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  1. #1
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    Apr 2013
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    Karachi
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    "My passion to represent Pakistan has only grown and become stronger" : Wahab Riaz

    It was the memorable quarter-final against Australia in the 2015 World Cup where Wahab Riaz’s ability to bowl fast and with aggression truly came to the fore in the eyes of cricket fans around the world. His iconic bowling spell in that game, which Australia eventually won by 6 wickets, to a somewhat bewildered Shane Watson made Wahab an instant hero in the eyes of his countrymen but paradoxically placed a tough burden on the pacer for the rest of his career. It was perhaps this pressure that seemed to take a toll on him resulting in some insipid performances, which has probably lead to him being sidelined from the national side.

    Wahab recently ended a 12 match stint with Derbyshire in the ongoing Vitality T20 Blast where he took 15 wickets and scored 152 runs and is now participating in the Caribbean Premier League where he is representing Barbados Tridents. A sought-after player for T20 leagues around the world, Wahab Riaz preferred to play in England ahead of any other location and explained the reasons for his decision.




    “When I was reviewing the offer from Derbyshire, I also had an offer from the Global T20 in Canada and had to choose between both competitions. I chose Derbyshire because it was a longer stint and most importantly it would also allow me to familiarise myself once again with English conditions. The objective I set for myself during my stint with Derbyshire was to deliver for the team and play my part in winning every single game that I played for them. I feel that I made good progress during my time with Derbyshire.”

    Wahab last played Test cricket for Pakistan in October 2017 and has not featured in any Limited-Overs game for his country since June 2017 which to his critics seems to indicate a lack of consistency in his bowling. This is a charge that the fast-bowler was quick to deny as he explained, “The critics are doing what they do best and painting their version of the picture. But the reality is different especially if one considers my performances in the past 12 months where I have played a Test against Sri Lanka in UAE, PSL and put in some excellent performances during my stint with Derbyshire. Instead of worrying about critics, I am focusing on reducing any extra runs off my bowling, my bowling in death overs, contributing with the bat and most importantly my fitness which is now a requirement for playing in any format of cricket.”

    Pakistan’s recent success in Limited-Overs formats including their win in the Champions Trophy have largely been attributed to the single-minded determination of their Head Coach Mickey Arthur. Whilst Arthur has been very positive in his comments about the Pakistan side, eyebrows were raised when he appeared to question Wahab Riaz’s work ethic. The Pakistan bowler was quick to dispel such notions as he remarked, “I’m not sure if he was actually questioning my work ethic. In my opinion, he was merely providing feedback on areas of my game that he feels I can improve on. It is no secret that Mickey has been very firm about having a high-level fitness target for all the boys and I sat down with him before coming over to England. We had a long chat about my fitness and training regime and Mickey provided his feedback on areas I can improve on. Yes, I might have been a bit relaxed about my diet a few days of the week, but I’m still able to maintain good fitness for my game and have never failed a fitness test. But, Mickey felt that I could do better, and I agree with his opinion because as a fast bowler, especially in Test cricket, you cannot survive if you are not 100% fit.”

    Wahab Riaz also disagreed with Pakistan Head Coach’s remarks about the fact that he had not won a game for Pakistan in years and re-affirmed his commitment to his goal to do the best he can for his country.

    “I know that I have bent my back for my country and gave the best I could, but even I’m not satisfied with some of my performances and I feel I should have done better. As a cricketer you are bound to have good and bad patches, and I won't let any low points affect my career as there is nothing more I want to do in life than winning games for my country and my people. Sometimes, even when I bowl well, my team does not win. Look at my Shane Watson spell in the 2015 World Cup Quarter-Final where Australia won, or my bowling spell in the last Test match against Sri Lanka where we were not successful even when I got an important breakthrough.”

