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The Willow Talk by AK: The Genius of a Giant

Monday, December 05, 2005

The Genius of a Giant

Originally published on April 19, 2005
In the midst of internal ramblings within the Pakistani team, player grouping, match-fixing controversies, and frequent changes in coaches and captains, stands the colossal figure of Inzamam-ul-Haq. Inspite of the going-ons around him, he is like a giant unruffled by the presence of smaller creatures, a statement which can be taken almost literally!

This article will look at some of the statistical highlights of Inzamam-ul-Haq`s glittering career. While most agree that he would have had a better record if only he worked harder on his game and showed more hunger to score runs, none will deny his value and stature in Pakistan`s cricket history. Following are some intriguing statistics from Inzy`s cricketing career.


-Inzamam has a test batting average of 48.90 runs (nowe almost 50 after the India Series), brilliant by any standards. He has played 99 (100 with Bangalore) test matches since his debut in 1992 in Birmingham, England.

- He averages a shade under 45 runs in away matches. Lower then his career mean, but nontheless remarkable.

- His first 5 test centuries were scored on away grounds. - 15 of Inzy`s 20 Test centuries have come in matches won by Pakistan.

- His highest test score of 329 came against New Zealand in 2002. He batted for nearly 2 days! - Since 1999, when he became the most senior batsman in the side, Inzy has stepped it up a notch. From January 1999 to present, Inzy has averaged a staggering 55.10 with the willow.

- His average after becoming captain is a modest 41.15, but he has played some match-winning knocks during that time. A few cases in point being his 72* in the 4th innings in Wellington (2003), 118 against India in Lahore(2004), and 117 against Sri Lanka in Karachi (2004).


- The big man has an impressive average of 39.66 runs in a mammoth 336 matches played since his ODI debut in Lahore in 1991 against Malcolm Marshall and company.

- He has scored 78 fifties and 10 centuries in his ODI career so far. Of those 88 fifty plus scores, 31 have come at the opposition`s home.

- His average outside of Pakistan stands at a modest 37.12 runs.

- His highest ODI score of 137* came against New Zealand in 1994 in Sharjah, the happiest hunting ground of many Pakistani batsmen.

- His best innnings regarded by many, however, was his 122 against India in Karachi last year. Pakistan was chasing 350 but was only able to reach 344, thanks to a marvellous partnership of 135 between Inzy and Yousuf Youhana (73). This match was the 1st ODI of the friendship series between Pakistan and India, a match regarded by many as one of the most exciting matches ever.

Since being promoted as captain, Inzy has been on a tear in the game shorter version. He has scored 1701 runs in 48 internatonals @ 48.60. Such breathtaking numbers further justify the fact that Big Inzy is at his best when the responsbility is on his broad shoulders.

Over the span of his career, Inzamam-ul-Haq has showed that he has continually matured as a batsman. His batsmanship is like an old wine Pakistani fans are intoxicated with! This one`s hoping that he continues to excel in the sport that he has mastered for almost 15 years.

© Adeel Khan


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