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  1. #1
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    Sarfaraz Ahmed's decline as a batsman

    Tests
    Year Mat Inns NO 100s 50s 0s HS Runs Avg S/R
    2014 9 16 5 3 4 0 112 743 67.55 73.71
    2015 8 13 4 0 3 0 96 464 51.56 80.84
    2016 11 19 2 0 3 1 59* 562 33.06 70.34
    2017 6 11 1 0 4 0 72* 350 35.00 67.96
    2018 1 1 0 0 0 0 20 20 20.00 50.00

    End of 2015/beginning of 2016 I remember when he was averaging 50 in tests. I appreciate that was always going to be unrealistic to maintain as a full time wicket keeper and as a number 7, sometimes having to bat with the tail. But now it has dipped under 40 for the first time in 4 years. This was when he was recalled and asked to replace Adnan Akmal.

    Furthermore he has failed to score a ton since 2014 when he was going through a purple patch in his first year of his recall, scoring 3 in total out of the 9 tests he played in that year. All of them came in Asia (2 in UAE and 1 in SL) but since then he has had enough opportunities in and away from Asia to be converting at least just a few of his half centuries to tons, so I don't believe with the notion that he struggles outside the subcontinent.

    All those tons came in his first year following his recall so I think it could it be a matter of complacency and/or lack of work ethic in training like the more I see him year on year, the more out of shape he looks. After the CT win it seems to me he has become very lazy with his approach to fitness, diet and work ethic routines.

    Or is it just a case with the workload and responsibilities with keeping and now captaincy in all 3 formats taken its toll? I appreciate he was never going to be a keeper in the mould of a Wasim Bari with the gloves but I have also observed his wicket keeping is also actually regressing and looks a lot less agile. Around 2-3 years ago his wicket keeping was relatively decent compared to someone like Kamran for e.g. in the 2015 WC when he took 6 catches in the win against South Africa.

    ODIs
    Year Mat Inns NO 100s 50s 0s HS Runs Avg S/R
    2014 8 8 1 0 1 0 65 254 36.29 100.40
    2015 22 18 2 1 2 0 101* 551 34.44 86.50
    2016 11 11 2 1 3 0 105 492 54.67 92.83
    2017 13 7 3 0 1 0 61* 152 38.00 85.88
    2018 5 5 1 0 1 0 51 79 19.75 71.17

    The other concern I hold with him is his role as a batsmen in ODIs where I feel it is now undefined because he has become laid back with his responsibility, because he now hides down the order even though he never had any real hitting ability. He's always been well suited at number 4/5 as evident from a statistic recorded at some point beginning of last year or end of 2016 where along with AB de Villiers, Sarfraz and him had the lowest dot ball %. It may only be 5 matches but the strike rate of 71 in the ODIs played this year suggest to me how his fitness is affecting his batting and therefore his ability to rotate strike like he used too with ease.

    I am by no means suggesting, hinting or implying that Sarfraz should be dropped, or relived from his captaincy and/or keeping responsibilities since I don't see any other viable options to reduce his workload whether it be with gloves or as captain in the short term. He is very much needed in LOIs as skipper because is doing a good job in contrast to Misbah's preference for seniors as well as his passive and defensive brand of cricket.

    But one should ask how long does he have left in the tank for tests? In the longer term who could be the ideal player to replace him in the format? What could be attributed to loss of form with the bat? Is it just a loss of form or is it a decline in progress?
    Last edited by UN talkz; 15th May 2018 at 17:14.

  2. #2
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    I think he has gotten complacent. He has always performed better whenever his position is challenged. His current performance is completely unacceptable. He has regressed from the best test wicket keeper batsman to the worst within one year.

  3. #3
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    Genuine concerns, his batting has declined.

    Specifically for tests I think he needs to change his batting style. No need to hit every ball and go for a SR of 75 rather he should adapt style of middle order batsmen and go for a SR of 60.

    In odis I think he will do fine at number 4 or 5.

    T20s wont be required that much but if required come when the spinners are on.


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

  4. #4
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    I think like @MMHS said he should come in at about 5 in this tour so he doesn’t face the 2nd new ball.

