Fawad Alam has been recalled to the Pakistan Test squad for their historic home series against Sri Lanka. The longer format of the game has resumed after the gap of ten years. The figure of ’10’ is magical; both for Pakistan and Fawad Alam. He played his last on 24 November 2009 against New Zealand in Dunedin, i.e. 10 years before.
In his debut test on 12 July 2009, Southpaw from Karachi scored a second-innings century. Then where did he vanish? Did he got injured or did he stop scoring runs since then? What Fawad Alam achieved between those 10 years to get his recall in Test Cricket? Let’s find out:
|Best Score||224 not out|
Above numbers show three traits of Fawad Alam:
- 10 years of “Resilience”
- 10 years of “Insane Consistency”
- 10 years of “Never-say-Never Attitude”
Between 2009 -2019, Alam has only one thing in mind, i.e. focus on first-class cricket. In his last 10 years in domestic cricket, even his worst average was “42”. Otherwise, he scored runs with an average of more than 50.
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GIGANTIC RECORD IN HISTORY OF PAKISTAN’S FIRST-CLASS CRICKET:
Fawad Alam is the only batsman in the history of Pakistan’s first-class cricket (since 1952) who has an average of 56. No other batsmen in the likes of Late Hanif Mohammad, Zaheer Abbas, and Javed Miandad had scored runs with an average of more than 55. Even the international greats like Ricky Ponting, Jacques Kallis, Rahul Dravid, and Cheteshwar Pujara are below him in terms of first-class batting average since the 2000s.
Whenever he stepped in the ground, he was always a man on the mission. The mission to make a comeback in red-ball cricket for Pakistan. Even his twitter bio shows his desire to play for green shirts:
His ship of mission saw the shore on 7 December 2019, when coach cum chief selector Misbah ul Haq named a 15-member squad for home series against Sri Lanka. The return of Alam was on the back of loads of runs in the recent season too. His recent season fetched following stats that made impossible for Misbah to drop:
PERFORMANCE IN ONE DAY CRICKET:
Keeping test cricket aside for a moment, Fawad was phenomenal in ODI cricket. He last played ODI cricket back in 2015. During Asia Cup in 2014, he scored two crucial knocks to see his team home. Against Bangladesh in a do or die game, Fawad Alam scored match-winning 74 runs off 70 balls with a strike rate of 105 (very unlike him).https://www.youtube.com/embed/W42pCX19Oa8
Then in the final, he scored magnificent 114 not out off 134 balls. He came to bat when green shirts were struggling at 18 for 3. Time and again he proved his worth whenever he was given chance. He was selected in November 2010 and then in March 2014.
Selection was always inconsistent but Fawad remained consistent.
WHAT HAS CHANGED FOR FAWAD ALAM FOR THE LAST 10 YEARS?
Some amazing facts relate to Fawad Alam’s non-selection period:
- In the current squad against Sri Lanka, no one was there when Fawad played his last test match.
- At National Stadium Karachi that is the venue for 2nd test match of the series, Fawad Alam has nine first-class centuries; highest by any in the current squad.
- Mohammad Amir was playing his 2nd test series which was the last series of Fawad Alam while Amir is also not in the squad as he has said goodbye to the longer format.
Fawad Alam’s fighting comeback is certainly the lesson for everyone, irrespective of the field. When you have the grit, fighting spirit and self-belief, no one can defeat you. Fawad faced criticism as he is not someone who looks pleasing to the eyes when batting. His unusual stance at the crease and his lack of power hitting were presented as an excuse for his non-selection. However, he proved with his consistency that he can score runs without being a muscular-giant or not having a stylish look.
Fawad Alam was ignored in the first test as he couldn’t make it to the playing XI. However, it would be a historic moment if he gets into the playing XI at Karachi in front of his home crowd after ten years.