Averages of 12, 18 and 15 after 34 international matches for a specialist batsman makes for poor reading. Umer Amin was earmarked as a special talent early in his career. There was fluency in his drives, his flicks were wristy and pulls powerful. Yet when thrown at the deep end, he came up short. He was backed by the board. They say him as their next captain all thanks to his educational background. Yet he proved, he was not good enough.
Despite this, there was little doubt about his skill. Therefore, he kept getting picked by PSL team. Islamabad United, Quetta Gladiators and now Peshawar Zalmi have tried to bring out the best of him. So far, he has produced two scores of substance for the Zalmi. One came when they need 70 odd runs to win. Two early wickets had Lahore Qalandars in the hunt, but their attack was blunted by Umer’s precision.
But the knock yesterday showed that Umer has matured. It’s just one innings but he provided support for the Pollard onslaught, didn’t try to match the power hitter and never let the required run rate go too high. It wasn’t a flashy 50 to deliver a block buster innings. That part was Pollard’s role. Umer, played the role of the anchor, yet scored at a strike rate 145.
When one has as much as talent as Amin, perhaps the need to flaunt is intrinsic. However, when facing quality bowling, one has to be selective in shot making. It is extremely unlikely that top quality bowlers will allow batsmen to dominate them for long periods, whatever the format. To be able to combine runs with flair has been Umer’s challenge. Yesterday, he did it wonderfully well.