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  1. #1
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    Talent Spotter : Saad Ali

    A comprehensive profile of a batsman from Karachi who has impressed in a series of List A matches over the past few years and is currently the top-scorer in Pakistan's premier first-class competition, the ongoing 2017/18 Quaid-e-Azam Trophy.




    Full name: Syed Saad Ali

    Date of Birth: October 5, 1993, Karachi, Sind

    Major teams: UBL, Karachi Whites, Pakistan Under-19s

    Batting style: Left-hand bat

    Bowling style: Right-arm medium


    Developing an interest in cricket

    I developed an interest in cricket due to my father, Syed Liaqat Ali, who was a cricket player himself. From a very young age I used to watch him play matches and that put the spark of cricket in me and is the reason why I am playing this game today. Unlike many others, a career in cricket was not frowned upon in my household and my father's love for cricket was a major factor in that attitude from my family.


    Playing Under-16 cricket for Karachi

    I received no special training to play hard-ball cricket. I was simply blessed with natural talent for which I am thankful to the Almighty. It was this talent which helped me get picked for PCB’s Mobilink Hunt for Heroes One-Day tournament in 2009 for Under-16s. I represented Karachi Under-16s and made 364 runs in 7 games and was 3rd highest run-scorer with Babar Azam at the number 2 position for run-getters. The tournament was my first proper introduction to hard-ball cricket at the age of 15. Before that, my only real connection with cricket had been the odd 12th man type assignment in matches that my father played in. I had also played zonal Under-15 so that also gave me some idea of what was expected at the top-level but the Under-16 level was my big step-up.


    The elevation to District and Regional Under-19 level

    I was invited to an Under-16 training camp at the NCA after this tournament and after I returned from that assignment, I was asked to play the last 3 games of the Inter-District Under-19 tournament as captain for 3 matches where I scored 271 runs. My career then took a turn for the positive as between September 2009 to Oct 2011 I represented Karachi Zone IV, Karachi Blues, Karachi Whites at the Under-19 level. Along the way, I scored 5 centuries with a highest score of 300* during the Inter-District Under-19 Tournament in May 2011.


    The experience of playing in the ICC Under-19 World Cup in 2012

    In June 2012, I was asked to play in the Asian Cricket Council Under-19 Asia Cup in Malaysia and then went to represent Pakistan in the ICC Under-19 World Cup which took place in August of the same year. Both these tournaments did not yield many runs for me but I did gain a lot of experience from playing in such high-profile tournaments. I was lucky to be part of a team which had some names who are now regulars in the current Pakistan team. Players like Babar Azam who was our Under-19 captain, followed by Sami Aslam, Imam-ul-Haq and Mohammad Nawaz had been my team-mates since the Under-16 days and we really enjoyed each other’s company during these tournaments.


    Moving on to First-Class Cricket

    My reputation at the Under-19 level due to some good scores resulted in my selection for the Karachi Whites regional team and I made my first-class debut in the Quaid-e-Azam Trophy in December 2012 where I scored 58 in the second innings. This was an amazing experience as I had some top cricket players in my team such as Fawad Alam, Sarfaraz Ahmed and our captain Mohammad Sami.

    Whilst I played 5 matches in my debut first-class season, I was still learning so could not get as many runs as I had hoped to score. But as my confidence grew in each season, the run-scoring abilities have grown as well. The ongoing season where I am now playing for UBL has seen me score 175 versus Lahore Whites and 232 against PTV which are examples of my capabilities.

    The shift to UBL was driven by my desire to experience a tougher form of cricket in a department team and I will say that I was not disappointed. The current UBL team has some top-class players who have been a pleasure to play with and I am always getting good advice from Sohaib Maqsood and Shan Masood which I am sure will help me improve as a batsman. The UBL players and management are very supportive and I believe their encouragement is making me perform better than ever.


