fast-bowlers.


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    Missing in action : The Pakistan pace attack

    The Pakistan tour of England seems to have taken a turn for the worst and it seems the tourists have quite a fight ahead to stave off a series defeat. I like many others was hoping for a better performance than what we saw in the third Test. As someone who has a keen interest in fast-bowling, my wish was to see the Pakistan bowling attack outdo their rivals in this series. To be honest, from what I have seen so far, there is a big question mark on the actual quality of our bowling attack.

    Apart from the obvious failure of our fast-bowlers especially Mohammad Amir who has yet to bowl very fast and seems to have forgotten how to reverse-swing, I am also dismayed by the ineffectiveness of Yasir Shah in the last two Tests, who I also hold in high regard as a bowler. The failure of our bowlers to deliver cannot be better illustrated than in the third Test where we took a hefty lead and then let England off the hook due to the inability of our bowling attack to take wickets. And if we are looking for excuses for our bowlers then also remember that England also bowled on the same pitch with devastating effect. It has been said throughout the build-up of the series that it is our batting which would be our weakest link but it appears that the bowlers are not too far behind in this regard.

    Coming back to Mohammad Amir, I am afraid the use of extenuating circumstances as an excuse for his below par performance is long gone. We now need to look deeper into his issues. Amir has been back in competitive cricket for the better part of one year. He played well in the Bangladesh Premier League as well as the New Zealand tour, followed by the Asia Cup and the World Twenty20. So he has been around and rusty skills cannot be a logical reason. He also took part in the Army camp and has been an integral part of the squad for the past few months. Could it be that his fitness is not up to the mark which won’t be too far away from the truth as I don’t really know of too many fast-bowlers who don’t carry a niggle or two into every game.

    So, why has his form deserted him? I could see he was trying to do the right thing by bowling in the right areas but there was something lacking in his bowling. Of course, it may just have been luck such as dropped catches or maybe it’s a mental thing whereby ghosts of the past are bothering him which could explain why the aggression of a typical fast-bowler, at least a Pakistani one, was missing from Amir’s bowling.

    Whatever the reason, he needs to get his act together straightaway as he is the leader of the Pakistan bowling attack and there is a fine tradition of bowlers like Imran Khan and Wasim Akram who have performed that duty with amazing success. We may have had Yasir Shah as a good option but let’s face it, we were all expecting big things from Amir which is yet to materialize.

    Another bowler who has not lived up to my expectations is Wahab Riaz. This is a bowler who I have always backed to play every game but I am afraid, even with the gift of pace, he has still not learnt to bowl and make use of that speed. He has no variation in his deliveries and I am afraid the time to learn more is coming to an end for Wahab. You can only be given so much time and there are limits to being taught basics. Personally speaking, the focus we have had on Wahab can now be diverted towards Sohail Khan. If we can spend so much time and energy on Wahab, then we should also put that effort towards Sohail who in my view is capable of bigger things.


    No Specialist Fast-Bowling Coach for Pakistan?

    This brings me to another aspect of our problems and that is the absence of a fast-bowling specialist who can work with our bowlers. Mushtaq Ahmed for all his international experience has not been a fast-bowler. I have watched him working with Sohail Khan on his run-up; how sad is that? I am sorry but that is a joke. As a fast-bowler, I can assure you all that you cannot coach a fast-bowler. This is simply not possible but, a pace bowler can be trained. For that, you need someone who knows fast-bowling inside out and the sight of Mushtaq working with our fast-bowlers does not seem right.


    Reverse-Swing goes missing for Pakistan

    The Edgbaston Test also brought to light the gulf between the bowling skills of both sides. For example, look at the length both sets of bowlers were bowling and James Anderson and Chris Woakes could be seen to be swinging the ball and the movement was appreciable. In contrast, the same lengths used by Pakistan bowlers were having no effect. The absence of reverse-swing from Pakistan bowlers was shocking. What is happening here? How is it that bowlers from a nation that pretty much made this type of bowling a household name were unable to use this to their advantage?