    The next big ICC tournament is the 2019 World Cup and understandably, all 10 participants in this mega event are busy making preparations to build the right team combinations to give themselves the best chance of success. For Wahab Riaz, participation in the World Cup would be a great honour but he understands that the road to establishing a place in the Pakistan team ahead of this tournament is a tough one as he explained, “It’s never easy to try and find a permanent place in a strong team like Pakistan which is doing so well at the moment. This is especially true when you are talking about Pakistan’s very effective bowling line-up but I know that I made my debut for Pakistan when our bowling was very strong and it happened due to my hard work. I was able to convince the selection committee then and I believe I can do it again. At the moment, being selected for the 2019 World Cup for Pakistan and performing well is my main, and only, priority at this time. There is also the 2020 World T20 on the horizon but I am firmly focused on playing in the 2019 World Cup at the moment.”

    It is natural that Wahab Riaz would have been disappointed at not being picked in the recent series against Zimbabwe, but it was clear from his remarks that regardless of setbacks, playing for Pakistan still remains foremost in his mind.

    “It is my only desire as a professional cricketer and as a Pakistani to continue playing for my country. Playing for your country gives one great satisfaction. Moreover, being selected to play for a strong team like Pakistan means that you have to be one of the best fast-bowlers in the world, so it’s a matter of honour and pride to see your name on the Pakistan team list and something I will never give up on. I am 33 but my fitness and ambition has never been stronger. I used to think that the fascination of playing for Pakistan would fade with time. But, if anything, my passion to represent Pakistan has only grown and become stronger than ever before.”

    Whilst Wahab Riaz’s enthusiasm to play cricket remains as strong as ever, he is also the first one to accept that modern day cricket is not getting easier for the fast-bowlers, especially in the shorter formats.

    “The shorter formats are more favourable towards the batsmen as proven by the spate of constantly increasing high scores in ODIs and T20Is. We now have T20I matches where 400+ runs have been scored in a single match; all that in 3 hours! But, it is what it is. Like batsmen have come up with innovations in their shots, the bowlers must also do the same. Whilst having experience has no substitute whatsoever, it is also true that innovation is something bowlers should embrace, and we have seen that in practice with the excessive use of the slower ball, for example. Innovation and variations are the key to success for today’s bowlers and the sooner they realise that, the better it will be for them.”

    Wahab Riaz’s next goal will be to continue putting in excellent performances for his CPL team, Barbados Tridents. This is a challenge he has accepted with enthusiasm and gusto as participation in such tournaments is something he considers crucial for any cricketer’s development, “T20 tournaments such as the Vitality T20 Blast and CPL keep me focused on, and busy with cricket. Every time I play for another team or franchise, I learn more about myself and what others are doing, and it’s also a great opportunity to make new friends. Being on the field is important to me as that experience gets me closer to doing what I live my life for, which is to play for Pakistan,” he concluded.


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  2. #2
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    Sep 2017
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    Pakistan's Ishant Sharma ?

  3. #3
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    Oct 2004
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    Wahab is still useful in Tests imo

    Think we keep on assuming that pace alone can help him out in LOIs but that probably puts him under more pressure


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

  4. #4
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    Sep 2012
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    His utility is limited to UAE Tests, but Shinwari and Shaheen deserves opportunities to show that they can do better than his wicket-less but applied pressure on the batsmen type spells. His LOI career is of course done and dusted.

  5. #5
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    Jul 2016
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    Just like Afridi probably played 350 more international matches based on his Nairobi innings, Wahab played more than he should've firstly based on his 2011 semi-final performance and secondly for 2.5 years on that ridiculously noneffective 2015 bowling spell. I'd say good riddance now.

  6. #6
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    Oct 2004
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    Think Mickey Arthur and Co know what to do; If Wahab does prove himself in Limited Overs in leagues then no reason why he cannot be brought back


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

  7. #7
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    Oct 2012
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    Our players make most self-serving statements !!!!!

  8. #8
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    Sep 2016
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    He doesnt have the ball that come back in to right handers! And without you have to be super accurate to survive which he is not. He does have reverse swing so an option in flat UAE tracks in tests.
    Last edited by Pakhs; 28th August 2018 at 14:52.

  9. #9
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    Jun 2017
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    Wahab Riaz, Mohammad Sami, and Kamran Akmal.