    Preferred batting position and ability to score big

    I have always preferred to play in the middle-order and that is where I have scored most of my runs, but of course, I will bat at a position which suits my team so there is no real issue there. My father has always taught me to take my time and settle in which I really feel is the secret of my success so far. I know that there has been a lot of talk about the quality of pitches and so on during the current Quaid-e-Azam Trophy but all I am interested in is applying myself and scoring runs for my team. It is true that conditions can be tough for batsmen but this is where a player’s true abilities come into focus and sometimes hard graft is required to succeed. Thankfully, I feel that I have the patience and the ability to stay on the pitch and score big and I can only thank my father for instilling that quality in me.


    Future aspirations

    I am 24 years of age and time is moving on so I am quite keen to find a place in the national team. I was part of the camp held in Lahore for selection for the Pakistan One-Day squad which toured the West Indies earlier this year. I was observed and I feel that I was well liked by Pakistan coaching staff including Head Coach Mickey Arthur. I am also encouraged by the fact that one of the selectors, Tauseef Ahmed, has seen me in action during the current first-class season and I can only hope that I have done enough to impress him so that he can recommend me for selection later.

    I am obviously pleased that players from my batch like Babar Azam and Imam-ul-Haq are now part of the national squad but I suppose it is sometimes a matter of luck as I don’t believe I have done any worse in the domestic level than any of the others. Given my skills in all formats of the game, I feel that I can be a good pick for any of the PSL teams should they wish to select me. Whilst I am confident that I can play in all formats of the game, my preference is to play in the One-Day and Test formats. I understand that there are some sceptics who feel that players who play the shorter format of the game are unable to succeed in the longer form but as I have shown, that is not true and hopefully I can prove that by playing for Pakistan in the future.
    Last edited by Abdullah719; 30th October 2017 at 22:02.


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  2. #2
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    I saw him first time for Pakistan A in a televised match. Didn't look that fluent but found a way to score and ended up with 80 odd at a healthy strike rate. His stats in this season considering the pitches are very impressive.


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

  3. #3
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    he is the future.should be selected fr nz tour..

  4. #4
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    A very confident young man and part of the Babar Azam, Sami Aslam generation. Good to see him rise through the ranks but needs a way into Pakistan team


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  5. #5
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    Solid prospect. Hope he will represent Pakistan in future. Good luck

  6. #6
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    Very rare that a batsman leads both total run (685) and average (97.85) table - and this guy is doing that with a SR of 77 in a season average scores are like 170/10 at a RR of 2.7!!!!! Guy has scored at almost twice the pace of his team members, he has one 232 and 175 and a 90+ which was probably 60% of team his total.

    2nd guy in both table are 481 and 68.00 (from 1 innings). Highest average by batsman scoring over 250 runs is 60.00 and next 2 guys in total runs table (481 & 480), batted at SR of 43 & 47 respectively.

    Combined those stats, this guy is batting in this season's QeA, like a hybrid of Bradman and Viv ................. And, after 36 List A matches, his stats stands at 55.60/84.53; which has fallen down from 60/90 level because of one last tournament. And he is a lefti.

    Still, people are not sure if this guy should make the NZ trip or not? May be, they'll notice him after 2023 WC at 29!!!!!!!!!

  7. #7
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    Deserves a chance definitely.

  8. #8
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    Spoken to a few of his UBL team mates about him and they rate Saad very highly.

    Hard-working cricketer who seems to be improving.



  9. #9
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    Simply has to be picked.

  10. #10
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    Saw him play in the pakistan cup. He couldn't score against pace

  11. #11
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    Should be in the next PSL

  12. #12
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    As I have said in his thread, Saad has been exceptional in this yearís QeA. I donít just mean that in terms of the runs he has scored, but also the fact he has been very consistent in pretty much all the rounds.

    Also putting runs aside, last year his strike rate in the QeA was 48.39. This year, despite the terrible pitches, it is 77. That's a huge improvement and it's a sign of someone who is committed to improving their game.

    Back on topic, he makes some very interesting comments in this interview and he comes across pretty well. However, I have a few observations:

    I am always getting good advice from Sohaib Maqsood and Shan Masood which I am sure will help me improve as a batsman.
    He is joking right?