    It appears to me that the skills that the bowlers from yesteryear who mastered this style of bowling and used it to good effect are simply not being passed on to the younger generation at the domestic level. The ability to reverse-swing was like our national treasure and I cannot think of any other way of describing it. There are some key factors or points that are drummed in the heads of the bowlers to learn reverse-swing but someone with experience needs to teach that and I am afraid, that is simply not happening in our domestic cricket. Of course a major part of the whole reverse-swing theory is how the teams look after the ball. Unlike England, there is a possibility that Pakistan simply don’t have anyone to teach our boys this very basic thing and thus there is no specialist for this skill in the Pakistan team.

    That does beg the question that Waqar Younis, Pakistan’s previous Head Coach from not too long ago was himself a great proponent of reverse-swing, surely he must have imparted this knowledge to the bowlers? Could it be simply that our bowlers are weak in implementing this knowledge? Put that aside, on a dry pitch like we have encountered in the current tour of England, the ball should be in prime condition for reverse-swing and if the ball is looked after well, the results will be even better.

    Let me tell you that in my day, we would keep on using the same ball for way past the point of changing it; sometimes to 160 overs in the hope of getting more out of the ball. I do exaggerate a bit but it is to make the point that the reason was simply that we wanted the ability to reverse-swing it. I fear that Misbah-ul-Haq is not forceful enough to make the bowlers use the old ball to extract movement but then that may be because he understands that his bowlers simply do not have the skills to use the old ball to their advantage. I am convinced that the only explanation for no reverse-swing is the lack of expertise in this area because if the skills were there, then someone like Wahab bowling at 90mph would have been able to do this with ease.


    Do-or-Die at The Oval

    And so we head to The Oval for a do-or-die encounter to save this series. But we have a problem. Our bowling is not delivering the results that we would wish to see. There are some suggestions for a five-man bowling attack but for me the time for that choice was when we were selecting the team before the start of the tour. A fifth bowler in the team for The Oval will result in weakening an already fragile batting line-up. Regardless of our line-up, from an England point of view, they will expect a batting pitch in the final Test match and life could get even more interesting for Pakistan’s bowlers. Whether Pakistan bowlers are able to extract movement out of this pitch will probably drive the outcome of the match and the series.
    Last edited by MenInG; 9th August 2016 at 09:33.


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  2. #2
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    Coming back to Mohammad Amir, I am afraid the use of extenuating circumstances as an excuse for his below par performance is long gone. We now need to look deeper into his issues. Amir has been back in competitive cricket for the better part of one year. He played well in the Bangladesh Premier League as well as the New Zealand tour, followed by the Asia Cup and the World Twenty20. So he has been around and rusty skills cannot be a logical reason. He also took part in the Army camp and has been an integral part of the squad for the past few months. Could it be that his fitness is not up to the mark which won’t be too far away from the truth as I don’t really know of too many fast-bowlers who don’t carry a niggle or two into every game - See more at: http://www.pakpassion.net/ppforum/sh....nuaT7e2r.dpuf
    This is what i have been saying, excuse of his long absence is invalid as he has been back for a while now.
    He will come good which we all hope but we need to see the signs of upcoming storm which amir is packing.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lords View Post
    This is what i have been saying, excuse of his long absence is invalid as he has been back for a while now.
    He will come good which we all hope but we need to see the signs of upcoming storm which amir is packing.
    And you conveniently ignored the rest of the answer


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  4. #4
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    hes right on a lot of points i think, but i disagree with some too. i cant believe he has been backing wahab all this time -apart from one or two spells, wahab has done nothing of note throughout his entire career, whether domestic or international, which the numbers sadly bear out fully.

    he is of course dead right on amir too - the hype as usual is ridiculous. he has been a massive let down, which has not been surprising to some of us.

    an excellent interview for pp once again, well done to the team. i thought it was particularly interesting to hear a high grade professional highlight amir and the bowling unit as a whole a being as much to blame as the batting, which i wholeheartedly agree with.

