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Imad Wasim’s improvement gives Pakistan option

Shaheen Shah Afridi took the plaudits with his swing, bounce and aggression. Usman Shinwari, was the match winner in the 4th match picking up a four wicket haul. But it was Imad Wasim, who was the most consistent bowler in the white ball leg of the series against South Africa, keeping a lid on things for his captain.

In the 4 ODI games he played, Imad went for 4.53 runs per over. In the T20s, Imad was impossible to get away going for 4.25 RPOs. In this day and age, considering many of those overs came in the power play, it was an excellent performance. While Shadab had a difficult 2nd half of the series and Hafeez unable to replicate his old form with the ball, Imad was able to control the South African batsmen with immaculate lengths and lines.

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That is something however, Imad has managed almost throughout his career. What was different in this series was hit cameos. In the both the T20 and ODI series, he managed a strike rate of over 160. His overall ODI strikes rate is 101, while in T20s he is at 153. It analysed deeply, there was evident improvement in his off side game. While, he always had a decent hit towards mid-on to mid-wicket, in this series he was able to clear mid-off and cover with ease. Just on memory, numerous times he has been caught trying to clear mid-off. With that in mind South Africa kept cover and mid off but paid the price. The faster wickets with consistent bounce in South Africa might have played a factor, but one could see Imad has worked on his game.

Over the past little while, there was questions raised about his form and fitness. Once considered Mickey’s favourite, he was dropped from the Asia Cup squad on fitness parameters. He returned a little while later not just with improved fitness but also upping his game. Pakistan are in dire need of a power hitter. They have been for years now. If Imad can be consistent, a big problem for Pakistan would go away.

Asjad Khan

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