    Fans with the memories of a goldfish will always be clamoring for their reruns of idiocracy on the international stage.

    The myth of the U.A.E Wahab Riaz is an exaggerated one.

    The man in a total of seven years has taken ONE five-wicket-haul in the U.A.E, which took place six years after his first.

    He is 33 years old, cannot bowl in-swing due to his action, lacks consistency (abandoning his run-up five times in a row!), and is only yearned for due to his pace which most batsmen just tickle fine down the leg-side for a boundary.

    The U.A.E Tests are all about applying scoreboard pressure on the opposition. How many times has Wahab “Fail and Fall” let go off that pressure by offering short-and-wide filth or a juicy half-volley?

    Stick with three spinners and Abbas (who averaged 25 in his first Test series in the U.A.E, lacking pace and reverse swing).

  10. #10
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    Feb 2006
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    Wahab was Pakistan's best pacer on the tour to England in 2016, UAE in 2016 and Australia in 2017. He only has a future as far as tests are concerned, we don't need him in ODI's and T-20's.

    Sadly unlike Amir, he doesn't get enough leeway.

  11. #11
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    Jul 2018
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    When you're 35 and your career is about to come to an end, ofc this passion to play for Pakistan will have "grown and become stronger".

  12. #12
    Debut
    Oct 2013
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    North side of Londonnn
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    I used to be a big fan of him back when he took a 5 wicket haul against India in the 2011 semi-final, many Indian fans praised him saying he could become the third "W" after Wasim and Waqar (hilarious to think of that now ) but he was undeservingly left out of the squad during 2011-2012 for no apparent reason when it was the perfect opportunity for him to grow and get his wicket tally up. We sadly brought him back after a year and a half in 2012 and pit him against India in the 2012 Asia cup thinking he was our trump card against India but he got hammered left, right and centre by Kohli who went on to score a mammoth 183 (an innings I'll remember for a lifetime).

    The two new ball rule in ODIs killed his game since he's pretty good with the old ball. There has been too many instances where his scorecard would show him getting clobbered everywhere since it's so easy to score off him by flicking him down legside or getting penalty runs due to noballs or wides. He comes across as a tragic hero in losing causes in which you would normally expect commentators and pundits sending him praises on Twitter since he saves his best for those types of games (Mohali and the spell against Watson). Wahab also gave the impression of him being a bowling allrounder since 2011 where he scored 30+ against SA in 2010 (where Razzaq scored that freak 100) and also against WI in 2011 ODI series where he took us home with two big sixes with 7 wickets down. His batting then regressed a lot to the point where he scored ducks regularly in Tests and he was playing at positions 8-9. He became more of a regular during the 2013 CT where fans considered him to be our main strike bowler and even after the tournament, some of us even said he was better than Junaid which he isn't. He continued to get his bowling hammered by so many teams and he took years to only just come back to the Test side in 2014 if I'm correct; he usually produces wicketless spells of him roughing up the batsmen so others can pick up wickets when it's his job to also take wickets. His bowling then started to become a lot better in which he picked up more wickets in ODI's (3 wicket hauls and the occasional 4) but I also forgot to mention him conceding a century against SA in 2013 where Afridi scored 88.

    We then carried him to the 2015 WC deservingly so since the likes of Ajmal and Hafeez were banned, Gul and Junaid being injured and Wahab was picking up wickets with a high economy rate. Gave us decent batting performances and was one of the top fast bowlers in the tournament but was let down in the QF. His legacy was further dented when we got smashed by India in the first match in the 2017 CT, of which is shows us that his bowling is not needed in the modern ODI game since he does not have the skills to bowl with 2 new balls.

  13. #13
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    Jun 2001
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    UK
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    I think Wahab will be the first to admit that he hasn't lived up to expectations and hasn't been the force he should have been.

    Too often he has lacked control and allowed batsmen to score freely off him.

    The good spells have been a rare occurrence, the great spells a rarity.



  14. #14
    Debut
    Dec 2005
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    Sharjah, U.A.E
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    Quote Originally Posted by Savak View Post
    Wahab was Pakistan's best pacer on the tour to England in 2016, UAE in 2016 and Australia in 2017. He only has a future as far as tests are concerned, we don't need him in ODI's and T-20's.

    Sadly unlike Amir, he doesn't get enough leeway.
    With good reason. Wahab on his bad day loses us matches single-handedly.

  15. #15
    Debut
    Apr 2009
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    Australia
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    'Playing at World Cup is my only goal': Wahab Riaz

    Wahab Riaz has only one immediate aim - to make Pakistan’s ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 squad.

    Wahab, who was Pakistan’s leading wicket-taker at the 2015 World Cup, hasn’t played an ODI since June 2017.

    With Pakistan boasting a formidable pace attack, the left-armer admits it’s hard to guarantee a spot in their squad, but will do everything in his power to pull on the famous green jersey at next year’s World Cup in England and Wales.

    “It’s never easy to try and find a permanent place in a strong team like Pakistan which is doing so well at the moment,” he told Pak Passion.

    “This is especially true when you are talking about Pakistan’s very effective bowling line-up but I know that I made my debut for Pakistan when our bowling was very strong and it happened due to my hard work. I was able to convince the selection committee then and I believe I can do it again.

    “At the moment, being selected for the 2019 World Cup for Pakistan and performing well is my main, and only, priority at this time. There is also the 2020 World T20 on the horizon but I am firmly focused on playing in the 2019 World Cup at the moment.”

    Despite being out of Pakistan’s one-day side for over a year now, Wahab – who has 79 ODI caps to his name – has no plans to withdraw from international cricket.

    “It is my only desire as a professional cricketer and as a Pakistani to continue playing for my country,” he added.

    “Playing for your country gives one great satisfaction. Moreover, being selected to play for a strong team like Pakistan means that you have to be one of the best fast-bowlers in the world, so it’s a matter of honour and pride to see your name on the Pakistan team list and something I will never give up on.

    “I am 33 but my fitness and ambition has never been stronger. I used to think that the fascination of playing for Pakistan would fade with time. But, if anything, my passion to represent Pakistan has only grown and become stronger than ever before.”

    https://www.icc-cricket.com/news/836536

  16. #16
    Debut
    Apr 2009
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    Australia
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    Wahab Riaz eyes spot in Pakistan’s 2019 World Cup squad

    Left-arm pacer Wahab Riaz has revealed that his only aim at the moment is to cement a spot in the Pakistan squad for the 2019 World Cup in England and Wales.

    Riaz, who has represented Pakistan in 79 ODIs, has not played an international match since October 2017, after being dropped following a series of poor performances.

    But the 33-year-old, who recently had an impressive stint in the Vitality T20 Blast, where he took 15 wickets and scored 152 runs for Derbyshire, has reiterated that his primary objective is to play for Pakistan.

    “It’s never easy to try and find a permanent place in a strong team like Pakistan which is doing so well at the moment,” Riaz told PakPassion. “This is especially true when you are talking about Pakistan’s very effective bowling line-up. But I know that I made my debut for Pakistan when our bowling was very strong and I believe I can do it again. At the moment, being selected for the 2019 World Cup for Pakistan and performing well is my main, and only, priority.

    Riaz added he would never give up on his mission to represent Pakistan whenever possible.

    “It is my only desire as a professional cricketer and as a Pakistani to continue playing for my country. Playing for your country gives one great satisfaction. Moreover, being selected to play for a strong team like Pakistan means that you have to be one of the best fast-bowler in the world, so it’s a matter of honour and pride to see your name on the Pakistan team list and something I will never give up on.”

    When Riaz was dropped from the squad, Pakistan head coach Mickey Arthur criticised his work ethic in the training sessions, but the Peshawar Zalmi-pacer believes the 50-year-old was only highlighting the areas where he can improve on.