    I know that there has been a lot of talk about the quality of pitches and so on during the current Quaid-e-Azam Trophy but all I am interested in is applying myself and scoring runs for my team. It is true that conditions can be tough for batsmen but this is where a playerís true abilities come into focus and sometimes hard graft is required to succeed. Thankfully, I feel that I have the patience and the ability to stay on the pitch and score big and I can only thank my father for instilling that quality in me.
    He strikes me as someone who isnít the most naturally talented but is a true grafter and knows how to grind out an innings, like Cook. His YK-like work ethic will serve him well, just as long he is a genuine team man.

    I am obviously pleased that players from my batch like Babar Azam and Imam-ul-Haq are now part of the national squad but I suppose it is sometimes a matter of luck as I donít believe I have done any worse in the domestic level than any of the others.
    It was all going so well until this last paragraph. Some pretty disappointing comments to be honest. Why has he skipped over his failure in the One Day Cup? His average was poor, and so too was his S/R. I wish PP had asked him why he thinks he struggled in the One Day Cup, and given his much improved performance in the QeA, what changes, if any, he had made to his game? Would have been really interesting to hear from him about this.

    I understand that there are some sceptics who feel that players who play the shorter format of the game are unable to succeed in the longer form but as I have shown, that is not true and hopefully I can prove that by playing for Pakistan in the future.
    This comment surprised me. He seems to have his formats reversed. At the moment, he looks more like a longer format player. As I have said before, his poor performance In the recent One Day Cup could just be an anomaly but I donít like how he has just brushed over it. He should definitely be in consideration for tests, but I would hold him off from LOIs for now.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by mak36 View Post
    As I have said in his thread, Saad has been exceptional in this year’s QeA. I don’t just mean that in terms of the runs he has scored, but also the fact he has been very consistent in pretty much all the rounds.

    Also putting runs aside, last year his strike rate in the QeA was 48.39. This year, despite the terrible pitches, it is 77. That's a huge improvement and it's a sign of someone who is committed to improving their game.

    Back on topic, he makes some very interesting comments in this interview and he comes across pretty well. However, I have a few observations:



    He is joking right?



    He strikes me as someone who isn’t the most naturally talented but is a true grafter and knows how to grind out an innings, like Cook. His YK-like work ethic will serve him well, just as long he is a genuine team man.



    It was all going so well until this last paragraph. Some pretty disappointing comments to be honest. Why has he skipped over his failure in the One Day Cup? His average was poor, and so too was his S/R. I wish PP had asked him why he thinks he struggled in the One Day Cup, and given his much improved performance in the QeA, what changes, if any, he had made to his game? Would have been really interesting to hear from him about this.



    This comment surprised me. He seems to have his formats reversed. At the moment, he looks more like a longer format player. As I have said before, his poor performance In the recent One Day Cup could just be an anomaly but I don’t like how he has just brushed over it. He should definitely be in consideration for tests, but I would hold him off from LOIs for now.
    Saad Ali averages 55 at 84 in List-A (used to be higher). During the same period, Babar had an SR of <80 at an average of 50. If Babar turned out OK, I believe Saad has a high chance of doing that too.

    It is only in the current FC season that he has found exceptional form. Previously, his FC avg was hovering in the low 40s (better than the best of Umar Amin, but not exceptional by any means), whereas his List-A average was 60+. After Haris Sohail, Saad Ali is the batsman that I am looking forward to debuting in both formats (Babar was lower down in my list).


    In merit vs potential, potential usually causes the greatest heartbreak

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by asfandyar View Post
    Saad Ali averages 55 at 84 in List-A (used to be higher). During the same period, Babar had an SR of <80 at an average of 50. If Babar turned out OK, I believe Saad has a high chance of doing that too.

    It is only in the current FC season that he has found exceptional form. Previously, his FC avg was hovering in the low 40s (better than the best of Umar Amin, but not exceptional by any means), whereas his List-A average was 60+. After Haris Sohail, Saad Ali is the batsman that I am looking forward to debuting in both formats (Babar was lower down in my list).
    The reason I expressed surprise at his comment regarding formats, is given his recent performances in List A and FC it is the former where he has struggled not the latter. I know about his List A average but I am referring to the most recent evidence. There is a reason his List A average/SR has dropped. That's why I wanted to hear about why he thinks he struggled in that tournament.

    Contrast that with FC. He has been pretty consistent in his FC career but I agree this is definitely his break out year, both in terms of runs as well as S/R.

    His FC career is on an upwards trajectory, whereas his List A performances seem to have declined. Don't forget the most recent Pakistan Cup was played on pretty true pitches and most the times he came in a solid platform had been set by Fakhar and Farhan, and yet he was unable to capitalise on that. For this reason, he should definitely be in consideration for tests but I am not sure he fits the needs of the ODI team. Right now, the ODI team needs some clean strikers and given it has taken him 32 List A innings to hit 10 sixes he doesn't fit that requirement.

    ps. Good thing the selectors trusted their eye and selected Babar first, given he has gone on to become the rock of Pakistan's ODI batting.

  15. #15
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    Good to see some good talent coming out of Karachi after years of mediocrity like Khurram Manzoor and Faisal Iqbal


    #Mein inko rolaonga

  16. #16
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    Side note, Saad Ali is also from Babar Azam's batch of u19. The other members of that batch have been Sami Aslam, Imam Ul Haq and Muhammad Nawaz. I think this has been the most fruitful u19 batch to date. The previous batch of Shehzad/U.Akmal/Imad was a complete fail and the one before that (Sarfaraz/Jamshed/Anwar...) has only one remaining member.


    #Mein inko rolaonga

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Syed1 View Post
    Side note, Saad Ali is also from Babar Azam's batch of u19. The other members of that batch have been Sami Aslam, Imam Ul Haq and Muhammad Nawaz. I think this has been the most fruitful u19 batch to date. The previous batch of Shehzad/U.Akmal/Imad was a complete fail and the one before that (Sarfaraz/Jamshed/Anwar...) has only one remaining member.
    Shehzad/Akmal/Imad batch had Junaid, Amir and Umar Amin too. Also Usman Salahuddin and Shan masood.


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

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by SarfiBabarHaris View Post
    Shehzad/Akmal/Imad batch had Junaid, Amir and Umar Amin too. Also Usman Salahuddin and Shan masood.
    So only Amir has truly established himself. The rest are hit or miss.


    Strongly feel that players who come through age group cricket have the highest chance of succeeding.


    #Mein inko rolaonga

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Syed1 View Post
    Good to see some good talent coming out of Karachi after years of mediocrity like Khurram Manzoor and Faisal Iqbal
    Saud Shakeel is another talented batsman from Khi. After Haris my favorite lefthander batsman in Pakistan. Its a matter of time before he plays for Pak.


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

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by mak36 View Post
    As I have said in his thread, Saad has been exceptional in this year’s QeA. I don’t just mean that in terms of the runs he has scored, but also the fact he has been very consistent in pretty much all the rounds.

    Also putting runs aside, last year his strike rate in the QeA was 48.39. This year, despite the terrible pitches, it is 77. That's a huge improvement and it's a sign of someone who is committed to improving their game.

    Back on topic, he makes some very interesting comments in this interview and he comes across pretty well. However, I have a few observations:



    He is joking right?



    He strikes me as someone who isn’t the most naturally talented but is a true grafter and knows how to grind out an innings, like Cook. His YK-like work ethic will serve him well, just as long he is a genuine team man.



    It was all going so well until this last paragraph. Some pretty disappointing comments to be honest. Why has he skipped over his failure in the One Day Cup? His average was poor, and so too was his S/R. I wish PP had asked him why he thinks he struggled in the One Day Cup, and given his much improved performance in the QeA, what changes, if any, he had made to his game? Would have been really interesting to hear from him about this.



    This comment surprised me. He seems to have his formats reversed. At the moment, he looks more like a longer format player. As I have said before, his poor performance In the recent One Day Cup could just be an anomaly but I don’t like how he has just brushed over it. He should definitely be in consideration for tests, but I would hold him off from LOIs for now.
    You are acting as if the One Day Cup was the end all be all of all tournaments. Sure he had one bad tournament, but despite that he averages 50+ in List A cricket.


    #Mein inko rolaonga

  21. #21
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    His stats are good. He deserves a chance in international cricket. Don't know how we fit him in LO but he deserves a chance. An average of 50 is nothing to sniff at.

  22. #22
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    We are a bit late at talent spotter for him. He has proven himself at domestic circuit now. Consistent hundreds and a double ton sandwiched between them tells you all about this prospect.


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

  23. #23
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    Incredible stats

    Find of this year's Quaid e Azam trophy, there is a staggering 300+ runs difference between him and 2nd best run scorer [Abid Ali, Islamabad] in Quaid e Azam trophy.

    He played 2 of the most amazing innings in this tournament [175 v LAhore Whites] and [232 v PTV with a SR of 90],there is no video footage available of any of his innings. Umar Akmal who averaged 15 before his 100 in Quaid e Azam , his only good innings was immediately put online. Some internal politics going on. Video footage is extremely in today's age and time to register performances and create support for a player.

    There is Sohail Akhtar[FATA] a good hitter of the ball and scores quickly. Yet no footage available.
    Last edited by hadi123; 5th November 2017 at 12:41.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by SarfiBabarHaris View Post
    Shehzad/Akmal/Imad batch had Junaid, Amir and Umar Amin too. Also Usman Salahuddin and Shan masood.
    Always saw that batch as the golden generation of Pak and they all debuted but only a few of them could become permanent members which is really sad.


    "You aren't a failure if you fail, you are a failure if you don't get up to try again" - Imran Khan.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Syed1 View Post
    You are acting as if the One Day Cup was the end all be all of all tournaments. Sure he had one bad tournament, but despite that he averages 50+ in List A cricket.
    Syed bhai I appreciate he is your namesake, maybe that is why you are defending him with such vigour?

    More seriously, I think I have been pretty fair in my comments. I was criticised by posters when I mentioned how well he was doing in the earlier rounds of the QeA, and now I am criticised when I suggest his selection should be limited to the test squad for now. I must be doing something right!

    Two things:

    1. You are the self-declared leader of the stats brigade. Surely then you accept his most recent performance in the shorter format (namely the One Day Cup) should be given the most weight when it comes to the question of whether he should be selected for the LOI team right now?

    2. You are the first to complain about the lack of clean strikers in the LOI team. Given it has taken him 32 List A innings to hit 10 sixes he doesn't seem to fit the bill. There are already too many accumulators in the team as it is, can Pakistan really afford another one?

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by SarfiBabarHaris View Post
    Saud Shakeel is another talented batsman from Khi. After Haris my favorite lefthander batsman in Pakistan. Its a matter of time before he plays for Pak.
    Saud and Haris batting together in tests really would be a wondrous thing!

  27. #27
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    So is it confirmed that the highest scorer, Saad Ali, in the last QEA tournament would not be participating in the National T20 Cup?

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by BakuGM View Post
    So is it confirmed that the highest scorer, Saad Ali, in the last QEA tournament would not be participating in the National T20 Cup?
    not in the squad.


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  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by MenInG View Post
    not in the squad.
    I stand corrected!

    He is playing for Islamabad


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  30. #30
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    A bit stiff on the feet but has a variety of shots in his bag, looking impressive up till now.

  31. #31
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    Picked by QG in the draft.


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  32. #32
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    Happy to see Saad Ali get picked for Quetta Gladiators in PSL.
    Thanks to Sarfraz and the rest of QG team for supporting domestic performers
    Well-deserved.

  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by pkwdpassion View Post
    Happy to see Saad Ali get picked for Quetta Gladiators in PSL.
    Thanks to Sarfraz and the rest of QG team for supporting domestic performers
    Well-deserved.
    he needs to have a good NATIONAL t20 to come into QG playing eleven.

  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by Abdullah719 View Post
    Picked by QG in the draft.
    Wrong format.

