Pakistan is a land where the potential to be great impresses people more than actually being great. Thus, there are a lot of cricketers in the country who are extremely talented, however; they haven’t been able to justify their potential by transforming their talent into performances. Fans thought these cricketers would change the fortunes of Pakistan cricket but despite their talents they haven’t been able to win matches for their country. So here is a list of 5 such overrated Pakistani cricketers.
- Umar Akmal
Ever since his debut, Umar Akmal has always been hailed as one of the most talented batsmen ever produced in the last decade. Ex-cricketers and observers applauded his fearless approach and also compared him to the great Zaheer Abbas. His career started promisingly with a century in his test debut however, it all went downhill from then on as he got surrounded with controversies. Temperamental issues meant that he failed to retain his position in the test side. Moreover, his attitude and his constant whining about his batting position also meant that his performance took a back seat. Eventually, Umar Akmal was dropped from the Pakistan ODI team, after a string of bad performances in the 2015 world cup. His career reached its nadir after the world T20 2016. It is very unlikely that he will be selected in the team again for some time. Hence, the reason he makes it to the top of the list is the fact that by now, Umar Akmal could have been a certified match winner for Pakistan; however, time and time again he has failed to finish the match for his side. He is still labeled as a very talented batsman, however; the talent of a player is useless if he is unable to convert it into performances.
- Mohammed Irfan
Standing 7 feet tall, Mohammed Irfan is far from a conventional fast bowler. His ability to extract bounce and generate pace on a placid wicket makes him one of the toughest bowlers to face. Unfortunately, however, Irfan hasn’t been able to fully capitalize on his height advantage. The main problem with Irfan is that he has become a one-dimensional bowler; once a batsman is able to read him his bounce is subdued thus, making him significantly less dangerous. In the 80’s the tall Wes Indian fast bowlers like Joel Garner and Curtly Ambrose also relied on their heights to extract bounce of the wicket, however, once they managed to get the batsman on the back foot, they used to pitch the ball up and were very difficult to pick from their high actions. Mohammed Irfan on the other hand, tends to bowl too short on some occasions furthermore; Irfan also lacks the ability to swing the ball into the batsman. All these problems are reflected in his record too. Irfan has never taken 5 wickets in an ODI or a T20, plus, he averages almost 31 with the ball in ODI’s. Even though, he is considered one of the most dangerous bowlers in the world by many Ex-cricketers, his record is far from this claim. All these stats and the fact that Irfan misses more matches then he plays, merits Irfan’s position on this list.
- Anwer Ali
When Anwer Ali made his debut in 2013, many fans and observers felt that Pakistan has finally found a replacement for the veteran Abdul Razzaq. Moreover, the way he played on his ODI debut also meant that fans had developed high expectations immediately. Add to the fact that he is one of the best fielders in the Pakistan side and you get the perfect package. However, after that first match, Anwer Ali hasn’t been able to live up to the expectations of the fans. Injury problems have meant that he has lost zip in his bowling furthermore, lack of consistency with the bat means that Anwer Ali has not been able to live up to the promise of replacing Abdul Razzaq. He still has the potential, if he develops consistency, however, for now, it can be said that Anwer Ali is rated more highly than his record would suggest.
- Shahid Afridi
Ok everyone calm down, I am also an Afridi fan but looking at Afridi’s record over the years, it’s hard to argue that he is not overrated. For starters, Afridi is a larger than life character who has a large number of fans around the world. His popularity is greater than any player in the world plus, he is also a match winner, on his day Afridi can take the game away from the opposition in a matter of minutes. However, if we analyze the record Afridi averages 23 with the bat and 34 with the ball in ODI cricket. In 375 innings he has taken 395 wickets. On the other hand he averages just 18 with the bat in T20 internationals. Afridi is undoubtedly one of the most popular cricketers on the planet, however; on paper Afridi’s record is average at best. Many fans will argue that he shouldn’t be judged on the basis of records but rather on the basis of his match-winning ability. While this is partially true, fans should also remember that Afridi has thrown the game away in a lot of cases. Plus, Afridi is someone who can take the game away from the opposition; however, consistency has always been missing from the flamboyant all-rounder. It is important to note that saying Afridi is overrated in no way undermines his contributions. On the contrary, I believe that Afridi has had a truly unique career however; it is safe to say that his record doesn’t justify the fame he has received over the years.
- Sohail Tanveer
Upon his debut Sohail Tanveer was considered a unique bowler because of his fan like action. In his first few years, he troubled the batsman across the world. In addition to his international performance, Sohail Tanveer was also the highest wicket-taker in the inaugural edition of the IPL because of which Shane Warne said that he is one of the finest all-rounders Pakistan had ever produced. Injury and fitness problems, however, meant that Sohail Tanveer could never quite live up to the best all-rounder tag that Shane Warne had given him. On two occasions he failed to make two runs in the last over, clearly showing that he was never a reliable all-rounder in the first place. Moreover, once his action was read by the majority of the batsman, Sohail Tanveer also lost his novelty.
Who are some of the overrated cricketers missing from this list? Leave your opinion in the comments below and keep following us on Facebook and Twitter to read our latest articles.