Home > Features >

Fawad Alam should be played at a role that suits him best

Fawad Alam should be played at a role that suits him best

Fawad Alam is a good part time bowler to have on the team. In his List A career, he has 51 wickets from 101 matches with an economy rate of five © Getty Images

By Zain Abid

Pakistan cricket is unfair business. In the heartless, yet beautiful world of Pakistan cricket, certain players like Imran Farhat make comebacks after comebacks. On the other hand, a forgotten and unappreciated Karachi born cricketer waits patiently in the dark.

He is a man of few words. He wants his performances to do the talking. Patiently knocking on closed doors for the past four years, is Fawad Alam.
 
Since playing his last match in 2009, Fawad has been at the receiving end of harsh treatment by the selectors. One wonders what the guy has done wrong.
 
Fawad’s record to date is impeccable. He has a batting average of almost 38 in 27 ODIs and 42 in the three Tests that he has played in – figures that are second only to Misbah-ul-Haq and Nasir Jamshed. Not just that, he has a brilliant record in First-Class cricket. He has a whopping batting average of 56 with 19 centuries and 38 fifties, better than any other batsman in the Pakistan team right now. In his List A career, he has an average of 44. Apparently this record is not good enough to get into our stellar and super-consistent batting line-up.
 
Fawad is a handy slow left-arm orthodox bowler as well. He is a good part time bowler to have on the team. As his performances in the national team are not enough to make a case, let’s take a look at his domestic record. In his List A career, he has 51 wickets from 101 matches with an economy rate of five. Not bad at all for a part timer, right?
 
The 27-year-old is also an excellent fielder. He regularly fielded at point for Pakistan when he played, a position that a captain often entrusts upon his best fielder. His catch in the Bangladesh Premier League at the cover boundary will remain sound in any cricket lover’s memory; so will his sharp and sneaky work to run out Shane Watson at the MCG. His fitness has never been a problem.
 
All his credentials aside, it is a common perception that Fawad Alam has been given a fair amount of chances. However, I believe, no one knew how to utilise him. In his short career, Alam played under four different captains, and it seemed as if each of them had a different plan for him. He batted in every position from No 5 to No 9 in the ODIs. It is a similar story in the T20s. Shockingly, in the 24 T20 Internationals (T20Is) that he has played, he has managed an average of 17.64 and bowled at an average of 11.88! Fair amount of chances? I doubt it.
 
His critics point out, and rightly so, his lack of match-winning ability. Yes, Fawad Alam is no Shahid Afridi. He cannot hit the ball as hard and long as the pinch hitters of today. However, this brings me back to my point of utilising him well. Each position in the line-up has a role and Alam should be played at a role that suits him best. He is a steady timer of the ball, who can knock the ball around for singles. If Asad Shafiq does not perform well, instead of reverting to Shoaib Malik, Fawad Alam should be brought in and given that chance to perform.
 
When the time calls for it, Fawad Alam has played important knocks for Pakistan. His best T20 performance came against Sri Lanka where he dispatched the Sri Lankan bowlers for 23 off just eight balls. Interestingly in that match, this cricketer batted at No 9.
 
Alam is a very solid, utility cricketer. If the selectors can give tried and tested players, with half as many good performances as Fawad, chances to redeem themselves, surely he deserves another chance too. If used wisely, who knows, maybe the athletic Karachiite can make his mark in the international arena as well.
 
(Zain Abid is currently studying at Lahore University of Management Sciences. The above article has been reproduced with permission from http://tribune.com.pk/)

South Africa tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Jul 16, 2014 (10:00 IST)   at Galle

India tour of England 2014

Jul 17, 2014 (15:30 IST)   at London

Afghanistan tour of Zimbabwe, 2014

Jul 18, 2014 (13:00 IST)   at Bulawayo

Afghanistan tour of Zimbabwe, 2014

Jul 20, 2014 (13:00 IST)   at Bulawayo

Afghanistan tour of Zimbabwe, 2014

Jul 22, 2014 (13:00 IST)   at Bulawayo

More

South Africa tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Jul 12, 2014  at Hambantota

South Africa won by 82 runs

South Africa tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Jul 9, 2014  at Pallekele

Sri Lanka won by 87 runs

India tour of England 2014

Jul 9, 2014  at Nottingham

Match drawn

New Zealand Tour of West Indies, 2014

Jul 6, 2014  at Roseau, Dominica

West Indies won by 39 runs

South Africa tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Jul 6, 2014  at Colombo

South Africa won by 75 runs

Photos

India vs England 1st Test at Trent Bridge

Videos

Kohli describes England as ‘one of the toughest venues'

Germany lifts FIFA World Cup 2014: Common link with India’s 2011 Cricket World Cup triumph

India tour of England 2014: Kapil Dev, Wasim Akram bond over Mike Gatting

Chris Gayle’s cracking unbeaten ton takes Jamaica Tallawahs to 7-wicket win against St. Lucia Zouks in CPL 2014

Faf du Plessis: South Africa’s fire-fighter who revels under pressure

India tour of England 2014: I enjoyed playing in the IPL, says Rahul Dravid

Bhuvneshwar Kumar England England vs India England vs India 2014 India India tour of England 2014 India vs England James Anderson Joe Root MS Dhoni Murali Vijay South Africa South Africa tour of Sri Lanka 2014 Sri Lanka Sri Lanka vs South Africa Sri Lanka vs South Africa 2014

India tour of England 2014: Five key points that emerged from 1st Test at Trent Bridge

Argentina vs Germany FIFA World Cup 2014 final: Cricketers react to Germany’s win on Twitter

India tour of England 2014: Alastair Cook felt Trent Bridge pitch suited Indian batsmen

India tour of England 2014: MS Dhoni wants wickets with more life in them

India tour of England 2014: Bhuvneshwar becomes second player to score two half-centuries in same test batting at No 9

India tour of England 2014: Did MS Dhoni miss a trick by not declaring?

Dwayne Leverock: Bermudan heavyweight

Germany lifts FIFA World Cup 2014: Common link with India’s 2011 Cricket World Cup triumph

FIFA World Cup final: World Cup finals — the day heroes are made

AB de Villiers magic helps South Africa record historic series win over Sri Lanka

Fan of the Day

Fan Cricket

Fan Cricket

11 Posts | 2 Fans

Brazil vs Netherlands, 3rd place Fifa World Cup 2014 match Video Highlights

World Cup boosts TV sales in football-mad Southeast Asia

Sachin Tendulkar’s class was matched by Sunil Gavaskar, says Bapu Nadkarni

Alia Bhatt to star in The Fault in our Stars’ Bollywood remake!

Alia Bhatt: Varun Dhawan is a big influence in my life!

Union Budget 2014-15: Does every state really need an AIIMS?

HTC One (E8) and Desire 616 likely to be launched in India today

Also on cricketcountry.com

Play Fantasy Cricket & Win

Cash Daily! Click here