DateLine: 1st July 2010
At the relatively tender age of 24, few players have gone through as many triumphs and disappointments as Fawad Alam. The young left-hander has gone through a lot in the past year; from the highs of winning a World Cup, scoring a wonderful century away from home in his debut Test, and being considered the future star of Pakistani batting along with Umar Akmal, to the lows of being unceremoniously axed from both the Tests and the ODI formats; it is no surprise that the PCB's antics have, yet again, left bemusement and uncertainty all around.
PakPassion.net recently caught up with the tenacious left-hander, and it was a pleasant surprise to see that the youngster was in a very positive and determined state of mind at his recent axing. "It’s a part of cricket, and it happens to every cricketer, I am not very worried about it. I am now working even harder to get my spot back in the side. I am even more determined, and I will definitely come back", was Alam's positive message for his fans.
It must be tough for any aspiring cricketer to find himself in the wilderness despite doing nothing wrong on the field; to the contrary, Fawad performed better than many of his more lauded and fêted team mates who have bizarrely been selected. However, instead of dwelling on the negatives, Fawad chooses to focus on the positives, and was very keen to prove himself once again.
The only format for which Fawad has been selected is the Twenty-20 format, a format where his inclusion makes the least sense. Fawad himself though remains upbeat; "Insha Allah, I am very hopeful and optimistic about performing in the upcoming Twenty20 matches against Australia". Fawad continued, "I am hoping to do well in England in those two matches, and will do my very best against the Australians. We have a very solid Twenty20 team, and are going there to win".
Fawad demonstrated his immense potential for the longer formats by making a very impressively accomplished 168 on his Test debut against Sri Lanka not even 12 months ago; that too in a match where he was batting under a lot of pressure, and was forced to open the innings on debut despite never being an opener. The application, the fitness and the temperament exhibited then, and in his various ODI innings since, stand-out amongst many of his compatriots, and deserve ample opportunities at the highest level; in particular, given the dearth of sensible batting alternatives for Pakistan.
PakPassion.net also asked Fawad for his views on the many understandable questions and justified concerns raised about his batting style and technique. "I don’t feel that there is anything wrong with my technique. I am OK, I’ve made runs with this technique and do not think there is anything wrong with it; people should take note of that".
Constant shuffling of his spot in the batting line-up is not an ideal situation for any young batsmen cutting his teeth in international cricket, but in Fawad’s case, the team always comes first. He affirmed this by saying "I prefer to bat in the middle order at either number 4 or 5, and have always done so, but I will bat wherever required in the line-up". Averages of 40 plus in both Test and one day cricket certainly testify to that fact, as he has had to bat in varying positions and situations for Pakistan.
Fawad’s role in the side has always lead to great debate. Many people consider him simply a batsman, while others have suggested that he is capable of playing as an all-rounder. The man himself was very assured of his ability in both disciplines. "Insha Allah, I will prove my ability in both bowling and batting when I get a full chance. I am equally focused on both my batting and bowling; I am not giving any one aspect particular importance over the other".
Add his brilliant fielding and excellent running into the mix, and Pakistan could have a potentially world-class cricketer in the making - if only they would give him the opportunities he deserves!
(Article: The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author only.
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