Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Time to bring back Kaman Akmal.

Its been over a year when Kamran Akmal dropped the famous catch of Ross Taylor during the World Cup 2011. He was subsequently dropped from the team over the poor wicket keeping and few doubts over his involvement in the spot fixing saga.

A lot has happened since and things have moved on. They have tried different combinations of Wicket keepers in different formats even tried Umar Akmal as a short term policy but it has all failed.

In the very next assignment after the World Cup on the tour of West Indies, Pakistan included Muhammad Salman in the squad. Rated by Saeed Ajmal with the best wicket keeping hands, he failed miserably in batting. In the two test matches he was just able to score 13 runs at an average of 6.75. In 7 ODI's that was stretched to the next tour of Ireland the could just manage 22 runs at an average of 11.

Adnan Akmal was Pakistan's next choice both in the test matches (from which he was dropped in favor of Muhammad Salman) and in the shorter format and was part of the team on the tour of Zimbabwe and later in series against England but only got to play 5 ODI's in which he was able to score 62 runs at a better average of 20.66 but his main problem was to score quick, which his strike rate of 69.66 shows.

Sarfaraz Ahmed was Pakistan's choice in between for both the series against against Sri Lanka and at the Asia Cup 2012. while he played an important part in Pakistan's victory in the Asia Cup with 48 (N.O) off 52 balls, his overall performance with the bat ( 1722 runs in 23 matches, with an average of 19.66 and Strike rate of 68 ) and glove work have been poor. His drop catch of Sangakara in the last ODI of the series jut recently may well have him dropped.

Due to his brother's inability to score at a faster pace and same persisting problem with Sarfaraz Ahmed Pakistan had to try Umar Akmal as a short term solution in the ODI's as well. Who had already been keeping wickets in the T20's but it showed in his batting performance where he was not able to stay at the wicket for long and with enthusiasm plus also dropped a few catches at crucial stages.

Shakeel Ansar was Pakistan's latest replacement after his strong batting performance in the local T20 tournament, but he was another disappointment in the couple of T20 matches he played against Srilanka. Where he was out first ball in the only innings her played and was clearly unable to pick the bowling varieties of Shahid Afridi and Saeed Ajmal.

Lets be honest with ourselves.. We dont have a capable wicket keeping batsman available in the country for now. Pakistan have tried several replacements in the previous year and most of them the best available in the country but nothing for them has worked so far.

Lets also face the reality, we have no better wicket keeping batsman than Kamran Akmal available in the country right now. Adnan Akmal is doing fine in the longer format of the game but its time we bring Kamran Akmal back in the shorter formats of the game. He has 2924 runs at an average of 27.58 and a healthy strike rate of 84.31 in the ODI's and  In 38 T20 matches has 704 runs at a strike rate of 124.60

Lets be brave enough to see a few drop catches at the cost of a few quick runs instead of seeing drop catches without any contribution at all from the other wicket keepers if thats the standard.


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