Thirty minutes, the time I watched one upcoming seamer from an associate country play a game called cricket. Thirty minutes it took, to envisage the upcoming seamer sending the stumps of premier batsmen in the upcoming ICC World t/20 tournament for a nice walk in the night.
So who is this young prodigy? Where does he come from? Mars? Hmm! no. He comes from a country that has been torn by constant wars for the past three decades called Afghanistan and his name is Dawlat Zadran.
A few may think, I must be in some wonderland and I should pinch myself to come out of this strange dream. Fortunately, there is no need for that, but a question will arise in a reader's mind as to what made me think so highly about this bowler from the war torn country.
First ball I saw Dawlat bowl is what made me sit up and take notice of this Afghan cricketer. With a repeatable and a slingy action, (must have modelled his action on Waqar Younis) the seamer bowled his first ball at decent pace. He was bang on the money too by hitting the top of off-stump. The entire over was about Dawlat repeating the same action of looking to hit the stumps. In the end overs, he bowled full and straight which was even more impressive. In-fact, Dawlat's simple but effective method of hitting the top of off-stump every ball seemed like a military general making a laconic statement before the war.
If I compare the way Zadran bowled to most of the modern day seamers going around, I would say they are over-coached. The coaches seem to squeeze so many theories inside a bowler's head that in the end, his brain will be completely muddled with bizarre theories. On the other hand, Dawlat was like a breath of fresh - bowler who comes across as a self taught cricketer and looks to keep it simple.
Here, if I ask an old timer, who knows a thing or two about cricket, he would think of Alec Bedser, Fazal Mahmood, Shackleton and co. We are thinking of some high quality bowlers, who looked to keep it simple by hitting top of off-stump almost every ball.
Modern day coaches though, stress more on bowling well wide of off-stump to test a batsman's patience. A tactic that should be used only when the opposition's batsmen have raked up 500 runs for the loss of two wickets :) In t/20 cricket, we also see a plethora of slower deliveries. It isn't a bad variation to have, but nowadays, bowlers use it too often.
Anyway, coming back to our man Dawlat, I am certainly looking forward to watching him bowl against bigwigs like India and England in the ICC World t/20. I would certainly like to see how Lumb, Wright, Buttler and especially, Kieswetter cope against him. All of them like to hit through the line and on the up, but they will be up against a bowler looking to hit the stumps. Dawlat has a sharp inswinger which can cause problems for Kieswetter. So, Kieswetter and co. just be a bit careful, when up against Dawlat :) Of course, it is a big event and with big boys playing in it, the young Afghan cricketer may just freeze and bowl a wide first up. Hopefully though, he will have a good tournament.
To be honest, I knew about Afghanistan as some war torn country. Yes, I also knew that Steve Waugh's twin brother, Mark Waugh was given the nickname Afghan, but other than that, not much of a clue about Afghanistan. Now, cricket fans like me also know that Afghanistan have a fine cricket team made up of some promising players like Shahzad, Nabi, Hassan and of course our man Dawlat Zadran.