Home > Features >

India vs Pakistan Asia Cup 2014: Umar Gul’s chance to go for the glory

Umar Gul's searing yorkers are difficult to cope with for any batsmen in world cricket © Getty Images
Umar Gul’s searing yorkers are difficult to cope with for any batsmen in world cricket © Getty Images

By Bharath Ramaraj

When India take on their arch rivals Pakistan in Asia Cup 2014, they would be up against a familiar face who has constantly played against them over the years in seamer, Umar Gul. The right-arm seamer, built like an edifice and known for bowling toe crushing yorkers at slithery speed and generating disconcerting bounce on his day is a vital cog in the Pakistan attack. With 121 One-Day Internationals (ODIs) under his belt, Pakistan would look up to him to steer the ship to safety when they find themselves in tatters. With the ever-reliable Gul by his side, Misbah-ul-Haq, the captain of Pakistan, needn’t have to depend on a prayer before every ball is bowled.

Unfortunately, the seamer has found himself more under the surgeon’s table than on a cricket field in recent months. It has been a tough road for the pacer to convalesce from a serious knee injury, but he has come through the fine lines of pain and depression and is now fully fit.  He had to even travel all the way to Australia for a surgery. As soon as he was declared fit, Pakistan selectors without blinking an eye lid picked him in the squad. It was surely Gul’s experience that helped him to get a recall. However, it won’t be easy for Gul to pen his mark in tomorrow’s game, as you need match fitness to find back your lost rhythm.

In the last game he played against Afghanistan, Gul bowled well in patches, but to bowl to Indian batsmen on feather-beds is a different story altogether. Interestingly, unlike his pace colleague and one of the brightest lights of Pakistan, Junaid Khan, Gul has struggled to keep Indian batsmen in check, over the years. He has taken 18 wickets at a rather costly average of 43.83.

Gul though, would reminisce fond memories of the last time he played against India. In 2012-13, Pakistan flagged down India in their own backyard to win the ODI series 2-1. Gul played his part by bowling incisively at Kolkata and scalping two wickets. On the other hand, he would like to forget Virat Kohli’s buccaneering innings against Pakistan in 2012 edition of Asia Cup that saw India march their way towards victory.

Gul has all the weapons to erase his poor record in tomorrow’s match. He can go for the coup de main by slipping in the yorker and if needed, hit back of a length and angle it into the right-handed batsman. In ODIs, those who angle it into the right-hander tend to do better than pacers who shape it away from a right-handed batsman. With him having that yorker up his sleeve, Gul can run through arch-rabbit tail-enders with ease.

It has to be said that to bowl searing yorkers, one needs to generate a decent burst of pace and should have the horsepower of a turbo-charged engine to gallop into the crease. A true pacer when he runs into the crease may feel like galloping on a railway track. It takes a lot of practice and hard work in the nets to bowl those deadly yorkers. It also has to be remembered that he is lively fast medium. When you aren’t someone who bowls at red-lightning speed, even losing a yard of pace can hurt.

So, after suffering from such a major injury can Gul continue to bowl at slithery speed? Can Gul erase his poor record against India and engineer a timeless composition by touching outer limits of well-defined boundaries? We can know the answer to everything when India take on Pakistan in the high octane clash at Fatullah on Sunday.

(Bharath Ramaraj, an MBA in marketing, eats, drinks and sleeps cricket. He has played at school and college-level, and now channelises his passion for the game by writing about it)

World T20 League 2014

Oct 2, 2014 (16:00 IST)   at Hyderabad

World T20 League 2014

Oct 2, 2014 (20:00 IST)   at Hyderabad

West Indies tour of India 2014, Practice match

Oct 3, 2014 (09:00 IST)   at Mumbai

Matador BBQs One-Day Cup, 2014

Oct 4, 2014 (05:00 IST)   at Woolloongabba, Brisbane

Matador BBQs One-Day Cup, 2014

Oct 4, 2014 (05:00 IST)   at Brisbane

More

World T20 League 2014

Sep 30, 2014  at Bengaluru

Barbados won by 6 wkts (D/L method)

World T20 League 2014

Sep 30, 2014  at Bengaluru

Perth Scorchers won by 3 wkts

World T20 League 2014

Sep 29, 2014  at Hyderabad

Kolkata Knight Riders won by 36 runs

World T20 League 2014

Sep 28, 2014  at Mohali

Kings XI Punjab won by 7 wkts

World T20 League 2014

Sep 28, 2014  at Mohali

Hobart Hurricanes won by 6 wkts

Photos

Cricket on Mt. Kilimanjaro

Videos

Brian Lara speaks on the art of batting

Mitchell Marsh helps Perth Scorchers clinch 3-wicket victory against Lahore Lions in CLT20 2014

Live Cricket Score Barbados Tridents vs Northern Knights CLT20 2014 Match 20: Barbados Tridents win by 6 wickets

Gautam Gambhir becomes second player after MS Dhoni to captain in 100 T20 matches

Consecutive century opening partnerships in ODIs for each team

Have Manish Pandey’s T20 performances eclipsed his impressive First-Class record?

Asian Games Asian Games 2014 Cape Cobras Champions League T20 2014 Chennai Super Kings CLT20 CLT20 2014 Dolphins India at Asian Games 2014 Kings XI Punjab Lahore Lions Perth Scorchers

Barbados Tridents vs Northern Knights, Match 20, CLT20 2014: Barbados register 6-wicket win in final group match

Barbados Tridents vs Northern Knights CLT20 2014 Match 20: Tridents have their maiden win in CLT20 2014

Barbados Tridents vs Northern Knights CLT20 2014 Match 20: After decent start by Tridents, Knights make comeback with late wickets

Bangladesh Cricket Board: Nadir Shah ban still on

Barbados Tridents vs Northern Knights CLT20 2014 Match 20: Knights set target of 138 (D/L) in 19 overs

Ernie Jones — the man who sent a ball through the beard of WG Grace

Top score by a batsman whose teammates scored less than 10 each in a T20

Gautam Gambhir becomes second player after MS Dhoni to captain in 100 T20 matches

Lahore Lions vs Perth Scorchers Match 19 CLT20 2014: Lahore likely XI

CLT20 2014: Lahore Lions vs Perth Scorchers Match 19 — Key Battles

Fan of the Day

Niharika Shah

Niharika Shah

671 Posts | 6 Fans

Kolkata Knight Riders vs Kings XI Punjab- Final Match Highlights from IPL 2014

A Series of Anti-Muslim Ads Causing Uproar Take Over NYC Buses and Subways

Health Minister says UHAM to be world’s largest public health insurance programme

Pankaj Kapur saw son Shahid Kapoor’s Haider and said “It’s Okay”

Sex after pregnancy — how to get her in the mood

Microsoft’s Windows 10 unveiled

7 Easy Asanas for a Flatter Belly

Ello might be ad-free, but it is far from claiming Facebook’s throne

Bigg Boss 8 highlights: Payback time for Deepshikha Nagpal’s team with reverse Hijack, RJ Preetam’s team blames him for their defeat

Also on cricketcountry.com

Play Fantasy Cricket & Win

Cash Daily! Click here