    Having watched his innings today, he looks to have a limited range of shots which is okay in tests but not in LOs. Also he is very static early on.

  35. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by Azeem Zafar View Post
    A bit stiff on the feet but has a variety of shots in his bag, looking impressive up till now.
    Quote Originally Posted by mak36 View Post
    Wrong format.

    Having watched his innings today, he looks to have a limited range of shots which is okay in tests but not in LOs. Also he is very static early on.
    Beauty in the eyes of the beholder!


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  36. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by MenInG View Post
    Beauty in the eyes of the beholder!
    I have been banging the drum for his test selection but Pakistan risk selecting yet another player in the wrong format and then leaving him in the wilderness.

    Just watch, if he has a poor PSL so many posters will say he shouldn't be considered for tests. I am trying to avoid that. There were plenty of other players who are better suited to PSL.

  37. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by mak36 View Post
    I have been banging the drum for his test selection but Pakistan risk selecting yet another player in the wrong format and then leaving him in the wilderness.

    Just watch, if he has a poor PSL so many posters will say he shouldn't be considered for tests. I am trying to avoid that. There were plenty of other players who are better suited to PSL.
    And khudankhwasta, he has a good PSL? Then what do we do with him?


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  38. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by MenInG View Post
    And khudankhwasta, he has a good PSL? Then what do we do with him?
    I appreciate you are being facetious but I will entertain it.

    The operative word in my post was "if." That is to say, if he has a poor PSL many posters and maybe even coaches will write him off for tests and he may well end up harming his career progress.

    To be clear, I disagree with that type of thinking. Irrespective of whether he fails/succeeds in the PSL, T20s and FC cricket are two completely different formats. However, it is a reality of life that players are lazily judged across all three formats based on their performance in one format. Just look at England...

    But that doesn't detract from my wider point, which is that I don't think players should play formats not suited to their style. In my view, Saad is not a natural LOs player, and certainly not one who fits the current needs of the national team (he is another accumulator). You are more than welcome to disagree with me on that, and if I am proven to be wrong then I have enough humility to admit that (unlike some notable posters).

    As for his range of shots, he is better against spin than he is pace but still limited. I don't say that as a criticism but rather an observation. If anything it's a good thing for the longer format (think of Cook for example) but not for the shorter format.

    You should recognise that everyone I am saying about Saad is said with his bests interests at heart. I have been following his performance for a while now and was keeping a close eye on his performances in this year's QeA (check his thread). But I don't blindly support players- I will mention their weaknesses as well as their strengths.

    I trust that answers your question.

  39. #39
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    Short video of his batting.



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  40. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by Abdullah719 View Post
    Short video of his batting.

    Looks like a left handed Saad Nasim

  41. #41
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    52 for Saad Ali in Islamabad's last ball victory against Faisalabad today


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  42. #42
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    Video of complete knock today.



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    I don't see anything 'special' from him. Don't get me wrong, looks like he is a decent player, but we need goodplayers. He also reminds me of Fawad Alam as in he doesn't have too many boundary shots in his arsenal currently. If I was a selector I would give Umar Amin or Hussain Talat the job after Hafeez/Shoaib. As personally the ceiling with Hussain Talat seems to be more higher, and to an extent Umar Amin ceiling is higher than Saad Ali at the moment. IMHO Hussain Talat > Umar Amin > Saad Ali.


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  45. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lupe View Post
    I don't see anything 'special' from him. Don't get me wrong, looks like he is a decent player, but we need goodplayers. He also reminds me of Fawad Alam as in he doesn't have too many boundary shots in his arsenal currently. If I was a selector I would give Umar Amin or Hussain Talat the job after Hafeez/Shoaib. As personally the ceiling with Hussain Talat seems to be more higher, and to an extent Umar Amin ceiling is higher than Saad Ali at the moment. IMHO Hussain Talat > Umar Amin > Saad Ali.
    Looks like a proper batsmen than simply a slogger. And he has completely dominated in FC and List A so at the very least, he deserves a look in those formats.

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