2016 World Cup T20 | Sportzwiki

2016 World Cup T20

Shoaib Malik
Shoaib Malik

Shoaib Malik Opens Up On Ashish Nehra And Zaheer Khan Creating Problems But Handled Irfan Pathan Pretty Well

Shoaib Malik talked about former India pacers Ashish Nehra and Zaheer Khan and how they created a problem for him and the rest of the Pakistan batsmen unlike former India all-rounder Irfan Pathan who had some memorable performances while playing against arch-rivals Pakistan. To date, Indian fans cherish his hat-trick in the opening over of the Karachi Test in 2006. Even with the bat, the former cricketer had contributed well.

Irfan Pathan had scalped 34 ODI wickets in 23 games against Pakistan but there is one player who always found it comfortable facing the left-arm quick. Former captain Shoaib Malik handled him pretty well, averaging 89.50 against the former Indian pacer.

Irfan Pathan claimed a hat-trick against Pakistan in Karachi in 2006(ICC/Twitter)
Irfan Pathan claimed a hat-trick against Pakistan in Karachi in 2006(ICC/Twitter)

Shoaib Malik Played Well Against Irfan Pathan Since He Didn’t Bowl Out Swingers Early In His Career

While speaking in an interview with Cricwick, Shoaib Malik spoke about having success against one of the finest Indian swing bowlers who often troubled the other Pakistan batsmen during his playing days.

“My average against Irfan Pathan is good because I play the inswing well. At that time, Irfan did not bowl out-swingers. He added it to his arsenal later, but early in his career, he majorly bowled in-swinging deliveries. So, I knew he would bowl an in-swinger, and I prepared myself accordingly,” said the Shoaib.

Shoaib Malik. (Photo by Visionhaus/Getty Images)
Shoaib Malik. (Photo by Visionhaus/Getty Images)

The left-arm pacer Irfan Pathan became the first bowler to take a hat-trick in the first over of a Test match. That it came against arch-rivals Pakistan in their own backyard made it all the more special. It was the third Test of the series.

The first two Test matches had ended in draws and naturally, the pitch for the final Test had a greenish tinge to it, perhaps to aid the Pakistan fast bowlers more. But it was India captain Rahul Dravid who won the toss and opted to bowl first. Irfan Pathan was thrown the new ball and he did not disappoint his captain.

Irfan Pathan had 100 Test wickets averaging 32.26 and 173 ODI wickets averaging 29.72 playing 29 Tests and 120 ODIs. In 24 T20Is he picked 28 scalps averaging 22.07.

Shoaib Malik: Zaheer Khan And Ashish Nehra Always Targeted Bat’s Edge And Hence Were Successful

The 39-year-old Pakistan batsman further talked about former India pacers Ashish Nehra and Zaheer Khan who had created a problem for him. Shoaib Malik said the duo always targeted the ‘edges of the bat’ and hence, were more successful. Shoaib Malik, who made his international debut in 1999, featured in plenty of games against India. He scored 1782 runs against the Men in Blue in ODIs at an average of 46.89.

“Zaheer Khan and Ashish Nehra targeted the edges of the bat. Hence, they took many wickets against Pakistan. If a bowler targets the edge, he will be more successful. I feel my ability to play the in-swinging deliveries helped me do well against Irfan,” Shoaib said.

Ashish Nehra and Zaheer Khan train during the 2011 World Cup. (Getty Images)
Ashish Nehra and Zaheer Khan train during the 2011 World Cup. (Getty Images)

Both the seamers played a great role in India’s success in the 2000s culminating in victory in the 2011 World Cup. Zaheer Khan was the joint-leading wicket-taker in the 2011 World Cup – 21 scalps along with Shahid Afridi. In fact, left-arm pacer Zaheer Khan had dismissed the right-hander Shoaib Malik 6 times in ODIs.

Ashish Nehra played 17 Tests, 120 ODIs, and 27 T20Is picking up more than 200 international scalps. He played his last Test in 2004 and last ODI in 2011 but at 36 he revived his international career because he had reprised the ability to move the ball at 140 kph, and became one of India’s most successful bowlers in the 2016 World T20. Zaheer Khan played 92 Tests, 200 ODIs, and 17 T20Is picking up 311, 282, and 17 scalps respectively.

Shoaib Malik’s last T20I was in September 2020 and his last ODI in June 2019. He played 35 Tests, 287 ODIs, and 116 T20Is amassing over 10,000 runs in all three formats combined averaging above 30 in each. Shoaib Malik became the first Pakistani batsman to score 10,000 runs in Twenty20 cricket in October 2020. He is married to Indian tennis star Sania Mirza.

