Fawad Alam makes his return to Test cricket after more than 10 years
Surely, a night of excitement, pressure, and curiosity for Fawad Alam and his fans as a left-handed hitter makes his return to Test cricket after more than 10 years. It’s obvious that when a lot of people are waiting for you, you definitely have butterflies in your stomach, and Fawad does too if he was told to play the second trial.
Let’s take a look at the last decade, a difficult period for the cricketer who scored a 100 in the debut of the test, yet was eliminated from the team just after three matches. During this time, there were many occasions when he could have been selected, but God knows if his technique was wrong or if he had been affected by the culture of like or dislike.
With over 10,000 runs to his credit in world-class cricket, Fawad was probably one of the most unfortunate cricketers not only in Pakistan but around the world. Averaging 56.78 in FC cricket, Fawad knocked on the selectors’ doors in every reign but was often given ‘lollypop’.
At the 2019/20 Quaid-e-Azam Trophy, Alam scored 781 runs in 10 games for Sindh. He finished the season with a good average of 71 and a high score of 211 against South Punjab in November. His performances earned him a call-up for the test team when Sri Lanka toured Pakistan, and there were high hopes that his wait would end. That was not the case, and it happened to be overlooked in the XI for the single test against Bangladesh as well.
Now, after the reports suggesting Fawad’s return, the debate has once again begun about whether Fawad will shut his mouth on all the people who ignored him in the past or not. But, it should be noted here that you do not have a magic wand through which you can immediately bring laurels with just one movement.
Here are some reasons why you better not expect too much from Fawad at this stage:
Come back after a long interval
First of all, it is not easy for any player to score 100, 200, and 300 immediately without playing an international match during the last five years. You can’t expect too much of him scoring runs in his first game, maybe he does score, but why don’t you stay on the safer side, because if he fails, you will have the courage to give him another chance instead of total disappointment.
Fawad last played an ODI against Bangladesh in his backyard on April 22, 2015. Since then, international cricket has changed a lot and gotten more advanced, so Fawad may need some time to adjust if he returns to get the trial limit tomorrow.
Fawad’s batting stance has been debatable in the all-selector regimen and this was probably one of the reasons he did not make the national team. However, with the same stance, he scored more than 10,000 runs in national cricket, which means that he has no problem scoring runs with this stance.
But international cricket is a totally different world. Here a player takes a while to calm down and then gains pace. Fawad will also need ample opportunities to be fully compliant, otherwise, people will look to other options as he is already 34 years old.
Condition of England
It’s not easy for Asian hitters to score runs easily in England. We recently saw an example of how Pakistani hitters slipped in the second inning of the opening test despite hitting a strong total in the first inning.
According to former cricketer Ramiz Raja, conditions in England change every day, so one team cannot be expected to do equally well throughout the Test.
It is unfortunate for Fawad that he will have to face Stuart Broad and James Anderson on his return. But surely this is not an excuse, it should continue with the domestic way.
The hopes of the fans
Fawad will carry many hopes on his shoulders. His fans will be glued to the screen to see his Fawad swinging the bat once more in international cricket. It would be interesting to see how Fawad handles the pressure if given the opportunity at Southampton. All eyes are on the clock now, the game is on!