Tuesday, October 03, 2006

A reader writes...

Saeed Anwar remains my favorite player to watch, even compared to Brian Lara. Still, I hestitate from placing him in an all-time Pakistan 11. There WERE seasons when he was consistent, but he could be unreliable as well. He could be sketchy outside the offstump - in fact that was his weak area. Actually a LOT of good openers have problems with their off-stump, but coupled with Anwar's average record in pressure games, i was wondering who else would u choose in that opener's slot if not Anwar?
I have a feeling that if someone bowled the kind of line to Anwar as flintoff bowled to Gilchrist during the 05 Ashes (around the wicket tightly in the offstump channel).
So if you HAD to take out anwar, who would it be? Shoaib Mohammad is one who comes to my mind.

Good point, except one major difference. Gilchrist's main shots on the leg side are horizontal bat shots (the hook, the pull, the swivel pull/hook). Saeed Anwar played beautifully off the front foot through the leg side as well, so there would always be a danger of being clipped through mid-wicket/square leg if the line went even slightly wrong.

If I HAD to take out Anwar as you say, I would not put in Shoaib Mohammad. This is primarily because if Shoaib opened with his dad we would (a) face sledging about oedipal complexes and (b) never score a run...we would be 20/0 at lunch every test . I would go for one of my dad's favourite players, Majid Khan. Attacking player comes in for attacking player.

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