  5. #5
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    Genuine concerns... he has deteriorated at a rate of knots in both his attributes as player and keeper. Hes having a shocker tour until now

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by ArsenalFC View Post
    In the longer term who could be the ideal player to replace him in the format?
    Umair Masood should be groomed as our next wicketkeeper batsman for tests and odis.
    Not a fan of Mohammad Hassan etc.


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

  7. #7
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    It’s not as if he fails because he cannot handle spin or swing.

    It’s always due to playing a rash shot.

    His problem is temperament not technique.

    He needs to either be dropped from the Test team all together and stick to LOI’s (where he is an inspirational leader and superb strike-rotator at 4 where he has been coming in as of late) OR start taking responsibility with the bat and change his approach to captaincy.

    Option 1 is where everyone wins.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by babajee View Post
    I think like @MMHS said he should come in at about 5 in this tour so he doesn’t face the 2nd new ball.
    Bro, he came at around 40 overs both time, and this Irish attack is the weakest he can get after 25-30 overs - still failed both times!!! Haven't seen his 2nd innings, but do you think his 1st innings dismissal suits a Captain batting at 6 and team under serious trouble?

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by MMHS View Post
    Bro, he came at around 40 overs both time, and this Irish attack is the weakest he can get after 25-30 overs - still failed both times!!! Haven't seen his 2nd innings, but do you think his 1st innings dismissal suits a Captain batting at 6 and team under serious trouble?
    Hopefully he steps up. That’s all we can wish for

  10. #10
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    6 is too high a position for him.

  11. #11
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    An average batsmen let's be honest apart from 1 purple patch. He should bat at 7 and we should hope for the best.

  12. #12
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    The way he is batting these days, even no 7 is too high for him.

  13. #13
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    At this rate, he should be batting after Fahim.

  14. #14
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    A lot of added responsibility as a captain, especially since the team has so many young players. Once they settle down, his performances should improve.


    A skilled hawk conceals its talons.

  15. #15
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    Oh wow one failure and the knives are out? He just scored 68 in the last match vs SL.

  16. #16
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    To be honest, I’d have had Steve Rixon working like crazy on Rizwan’s keeping for the last two years.

    I prefer a model of:

    6. Batsman-keeper
    7. All-rounder
    8. All-rounder
    9. Bowler who can average 20 with the bat (Johnson/Broad/Philander)
    10 & 11. Specialist bowlers

    I’m not convinced Sarfraz is good enough to bat at 6. But Rizwan is.

  17. #17
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    He is an Absolute Dead Weight in the Team !!!!!!

  18. #18
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    Sarfraz may not score many runs but his batting is always a breath of fresh air in a stuffy room. This was evident in the first innings against Ireland. He came in, the scoring rate went from 2/over to over 5 an over for a significant period and the momentum shifted until he got out.

  19. #19
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    Once he got out of dead UAE tracks we all saw what kind of batsman he was.

    Has always looked like a 30 average batsman.


    Babar Azam: Runs 8032, Average 44, Top Score: 204, Fav fan: CricFan2012

  20. #20
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    There has been a decline no doubt but most of you are too cynical - give him a chance and inshallah he will come good.

    The worrying thing is batting him at 6 when he's in poor form. If we pick Faheem, we have no choice I guess.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Junaids View Post
    To be honest, I’d have had Steve Rixon working like crazy on Rizwan’s keeping for the last two years.

    I prefer a model of:

    6. Batsman-keeper
    7. All-rounder
    8. All-rounder
    9. Bowler who can average 20 with the bat (Johnson/Broad/Philander)
    10 & 11. Specialist bowlers

    I’m not convinced Sarfraz is good enough to bat at 6. But Rizwan is.
    Did you see Rizwan bat against Australia? He was awful.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by angrypathan View Post
    Did you see Rizwan bat against Australia? He was awful.
    He was decent against pace but hopeless against spin.

    Sad because he is a smoove operator with the gloves.

  23. #23
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    I see two major issues with him.

    - His test game revolves around aggressive carefree counterattacking batting and during most of Misbah's captaincy he had a very well defined role of coming in at 7 and counterattacking. Since assuming captaincy he hasn't been able to define his batting role in the team. As a result his performances have declined and the burden of added responsibilities as captain and his nervous disposition have exacerbated the problem.
    - More alarmingly,his fitness has declined rapidly during recent times and it seems it is continuing to worsen. For a wicketkeeper and a captain that is unacceptable and has a direct impact on his game.