  5. #5
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    Comments on Amir are spot on. I want to see the Amir who took out Tendulkar on first ball. There are some technical issues that need minor adjustment but he has the hunger to prove himself so I'm certain he will eventually shine.

  6. #6
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    Every time I hear or read Mohammad Zahid, I always think that he speaks a lot of sense.

    No wonder that he is no way near the Pakistani cricket administration or coaching set-up.


    "I score a lot of runs (playing selfishly) and my team loses, what good are those runs? ."
    Inzi

  7. #7
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    More emotion than any real analysis.


    A skilled hawk conceals its talons.

  8. #8
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    Well i think there has been too much focus on the bowlers and not the batting. Pak easily couldve scored a few more runs in the first innings and in the second kept a good RR to go for a draw. The pitches were flat, and the selection only started 4 bowlers....go easy on these guys....don't forget the few fielding mishaps at slip....

  9. #9
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    The hype train continues.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chief Destroyer View Post
    More emotion than any real analysis.
    Im not sure if by No Analysis you wanted to see some laboratory results! What i think you meant were remedies on the failures.

    Nevertheless, a great article by MZ where he points clearly that Mushtaq Ahmed is not helping Pakistan bowling and neither did Waqar by not teaching the likes of Rahat or Wahab to reverse swing or create variations. Albeit it MUST be stressed that England literally were caught napping at Lords after convincingly winning over Sri Lanka previously, taking us quite lightly.

  11. #11
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    While i dont disagree with more of his points, I do however believe that Amir has been the best of the fast bowling lot we had. Wahab has no idea what his game is? He just knows what to do when the reverse swing is a factor but pretty much have no idea for rest of the match. Sohail khan can do many things but have no idea how he does it, so on a good day he is very good but have no idea for rest of the week.

    I do feel bad for Rahat though, he has been our Alan Mulally. He has been doing all the hard work for 5 balls and then threw it away. I was really impressed for his spell in ENG's second Innings in the last Test and was unfortunate. For rest of the series, he just wasnt consistent enough to put people under pressure.

    The only thing i criticise Amir for is that he wanted to try too many things. He has a good swing and English batsmen know that and they left his good deliveries but becoz of his experimentation, they got the chances and played their shots. Having said that, Amir still managed to contain his economy to around 2/2.5, which is fairly decent.

    Overall, its true that Pakistani bowlers didnt work out English batsmen. They usually had a team plan and perhaps an individual plans as well but latter wasnt visible in any of the games.

    Despite of all this, I do believe Yasir is the biggest reason for our losses. I am not being critical becoz we lost but i thought he lost his patience in both matches and wasnt good enough to trouble batsmen. I know pitches didnt help and England played him better but given English arent known to recover quickly from a disastrous performance like Lords, I do feel Yasir missed a trick there.
    Last edited by Abdullah719; 9th August 2016 at 20:00.

  12. #12
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    Play 5 full time proper bowlers, use the pacers in short sharp bursts and you will see the difference

  13. #13
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    I absolutely despise such comments ... yes !!! As if Amir did not want to take a wicket !!! Give some credit to the other side for the sake of being slightly neutral. Cricket is a Batsman gaman's game, and if they decide to drop the anchor.... not much one can do. I saw an extremely agitated WI fan today, he was getting all worked up because Ashwin and Saha had batted precisely in the same manner and WI could not dislodge them. That is Test Match Cricket my friend .... get used to it.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by gunner View Post
    Comments on Amir are spot on. I want to see the Amir who took out Tendulkar on first ball. There are some technical issues that need minor adjustment but he has the hunger to prove himself so I'm certain he will eventually shine.

    It would have been good if he Zahid talked about technical things which he did not.

