Fawad Alam has been traveling along the Pakistan team since last two years now but is yet to cement his place in the side. This is not because of his bad performance, but lack of confidence of captains and coaches on his immense abilities.
This boy from Karachi is in 24th year of his life and is arguably the most talented and gifted player of Pakistan in the domestic circuit but his talent has not been utilized by Pakistan on a regular basis.
Fawad Alam, son of former first-class cricketer Tariq Alam, has been amongst the leading run getter in the domestic level for Pakistan for quite a while.
He was selected in the Pakistan team for the first time in 2007 against Srilanka in Abu Dhabi after Pakistan’s humiliating first round World Cup exit in the Caribbean.
He featured in the last One day International but was unlucky to get out for a first ball duck against Dilhara Fernando who took a splendid catch on his own bowling.
Fawad was then selected for inaugural T20 World Cup in South Africa. He could only feature in one game against New Zealand in the semi-final where he picked two crucial wickets.
Since then, Fawad has been in and out of the side.
Though his stats show that he is a very talented player. Whenever he has been given a chance to represent his country, he has proved his talent.
Who can forget those 23 runs in just eight balls including 3 sixes against Sri Lanka in Canada which snatched the victory away from the Sri Lankans when Pakistan was completely down and out?
In Asia cup, he came to rescue Pakistan when they were crumbling against the minnows Hong Kong and played a sensible innings of 63 not out to play a crucial part in Pakistan’s victory but unfortuunately on the basis of a bad spell of bowling against storming Indian batting lineup in the next match, he was dropped from the side for rest of the series even though his batting didn’t come in that match.
He may not be the strongest boundary hitter around but his sweet timing and strike rotation is his strength. In recent RBS domestic T20 tournament, he made 2 half-centuries in two innings including 70 off just 36 balls without hitting any six.
He was the man of the series in 2007 RBS domestic T20 tournament and also man of the match by making 40 important runs and grabbing five wickets with his slow left arm off spinners.
He has proved that T20 cricket is not all about slogging but playing proper orthodox cricket shots can give you the same result without taking much risk.
Fawad scored an unbeaten 296 in the Quaid-i-Azam Trophy final in 2008 which proves that he can be the future of Pakistan middle order in all three forms of the game. Many people consider him as a bowling all-rounder because he has been used like that by previous and current captain of Pakistan which is a shame.
During Shoaib Malik’s captaincy, although Fawad got a few games but either was not promoted up to make a proper impact or wasn’t even given a chance to bat.
Malik didn’t use himself as a bowler during his captaincy and played Fawad as his replacement bowler which he is not. He is a proper batsman who can bowl a bit.
This youngster has been tired of performing in first-class cricket but still his captains are not showing faith in him. He was selected in Sri Lankan and Australian series but only got a single T20 match to play against Australia in Dubai where he didn’t bat or bowl. Pakistan is missing a trick here for not identifying a future star.
Fawad can play the same role as Muhammad Yousuf has been doing for so long. I know it is early to compare him with great Yousuf but I have seen him play in first-class and some Internationals and I have also seen Muhammad Yousuf in his early days.
Fawad times and places the ball as well as any other batsman in the Pakistan line-up at the moment.
He rotates the strike well enough and is an extremely quick runner between the wickets. He sets high standards in the field and energizes the whole unit in the ground by backing them up.
Pakistan should have groomed him in the absence of Yousuf but they didn’t. Now Muhammad Yousuf has left the ICL and will be available again for national selection which is good news for Pakistan. But the only thing which is making me worried that in the presence of Yousaf, Fawad will have to wait a few more years to get a proper chance to play for Pakistan.
The likes of Younis Khan, Muhammad Yousaf, Shoaib Malik and Misbah-ul-Huq in the middle are too strong to be replaced by Fawad at this time. I hope he stays with the team as a reserve batsman and allowed to play whenever a replacement in middle order is required.
It was good to see Fawad playing after a long time for Pakistan against the match with The Netherlands although his proper batting place should be no later than No. 5 if not No. 4.
Fawad will play a big role in Pakistan’s ICC World T20 campaign if he is utilized properly and I wish him all the best for the rest of the tournament and pray that he gets a proper chance of showing his true potential to everyone.
Fawad’s Career Stats: