When you ask someone about best timer of cricket ball in current Pakistan line up than most of the replies you get will reveal that Pakistan’s Mohammad Hafeez can be rated as a best timer within the current lot. His creamy cover drives, effort less pull shots & wristy flicks will give an impression of a player with immense talent but somehow this talent cannot be showcased by his statistics. For a man who made his debut way back in a August, 2000 to maintain an average of around 32 runs per innings is not justified to his team & talent of which he showed some glimpses every now & than.
In this blog I will try to identify & analyze his batting struggles in ODI’s. Mohammad Hafeez has represented Pakistan over all in 187 One Day International matches. He accumulated 5787 runs with an average of 32.69 runs per innings. He managed those runs with slightly lower strike rate of 75 runs per 100 balls as per the modern day game. 11 centuries & 31 fifty’s are also on his credit. Overall this is not a record on which someone gets proud of but somehow Hafeez managed to hold his place in Pakistan lineup since last 17 years.
The pattern of Hafeez’s batting showed that he struggles against strong bowling sides like South Africa, New Zeland, England & Australia whether it is in their home soil where conditions are more favorable for seam bowling or either it is on docile wickets of sub continent. Hafeez batting average against these bowling sides dip to 24.43 in 82 ODI matches all over the world. Where he managed only 1930 runs in those matches with just 2 centuries to his name.
On the other hand against teams like India, Bangladesh, Ireland, Srilanka, West Indies, Zimbabwe & other associate nations his batting average shoots upto 39 runs per innings all over the world. He has scored 3857 runs and 9 of his 11 ODI hundreds came against those sides with weaker fast bowling resources.
If we look at Mohammad Hafeez statistics against India, Bangladesh, Ireland, Srilanka, West Indies, Zimbabwe & other associate nations in Australia, Englan
d, South Africa & New Zeland than his average again dips to 31.65 runs per innings which shade below his career average. Which shows clear lacking against seaming & swinging conditions where he struggles.
Above analysis showed that Hafeez is vulnerable against good quality fast bowling & found it hard to bat in seaming & swinging conditions overseas. PCB selection committee must look into these findings before selecting a player in such a major ICC tournaments like Champions trophy 2017. Hafeez current failure with the bat was on cards as he failed to support Pakistan batting lineup in two opening encounters of the ICC Champions Trophy 2017. Experience of player should not be the only criteria for his selection in the team. Weight age should be given to skills in particular conditions & ability of a player to adapt him in such conditions. As batting is the weakest forte of Pakistan team and we need players here who could just not stabilize the batting when needed but also can provide impetus during the middle over of the innings.
All statistics are updated till Pakistan vs South Africa match of ICC Champions Trophy 2017 (match # 3881)