    The delivery which resulted in dismissals of Sachin, Kevin Prior Swann (Lords Test) is not in Amir's armoury at the Moment. Which is a huge factor. I hope he can get that back.

  15. #15
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    Completely unfair comments by a man who took a grand total of 15 Test wickets at an average of 33.46.

    The bowlers have lost their effectiveness because they have been bowled into the ground by a skipper who has not selected a fast bowling all-rounder so that he can pick an extra batsman because he knows that his Dad's Army of batsmen are not good enough.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Junaids View Post
    Completely unfair comments by a man who took a grand total of 15 Test wickets at an average of 33.46.

    The bowlers have lost their effectiveness because they have been bowled into the ground by a skipper who has not selected a fast bowling all-rounder so that he can pick an extra batsman because he knows that his Dad's Army of batsmen are not good enough.
    THIS!

    Plus england have chosen flat wickets rather than their normal good wickets to counter amir becos they know what he achieved in 2010 against them!
    For people who would argue that why englands bowlers are able to take wickets and amir isnt?
    Answer- broad and anderson have not been as effective as they usually are at home, either. Though, they have bowled a good line and length and been economical( alot of that is due to our poor batsman).
    Woakes has been doing the damage and without him england would be 2 -1 down in this series, instead of 2-1 up. So the pitches have not only affected amir but broad and anderson.
    Plus, pakistan has a weaker batting line up than england and a long tail. If amir was bowling at the pak batsman, then i would expect him to be as successful as woakes and if woakes was bowling at the england team, i would expect him to have the same limited success as amir.

    Next point, which i made earlier but my post was deleted for some reason, mo zahid talks about pak bowlers not reverse swinging the ball but doesnt say what they should do to get the ball reversing!
    As i recall zahid himself did not reverse swing the ball, but was a express bowler like mohammed sami.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by zoro View Post
    THIS!

    Plus england have chosen flat wickets rather than their normal good wickets to counter amir becos they know what he achieved in 2010 against them!
    For people who would argue that why englands bowlers are able to take wickets and amir isnt?
    Answer- broad and anderson have not been as effective as they usually are at home, either. Though, they have bowled a good line and length and been economical( alot of that is due to our poor batsman).
    Woakes has been doing the damage and without him england would be 2 -1 down in this series, instead of 2-1 up. So the pitches have not only affected amir but broad and anderson.
    Plus, pakistan has a weaker batting line up than england and a long tail. If amir was bowling at the pak batsman, then i would expect him to be as successful as woakes and if woakes was bowling at the england team, i would expect him to have the same limited success as amir.

    Next point, which i made earlier but my post was deleted for some reason, mo zahid talks about pak bowlers not reverse swinging the ball but doesnt say what they should do to get the ball reversing!
    As i recall zahid himself did not reverse swing the ball, but was a express bowler like mohammed sami.
    Furthermore, woakes is getting wicket becos his a good bowler snd becos pak batsman are simply defending everything broad and anderson are bowling, which makes it difficult for these 2 to get many wickets, as pak stratedgy is just to see them off!

  18. #18
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    First test series after a gap of six years , i can give him a benefit of doubt this time but the next series is in UAE and we sure would like to see some reverse from amir.


    It is either a heartache or a headache ..Argh relationships.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by JibranAnsari View Post
    First test series after a gap of six years , i can give him a benefit of doubt this time but the next series is in UAE and we sure would like to see some reverse from amir.
    I think pcb should have a 2 week contract with akram when the team are back in pak, so he can help amir, wahab, rahat etc on how to reverse the ball and also how to shine and maintain the ball for reverse swing, as it does look like these skills are disappearing from our bowlers.

  20. #20
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    Completely unfair comments by a man who took a grand total of 15 Test wickets at an average of 33.46.
    So according to you because his career was cut short by injury, he is not allowed to comment.