  24. #24
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    Forget his batting he needs to stop mucking up in his primary discipline first! Drop catches for a keeper at this level is UNACCEPTABLE! Are we breeding another Kami??

  25. #25
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    I always took him as mid-high 30 avg keeper batsmen which is pretty fine in my opinion , going through a rough patch atm not a big deal.

  26. #26
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    Okay, so here is the question - what are the other wicket keeping options in Pakistan?

    Maybe, the lack of competition has also made him complacent.


    If winning isn't everything, why do they keep score?
    Vince Lombardi

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by amvbfm View Post
    I see two major issues with him.

    - His test game revolves around aggressive carefree counterattacking batting and during most of Misbah's captaincy he had a very well defined role of coming in at 7 and counterattacking. Since assuming captaincy he hasn't been able to define his batting role in the team. As a result his performances have declined and the burden of added responsibilities as captain and his nervous disposition have exacerbated the problem.
    - More alarmingly,his fitness has declined rapidly during recent times and it seems it is continuing to worsen. For a wicketkeeper and a captain that is unacceptable and has a direct impact on his game.
    Valid point. The failure of Asad Shafiq and Azhar Ali to step up has many repercussions. I think a in-form top order will also allow his game to flourish.


    If winning isn't everything, why do they keep score?
    Vince Lombardi

  28. #28
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    He looks flabby and soft compared to his early career, it always concerns me when professional athletes start looking like they aren't maintaining any fitness level. Maybe that's unfair and he has a very strict fitness regime, but from appearance sake it's not evident.


    I for one welcome our new In____ overlords - Kent Brockman

  29. #29
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    One thing we can all agree on is that in tests his keeping and his batting these days are not only well short of his best capabilities but also in respect of test standards of today and his place in the side surely isn't sustainable for much longer if he is unable to turn round Pakistan's downward spiral in tests.

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by Junaids View Post
    To be honest, I’d have had Steve Rixon working like crazy on Rizwan’s keeping for the last two years.

    I prefer a model of:

    6. Batsman-keeper
    7. All-rounder
    8. All-rounder
    9. Bowler who can average 20 with the bat (Johnson/Broad/Philander)
    10 & 11. Specialist bowlers

    I’m not convinced Sarfraz is good enough to bat at 6. But Rizwan is.
    Not until Rizwan can learn to handle spin because concerning this type of bowling he's just as bad as someone like Khawaja . However if Pakistan cannot produce any other young wicket keeper batsmen then it is just a matter of time when he will be Sarfraz's successor. I fear this may come sooner rather than later with how the skipper is going at this rate with bat and gloves!

  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by SarfiBabarHaris View Post
    Umair Masood should be groomed as our next wicketkeeper batsman for tests and odis.
    Not a fan of Mohammad Hassan etc.
    Thanks I'll keep track of these guys.

  32. #32
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    I think we all knew that he would end up average mid thirties once he played enough tests. And that is not the worst thing in the world if he's playing number 6; Dhoni averaged 39-40 for most of his career at that position which isn't bad at all.

    The problem is that he has more responsibility in our team as a senior batsman, and is practically useless against the 2nd new ball.

  33. #33
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    Biggest problem with Sarfraz is that, he is arguably the worst WK in current Test circuit, including Afghan's Shehzad and he is declining fast by day, with pathetic fitness. Otherwise, he is a good chap, decent bat and has command on his team - not a bad choice for WK-Captain. If he could keep like Bari, he could have been acceptable as Captain with even Bari like batting stats (average ~15). Even now, may be he should come after Shadab & Fahim, in batting order.

    I think, in recent time, he has started to stand too far for a particular wicket, for which lots of catches don't reach him (& slip, whose positions are determined by WK's position); hence lots of edges don't reach WK/Slip cordon and thick edges fly wide of WK, hence the drop % is lower, but Sarfraz's keeping is the real concern.

  34. #34
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    It was a little funny at first considering his over aggressive fans but we need a solution really fast now because it’s costing us a good batsman and a good wicket keeper.

  35. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cpt. Rishwat View Post
    Maybe that's unfair and he has a very strict fitness regime, but from appearance sake it's not evident.
    Nope. He's openly admitted that he gives zero craps about his diet.


    Approach me like you're hard, Imma bank you.

  36. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by Abdul View Post
    Nope. He's openly admitted that he gives zero craps about his diet.
    Look at that beer belly, simply not acceptable for any modern day cricketer and especially for a captain who is also the wicket-keeper - if a captain is not concerned about his fitness & is taking his position for granted, what message gets passed on to the rest of the team? I wonder whether he has cleared the Yo-yo test recently!! Good captain or not, if he can't justify his own selection as a player, he shouldn't be in the team.

  37. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by MMHS View Post
    Biggest problem with Sarfraz is that, he is arguably the worst WK in current Test circuit, including Afghan's Shehzad and he is declining fast by day, with pathetic fitness. Otherwise, he is a good chap, decent bat and has command on his team - not a bad choice for WK-Captain. If he could keep like Bari, he could have been acceptable as Captain with even Bari like batting stats (average ~15). Even now, may be he should come after Shadab & Fahim, in batting order.

    I think, in recent time, he has started to stand too far for a particular wicket, for which lots of catches don't reach him (& slip, whose positions are determined by WK's position); hence lots of edges don't reach WK/Slip cordon and thick edges fly wide of WK, hence the drop % is lower, but Sarfraz's keeping is the real concern.
    I noticed that right after Lords test 2016 when catches were dropped in slip.

    Its the position that keep takes that determines where first and then 2nd and third slip is going to stand. Amir alone has suffered immesnly from not just drop chances by Sarfraz but also but several men in the slips.

    Its been two years since then and his keeping, confidence in his keeping has only gotten worse and worse.

  38. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by SarfiBabarHaris View Post
    Umair Masood should be groomed as our next wicketkeeper batsman for tests and odis.
    Not a fan of Mohammad Hassan etc.
    I was really hoping some PSL team would give him a chance or two out in the middle as his U19WC success was right before first PSL but Its been 3 years and his time has not arrived.

    Compared that to another U19 WC keeper in Feb 2006 whose name was being hyped in media even before that year(2006) ended and before end of following year (2007) he had his international debut.

    I guess it helps a lot when you are from place where many formar cricketers take it as their duty to not only promote the guy from their region but also keep absolutel quite when you are absolute garbage of a keeper and have been extremly unfit for years.

  39. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by Abdul View Post
    Nope. He's openly admitted that he gives zero craps about his diet.
    His diet is one aspect, physical exercise is another. By look of him he doesn't take either seriously. I'm surprised Mickey Arthur is okay with it.


    I for one welcome our new In____ overlords - Kent Brockman

  40. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bouncer View Post
    I noticed that right after Lords test 2016 when catches were dropped in slip.

    Its the position that keep takes that determines where first and then 2nd and third slip is going to stand. Amir alone has suffered immesnly from not just drop chances by Sarfraz but also but several men in the slips.

    Its been two years since then and his keeping, confidence in his keeping has only gotten worse and worse.
    He wasn't that bad a keeper few years back. In 2010, he actually debuted at Hobart replacing Kamran. But, since becoming regular player, he has become complacent, and now as Captain absolutely reckless in this regard, just don't bother, as if it's his privilege, which is unprofessional to the highest order. Besides, age isn't helping his cause either - more or less, top WKs from AUS, ENG, NZ, SAF had retired by 35-36, at most 38 .... and these were not Asian ages.

    For a team like PAK, which depends probably 80% on bowlers to win a Test (any game), it's absurd & injustice that those bowlers should bowl to a Keeper, they can't trust.

  41. #41
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    Recent Test scores against some pretty weak bowling attacks:

    20, 8, 14, 68, 18, 19, 51, 4, 9 and 23.



  42. #42
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    So since September last year, across all formats he has 2 fifties in 21 innings, with fifteen scores of 20 or less.



  43. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by Saj View Post
    So since September last year, across all formats he has 2 fifties in 21 innings, with fifteen scores of 20 or less.
    If Pakistan get whitewashed here then his batting will be under further scrutiny particularly with the way he's captained the test side so far.

  44. #44
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    Needs to bat at #7.


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

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