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The descend of Umar Gul

With experience, the pacer seemingly has gotten worse

during the 3rd NatWest One Day International between England and Pakistan at The Brit Insurance Oval on September 17, 2010 in London, England.
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We have now gone to the other extreme. Scores over 350 are being chased easily despite presence of international bowlers. I am not complaining though. We have been on the wrong side of this change for way too long. If we shall err, it might as be with the global trend. I’d rather see 360 being chased than 180 being defended in domestic cricket. It’s not great for the game of cricket, but that is what the way administrator want to take it.

So, as I saw 365 runs being chased down by Punjab, one thing stood out for me. The performance of Umar Gul or the lack of it. In 10 overs, he gave away 89 runs. Rest of the bowlers were just a little bit better. However, let me provide some context. Being the senior and experienced bowler, the captain would have look towards Umar Gul to provide support to other bowlers other than being economical himself. This wasn’t the case.

The Wahab Question!

And it’s being like this for a few years. Injuries have played a massive part in his decline. It seems as if Umar Gul has never fully recovered. At his pomp Umar Gul was one of the best bowler white ball bowlers in the world. With experience, one hoped that he will be able to play the role of a senior man, guiding youngsters. However, he hasn’t played for Pakistan for a long time. In domestic cricket, his performances are below par.

At the later stage of their career, bowlers play on their knowhow. Their pace may be down, but they develop other skills to compensate for it. They don’t have the strength to blow batsmen away, so they play with their minds. Seemingly, Umar Gul hasn’t been able to go that path. It’s a loss of World Cricket.

the authorAsjad Khan