  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Saj View Post
    So according to you because his career was cut short by injury, he is not allowed to comment.
    If he can say only fast bowlers can coach fast
    Bowlers then this logic isn't much different

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by wasimjunior View Post
    If he can say only fast bowlers can coach fast
    Bowlers then this logic isn't much different
    Do you understand why he is saying that? Also he clearly said that you don't coach but train fast bowlers


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  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Saj View Post
    So according to you because his career was cut short by injury, he is not allowed to comment.
    Everyone is allowed to comment, whether their comments are knowledgeable or not.
    The players dont have to take any notice of anyones comments, especially of joe public who has never played cricket professionally, let alone at the highest level.

    With mo zahid he would have had a successful career, in my opinion, if he didnt get injured. However, his comments are almost like someone who has never played cricket internationally, as his career was so short. I dont think he played for pak in england, so he will not know the conditions in england and therefore, is criticising without any experience or knowledge of english conditions.

  24. #24
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    I dont think he played for pak in england, so he will not know the conditions in england and therefore, is criticising without any experience or knowledge of english conditions.
    He's settled in England and has been playing in England for the past 10 plus years......



  25. #25
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    I do have a problem with Mohammad Zahid, it's true.

    I look back at the promise of your youngsters in 1996, and I think that Zahid and Shahid Afridi wasted their careers and then Shoaib Akhtar followed and did the same.

    Zahid tried to get his body to support bowling at maximum speed all the time. And he basically destroyed it.

    Aamir needs a few tweaks from a top fast bowling coach. Nothing major. It's not like he's not trying - he's just about 5% off his best and being massively overbowled.

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by zoro View Post
    THIS!

    Plus england have chosen flat wickets rather than their normal good wickets to counter amir becos they know what he achieved in 2010 against them!
    For people who would argue that why englands bowlers are able to take wickets and amir isnt?
    Answer- broad and anderson have not been as effective as they usually are at home, either. Though, they have bowled a good line and length and been economical( alot of that is due to our poor batsman).
    Woakes has been doing the damage and without him england would be 2 -1 down in this series, instead of 2-1 up. So the pitches have not only affected amir but broad and anderson.
    Plus, pakistan has a weaker batting line up than england and a long tail. If amir was bowling at the pak batsman, then i would expect him to be as successful as woakes and if woakes was bowling at the england team, i would expect him to have the same limited success as amir.

    Next point, which i made earlier but my post was deleted for some reason, mo zahid talks about pak bowlers not reverse swinging the ball but doesnt say what they should do to get the ball reversing!
    As i recall zahid himself did not reverse swing the ball, but was a express bowler like mohammed sami.
    LOL. Be thankful that England prepared flatish pitches instead of green pitches.

    Otherwise, can you even imagine what Broad and Anderson would have done to your batsmen? Younis would be jumping at every ball.

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by greatone View Post
    LOL. Be thankful that England prepared flatish pitches instead of green pitches.

    Otherwise, can you even imagine what Broad and Anderson would have done to your batsmen? Younis would be jumping at every ball.
    Asif and amir outbowled broad and anderson in 2010!
    We even managed to win a test with a side full.of rookie batsman in 2010!
    Amir was the man of the series,officially!
    So, england feared amir before this series becos of what happened last time and becos englands batting is much weaker now then it was in 2010(cook, trott,kp,etc), thats why they have prepared flat pitches, for their own self preservation, not to help us!

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by greatone View Post
    LOL. Be thankful that England prepared flatish pitches instead of green pitches.

    Otherwise, can you even imagine what Broad and Anderson would have done to your batsmen? Younis would be jumping at every ball.
    Broad and andeson, just like amir have had limited success in this series i.e. not that many wickets but good economy.
    This is mainly due to the flat pitches.
    The guy whos benefitted from these flat pitches is woakes who has done all the damage to pak otherwise pak would be 2-0 ahead in this series instead of 2 -1 behind!