West Indies
West Indies. Image Credits: Twitter

Most Youngsters Are Unable To Understand What Cricket Is To Windies, Says Curtly Ambrose

Curtly Ambrose, the former tearaway fast bowler feels that it could be difficult for the West Indies to regain their glory days of the 1970-the 1980s because the current crop of players probably doesn’t quite understand what cricket means to the Caribbean people.

West Indies dominated world cricket from the 70s to the early 90s, as they captured the first two editions of the World Cup during this period. However, their fortunes dipped drastically from the mid-90s, and they have not been the same force to be reckoned with since then.

West Indies fast bowler Curtly Ambrose | Kieran Doherty/ Reuters
West Indies fast bowler Curtly Ambrose | Kieran Doherty/ Reuters

Curtly Ambrose: Most Youngsters Don’t Understand What Cricket Means To Windies

Speaking on Talk-Sports Live, pacer Curtly Ambrose lamented the lack of appreciation for the legacy of West Indies cricket among the current players.

“Most of the youngsters we have now probably don’t quite understand what cricket means to West Indians in the West Indies and abroad because cricket is the only sport that really unites Caribbean people.”

West Indies winning 1979 ODI World Cup
West Indies winning 1979 ODI World Cup Image Sources: SportsKeeda, Sky Sports

Curtly Ambrose elaborated why he doesn’t believe West Indies could be a great team all over again.

“This is no disrespect to the players we have now because we have a couple of guys who have some quality in them and can become great, but what we have to understand is that I don’t think we will ever see those great, exceptional glory days again.”

The West Indies appeared in three consecutive World Cup finals (1975, 1979, and 1983), and was the first team to win back-to-back World Cups (1975 and 1979).

Statistics highlight their dominance between 1976 and 1995, which coincided with their golden era. West Indies won 71 of the 137 Tests they played in that era, losing only 18 – a win-loss ratio of 3.89.

In the 80s and until the mid-90s, the Calypso Kings played 31 Test series, winning 21 and losing only one. In the shorter format of the game too, the Windies were unstoppable. Apart from winning the 1975 and 1979 World Cups, the Windies were consistent performers in One Day internationals, winning 173 of the 270 matches played between 1979 and 1995 – a win percentage of just over 64.

Curtly Ambrose: West Indies Could Find It Difficult To Produce Legends Like Viv Richards

The 57-year-old further added that West Indies could find it difficult to produce legends like Viv Richards or Michael Holding in the future.

“It’s going to be difficult to find another Viv Richards or a Haynes and Greenidge, a Brian Lara, Richie Richardson, you know, a Malcolm Marshall, Curtly Ambrose, Courtney Walsh, Michael Holding, Andy Roberts, and the list goes on and on, Clive Lloyd. It’s going to be extremely difficult to find those quality players again.”

Curtly Ambrose claimed 405 scalps in 98 Tests and feels that despite the possibility to top the rankings by climbing the charts, the glory days are more or less over.

“When we were the best team in the word, West Indians all over the globe could walk and boast about how good we were because we were the best, so it’s going to be difficult to see those glory days again. Yes, we can be competitive and climb up the ICC rankings and be a force to be reckoned with again, but those glory days, I don’t think we will see them again.”

West Indies T20I World Cup 2016 Winners
West Indies T20I World Cup 2016 Winners Image Sources: SportsKeeda, Sky Sports

West Indies are the defending champions in the T20 World Cup(2016); they also won the tournament in 2012. However, they have struggled to make an impact in ODIs and Tests in the last two decades.

The West Indies have won the ICC Cricket World Cup twice (1975 and 1979), the ICC T20 World Cup twice (2012 and 2016), the ICC Champions Trophy once (2004), and have also finished as runners-up in the Cricket World Cup (1983), the Under 19 Cricket World Cup (2004), and the ICC Champions Trophy (2006).

However, West Indies were eliminated from the group stage in the 2019 World Cup and didn’t reach finals again since 1983 and failed to reach semi-finals after 1996. West Indies are currently placed 8th in ODI, 8th in Test, and 10th in T20Is according to the latest ICC rankings.

With inefficiency and corruption plaguing the WICB, financially struggling players looked towards the cash-rich IPL. Players like Chris Gayle, Dwayne Bravo, Kieron Pollard, and Darren Sammy became IPL stars. IPL’s success prompted other boards to launch their own T20 tournament.

One can now watch the likes of Chris Gayle and Dwayne Bravo in PSL, CPL, BPL, and the BBL too. West Indian cricketers have turned into “T20 mercenaries” – those who prioritize clubs over national duties.