Pakistan’s tour of New Zealand finally ended with a lot of disappointments. One of my observations in entire series (ODI and T20 both) is that Pakistan had less focus on spin, probably considering NZ’s fast wickets. In the last ODI, Pakistan made a record of playing 4 left arm pacers for the first time. On the other hand, spin department was handled by allrounders like Shoaib Malik, Afridi, Imad Wasim and occasionally Azhar Ali without any specialist spinner. Anyway, let’s come quickly to the topic.
If we look at the next two months, Pakistan will be playing a lot of T20 Cricket i.e. Asia Cup in Bangladesh and T20 World Cup in India – meaning “spin wickets”. So after losing Ajmal, Hafeez and Yasir, have we prepared a specialist spinner for upcoming cups? NO.
Imad Wasim, Shoaib Malik and Shahid Afridi are great support spinners but I’m very sure that a specialist spinner can do a lot more than the allrounders. Suggestion is simple, bring a full-time specialist spinner in the squad. Do we have options? Yes. Are the options new or experienced? Both.
Left-arm orthodox bowler Zafar is my first pick. Being tried for a match against England recently, Zafar impressed everyone with a good taste of spin bowling. He was also a part of New Zealand squad but enjoyed a great view from the bench. With 56 wickets in 15 First class games and 19 wickets in domestic T20s, Zafar has a great potential.
The old man, again an orthodox spinner, has got some good international experience. Zulfiqar Babar is a ready product and someone who can be trusted on spin wickets. Though his best performances came out from tests, he has taken 12 wickets in 7 T20 internationals. In domestic T20, he has 70 wickets in 56 matches. Why not old man?
Usama Mir grabbed mass attention through his excellent performance in National T20 Cup. This 20-year old leggie from Sialkot can be the surprise package. He is also been taken by Karachi Kings for PSL, let’s see him there!
This 24-year old leg spinner from Karachi is an emerging talent and a bowler with great potential. Just like Raza Hasan of 2012 World Cup, Shahzaib can be a great surprise for the opponents who have been playing Afridi and Malik for ages.
Master of spin needs no intro. Just waiting to see him in PSL if he has recovered the action change.
36-year old Abdur Rehman recently in an interview expressed interest for a comeback. The man comes with great experience but he’ll be my last option to go for.
Should we go for a full time spinner or not? Comment.