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by zoro View Post
    Broad and andeson, just like amir have had limited success in this series i.e. not that many wickets but good economy.
    This is mainly due to the flat pitches.

    The guy whos benefitted from these flat pitches is woakes who has done all the damage to pak otherwise pak would be 2-0 ahead in this series instead of 2 -1 behind!
    I'm NOT talking about this series.

  30. #30
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    Another big opportunity for Amir coming up but will the fielders help him?


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  31. #31
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    Six Six Six
    Can we just appreciate Amirs brilliant team batting here ?
    Fair play to amir blocked 20 odd balls to let YK get to 200 then once YK got it Amir got off the mark with a six!

  32. #32
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    Always been capable with the bat. Remember that epic stand with Ajmal?

  33. #33
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    Good batting by amir
    Last edited by Swing bowler; 13th August 2016 at 14:56.

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    Bowled well today without reward.

  35. #35
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    I've always thought Amir is a better batsman than his stats show. If he concentrates more on his batting he could become a decent bowling all-rounder.



  36. #36
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    Amir's bowling looks harmless and placid.

  37. #37
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    As I have said throughout the previous 6 none of the dirty corrupt 3 should play for Pakistan ever again. Anyway it's happened now. So have to get on with it. Am glad though all those lazy Pakistani fans who suddenly thought he was the next Wasim have been proved wrong.

    Amir has a lot of work to do. He was never a fantastic test bowler. He was a decent white ball bowler but I couldn't care less about pyjama cricket.

  38. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by Saj View Post
    So according to you because his career was cut short by injury, he is not allowed to comment.
    I always enjoy reading and listening to the considered views of Mohammad Zahid. Although I think what he says on Amir and Riaz could be a little harsh. I think it will take time for Amir to get back to the stage he was at. I think the fielding which has at times been shocking could also contribute. Amir has had catches dropped off him which otherwise caught and he could be an improved player. Pakistan definitely need specialist boling coach as they have one for batting.

  39. #39
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    looking really good today, and that in-dipper to take the wicket was amazing


    “High house shadow, and a knife in the dark. A new game's begun, or the old one's just turned.”

  40. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by Citizen4 View Post
    looking really good today, and that in-dipper to take the wicket was amazing
    another in-dipper to take the wicket, very good bowling


    “High house shadow, and a knife in the dark. A new game's begun, or the old one's just turned.”

  41. #41
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    Amir looking very menacing. Some superb deliveries.

  42. #42
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    Much more improved and looks to have his hunger back.


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

  43. #43
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    For a change , no catches were dropped off him.


    It is either a heartache or a headache ..Argh relationships.

  44. #44
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    He has always had his act together in bowling-friendly conditions, but the issue is his impotency on flat wickets. Today's performance doesn't change anything.

  45. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mamoon View Post
    He has always had his act together in bowling-friendly conditions, but the issue is his impotency on flat wickets. Today's performance doesn't change anything.
    Its not a road but still good pitch definetley not too bowler centric, in nzl he got better pitches to bowl then this this is easily his best spell in tests since return to early to say he has turned it around but its a good start.

  46. #46
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    Superb bowling in this match.

  47. #47
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    I hope he is back on his best.

  48. #48
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    When batsmen score a 150 on a batting friendly wicket with big bats and small boundaries.. Does anyone complaint?? Then why some people complaining about Amirs exploits of a seam and swing friendly wicket??
    He is does it because he is good at it..


    only fighters rise up from the dust..

  49. #49
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    If it's so easy to exploit the condition then why couldn't other bowlers like Wahab swing and seam like Amir did?

  50. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by Xoib View Post
    Its not a road but still good pitch definetley not too bowler centric, in nzl he got better pitches to bowl then this this is easily his best spell in tests since return to early to say he has turned it around but its a good start.
    Yes he has bowled very well, the finest I have seen him bowl in Test since his comeback, but he was expected to perform given the conditions. I am more interested how he fares on flat wickets and that is where he has been extremely poor.

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