WASIM AKRAM SHOWS CONFIDENCE IN UMAR GUL
August 6, 2012
The former Test captain, Wasim Akram, has come out in support of Umar Gul and thinks that the right-arm fast bowler can still be an asset for Pakistan, if he enhances his ability of adjusting to different formats of the game.
The 28-year-old cricketer was expected to be Pakistan’s spearhead, once Mohammad Amir and Mohammad Asif were banned from competitive cricket in 2010. The fast bowler from Peshawar however, has been a real disappointment and extremely inconsistent, although the right-armer has won matches for the country on occasions.
Gul has been absolutely brilliant in the shorter formats of the game, especially in T20 cricket, playing a major role in his country’s title triumph in the ICC World T20 2009, which was held in England. His performances in Test cricket however, have been found wanting more often than not.
In the recently concluded tour of Sri Lanka, the fast bowler could only manage one scalp in the two Tests, playing a role in his team’s downfall in the series.
Akram is of the view that the skinny fast bowler still has a bright future in international cricket but urged him to work on the mental aspect of his game and bowl according to the format he is playing in.
“I don’t think Umar Gul is a spent force. He is a quality bowler. His main problem is that he is unable to define a role for himself in the team. He is unable to adjust his bowling according to the different formats of the game,” the former captain expressed.
The former left-arm fast bowler appreciates the cricketer’s performances in T20 cricket but feels that Gul fails to adapt to the five-day format.
“He is bowling the same in Tests and the same in Twenty20 and that is hurting his performance,” Wasim said.
Like most international cricketers, Akram thinks that Test cricket is the pinnacle of the game and a player must prove his ability on the ultimate stage of cricket.
He added, “The bowlers will have to realise that Test cricket is still the ultimate test for any bowler. Unless you are successful in this format you can’t be really be regarded as world class.”