YASIR – the SHAH of leg spin bowling | Sunday Observer

YASIR – the SHAH of leg spin bowling

In these columns I wrote and elaborated on the good, the destruction or the mayhem an excellent leg spin bowler with varieties in his armoury could cause in on opposing batting sides in any form of the game.

I made special mention of the wonderful spell by the Brits leg spinning/googly bowling ADIL RASHID. He bamboozled Sri Lankan batsmen. He lured them to defeat in the final Test. It left many stunned.

And comes along for another leg spinner, Pakistan’s YASIR SHAH to underline the value of leg spin which is the most difficult of arts in bowling.

Crowns himself the SHAH

YASIR crowned himself as the SHAH of leg spinners when in the dessert, he made the New Zealand batsmen look ordinary and sorry sights in Dubai and Abu Dhabi. He tightened the noose and strangled them to give Pakistan a grand victory in by an innings and 16 runs.

SHAH produced easily the best spell of mesmerizing leg spin/googly bowling seen in the desert, not since the Australian trio of Clarrie Grimmet, Bill O’Reiley and Shane Warne had showcased.

To mention SHAH’S record breaking figures – 8 for 41 in the first innings and 6 for 142 in the second to give him a memorable match bag of 14 for 184. Amazing and awesome figures that any leg spinner would be proud of and love to have.

Best figures by a Pakistani

The early best figures by a Pakistan bowler, not being a leg spinner, but a medium pacer was the present Prime Minister of Pakistan IMRAN KHAN with 14 for 116 against Sri Lanka in Lahore when Sri Lanka made their maiden tour in 1982. I was at the scene to marvel and savor this remarkable spell by IMRAN K. The Lankan batsmen did not know what hit them.

SHAH has razzled and dazzled and excelled everywhere he played-- on wickets that were favourabe or unfavorable to his style of spinning. That was because he varied and spun like clever tacticians always do.

SHAH has pocketed 195 wickets in 32 Tests and required another five scalps to reach the dream figures of 200 Test wickets. In the ongoing Test against the Kiwis he captured three wickets in the first innings and in scalping Latham and then Somerville and became the fastest leg spinner to 200 wickets putting behind him the Aussie legend – Clarrie Grimmet who took 200 wickets in 36 Tests in 1936.

Who’s Clarrie Grimmet?

When it was brought to his notice of the record that awaits him held by Clarrie Grimmet, he had responded querying – who is Grimmet? Understandable, because when Grimmet mesmerized batsmen SHAH was not even born.

When SHAH achieves that milestone it will also herald a re-emergence of the types of excellent bowlers that Pakistan in years gone by was famous for. A Pakistani YASIR SHAH – was rightfully crowned the SHAH of leg spin bowling.

India – Aussies will be a blockbuster

CRICKET – the incomparable game that the Britishers gave to the world and called it a gentleman’s game will come alive in all its splendor, glory and breathing fire when Australia hosts cricketing foes India in a Four-Test series with the First that unspooled in Australia on Thursday.

Whenever and wherever these two cricketing countries meet, it has been thrill a minute cricket with no quarter asked or given and contested like a cricketing war with no holds barred.

However and whatever the result, the two countries have played the game in the best of spirits, although winning was the bottom line, but keeping it clean, although there is bound to be a bit of sledging with India giving as good as they get.

Will miss Harbhajan and Symonds

What this fiery series will miss will be the likes of former Australian Andrew Symonds and India’s Harbhajan Singh, two wonderful cricketers in their chosen fields who had the rare ability to bring alive a drab game with their witty sledging.

The twosome would trade barbs with no holds barred which at times threatens to get out at hand with the captains and on field umpires having to stretch their patience to the limit. But at the end it was bonhomie.

Former Australian captain Steve Waugh, elder brother of Mark who led the baggy green caps with great aplomb to many a Test and World Cup victory tagged sledging as causing mental disintegration on opponents.

A few verbals good

A few verbals on the field in the heat of the moment is good for it could help release the pressure and tension that is bound to build with both teams fighting for the bone that is best described as VICTORY.

That the coming series will be eagerly awaited by supporters of both countries there is no doubt. If the T20s played by the two countries is an indication, then India although playing away from home will not lack for want of spectator support.

The T20 series saw the Indian spectators out-number their Aussie counterparts with their flag waving, singing and tom, tom beating and dancing vociferous supporters making a big din baying for their side. While the Brits have the ‘BARMY ARMY’, Sri Lanka ‘APPUHAMY’ the Indians have christened their cheering squad as ‘SWAMY ARMY’.

Fortunes will fluctuate

In the four Tests to be played it will not be easy picking the ultimate winners. Fortunes will surely fluctuate. Cricket being a game that will not be won or lost till the final ball is bowled.

But we would like to hazard a guess and make bold to tip India as favourites to wrap up the series. We say this because in the absence of their two sharp shooters Steve Smith and David Warner, Australia could become sitting ducks to the Indian firepower.

By the way play a straight bat and enjoy life now. It has an expiry date on it.

[email protected]