    “I’m not sure if he was actually questioning my work ethic as in my opinion, he was merely providing feedback on areas of my game that he feels I can improve on,” Riaz explained. “It is no secret that Mickey has been very firm about having a high-level fitness target for all the boys and I sat down with him before coming to England. We had a long chat about my fitness and training regime and Mickey provided his feedback on areas I can improve on. Mickey felt that I could do better, and I agree with his opinion because as a fast-bowler, especially in Test cricket, you cannot survive if you are not 100% fit.”

    Talking about his critics, Riaz revealed he is focusing on his performances rather than listening to what people have to say about him.

    “The critics are doing what they do best and painting their version of the picture, but the reality is different, especially if one considers my performances in the past 12 months where I have played only one Test against Sri Lanka in the UAE, the PSL and put in some excellent performances during my stint with Derbyshire,” said Riaz. “Instead of worrying about critics, I am focusing on improving my economy, my bowling in death overs, contributing with the bat and most importantly my fitness which is now a requirement for playing in any format of cricket.”

    https://tribune.com.pk/story/1789832...rld-cup-squad/

  17. #17
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    Jun 2011
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    Kashmir
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    no way he is going to fit in WC 2019 line up


    New Era of Team Pakistan

  18. #18
    Debut
    Apr 2017
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    Manchester, UK
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    I still believe he has a role to play in UAE tests and would rather he played over the likes of Amir/Hasan.

  19. #19
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    Jul 2015
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    I think it would be best to move on from him. There are plenty of young and upcoming options available.

  20. #20
    Debut
    Nov 2005
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    England
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    His spell in the 2015 WC did his career immense damage because he decided to live off that for the next 2 years when with a little more work he could have become something really good

  21. #21
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    Apr 2018
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    How about NO?

    Need to retire now. Too old and not competent enough.

  22. #22
    Debut
    Feb 2015
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    I have respect for wahab riaz, because while he wasn't the best bowler, he always ran in and gave it his all. Kept running in even in the heat of the UAE. He never complained like others when he was dropped.

    That being said, we have moved on, and we don't need him anymore.

  23. #23
    Debut
    Sep 2016
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    Oh no please tell me Wahab didn't say that Thanks for your incredible services for Pakistan in particular that over in the WC against Australia that is amongst the best I have ever seen. All the same whilst appreciating your passion I don't see him making a comeback now. With Hassan Ali, Amir, Shinwari, Junaid and Shaheeen fighting for a place Wahab won't even be on the subs bench.


    PP's own self proclaimed sharpshooter and defender of Islam and Pakistan.

  24. #24
    Debut
    Dec 2016
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    Quote Originally Posted by aloo paratha View Post
    I have respect for wahab riaz, because while he wasn't the best bowler, he always ran in and gave it his all. Kept running in even in the heat of the UAE. He never complained like others when he was dropped.

    That being said, we have moved on, and we don't need him anymore.
    This explains why he aborted his run up five times just to bowl one delivery.

  25. #25
    Debut
    Apr 2013
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    Sweden
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    May have some utility in t20 cricket and tests in UAE. Not an ODI bowler unless they abolish the rule of two new balls there.

    He does well in t20 cricket, and it shouldn't be confused with his performances in ODI cricket.


    it's written. an akmal will never be a hero.

  26. #26
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    Nov 2010
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    Paradise
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    He is almost a spent force as far as his international career is concerned and he doesn't have age on his side either plus the fast bowling talent that's coming through the ranks recently has almost put an end to his international career though he still can play t20 leagues here and there .

  27. #27
    Debut
    Mar 2016
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    Sheffield
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    I don't mind him playing tests in the UAE as he is a different opition to what we have. But in LO he has no role to play. He has been embarrassed plenty of times in LO cricket and we have younger bowlers who are doing well.

  28. #28
    Debut
    Dec 2013
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    Pan ka Khoka
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    He should keep the passion to himself, thanks but no Thanks mate! It's been more than a decade since he's arrived at the international scene and yet he can't bring the ball in to save his life.

    His batting is non existent these days and apart from mindlessly spraying it at 140 clicks he doesn't really bring any thing to the table.


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