Aritro

May 23, 2007, 07:55 AM

It's been so long since Mortaza had an extended injury lay-off that I was starting to forget the hopelessness that his absence used to bring on.

But say we were playing at a place like Perth where 3 pace bowlers are still a must, and we did happen to lose Mortaza to injury for the match, who would we turn to as the 3rd paceman behind Rajib and Rasel?

I really hope no one will suggest Baiysa because the thought of us having to rely on him still fills me up with dread. He seems to have learned how to bowl 5km faster than before, but still suffers from a complete inability to control his line and length. I remember a commentator pointing out during the Natwest series how he just seems to put the ball there and hope it lands in the right area. Nothing much has changed on that front.

I can't comment with too much authority on Talha Jubair and Mohammed Sharif because I haven't seen either of them bowl for years. However, I have to say that due to injury, their recent stats aren't too impressive. Furthermore, Talha has very rarely returned 3 or 4 wicket performances in his entire List A career.

But stats only tell half the story so I'll defer to the judgement of people who've actually seen them in the flesh in recent years.

But based on statistics alone, my suggestion is Mohammed Shahzada. Check out these numbers:

<table><tbody><tr><td>Season</td><td> </td><td>Balls</td><td>Mdns</td><td>Runs</td><td>Wkts</td><td>BB</td><td>Ave</td><td>5wI</td><td>10wM</td></tr> <tr><td>2003-04 (http://www.cricketarchive.com/Archive/Seasons/2003-04_BDESH.html)</td><td>(Bangladesh)</td><td>1374</td><td>55</td><td>622</td><td>28</td><td>4-64</td><td>22.21 </td><td>0</td><td>0</td></tr> <tr><td>2004-05 (http://www.cricketarchive.com/Archive/Seasons/2004-05_BDESH.html)</td><td>(Bangladesh)</td><td>1133</td><td>51</td><td>488</td><td>24</td><td>4-43</td><td>20.33 </td><td>0</td><td>0</td></tr> <tr><td>2004-05 (http://www.cricketarchive.com/Archive/Seasons/2004-05_IND.html)</td><td>(India)</td><td>102</td><td>2</td><td>92</td><td>0</td><td> </td><td> </td><td> </td><td> </td></tr> <tr><td>2005-06 (http://www.cricketarchive.com/Archive/Seasons/2005-06_BDESH.html)</td><td>(Bangladesh)</td><td>795</td><td>35</td><td>382</td><td>14</td><td>5-81</td><td>27.28 </td><td>1</td><td>0</td></tr> <tr><td>2006-07 (http://www.cricketarchive.com/Archive/Seasons/2006-07_BDESH.html)</td><td>(Bangladesh)</td><td>1512</td><td>64</td><td>676</td><td>44</td><td>7-95</td><td>15.36 </td><td>3</td><td>1</td></tr></tbody></table>

His stats from last season are phenomonal. That's 44 wickets at an average of 15 from just 8 matches on slow Bangladeshi pitches. Even Mortaza would struggle to produce a return like that. Insanely good numbers.

Also here's a couple of 18 year olds who are obviously too young to play for the Test team, but could eventually become regulars a few years down the track.

Dolar Mahmud

<table><tbody><tr><td>Season</td><td> </td><td>Balls</td><td>Mdns</td><td>Runs</td><td>Wkts</td><td>BB</td><td>Ave</td><td>5wI</td><td>10wM</td></tr> <tr><td>2004-05 (http://www.cricketarchive.com/Archive/Seasons/2004-05_BDESH.html)</td><td>(Bangladesh)</td><td>805</td><td>25</td><td>438</td><td>15</td><td>3-46</td><td>29.20 </td><td>0</td><td>0</td></tr> <tr><td>2006-07 (http://www.cricketarchive.com/Archive/Seasons/2006-07_BDESH.html)</td><td>(Bangladesh)</td><td>723</td><td>29</td><td>384</td><td>17</td><td>5-44</td><td>22.58 </td><td>1</td><td>0</td></tr></tbody></table>

Dolar is still only 18 so it's far too early to tell. It's safe to say he's not quite ready for Test cricket yet though.

The other player that interested me was Mohammed Azim.

Mohammed Azim

<table><tbody><tr><td colspan="8"></td></tr> <tr><td>

</td><td>Balls</td><td>Mdns</td><td>Runs</td><td>Wkts</td><td>BB</td><td>Ave</td><td>5wI</td><td>10wM</td><td>SRate</td><td>Econ</td></tr> <tr><td>Overall</td><td>548</td><td>28</td><td>275</td><td>13</td><td>5-54</td><td>21.15 </td><td>1</td><td>0</td><td>42.15 </td><td>3.01</td></tr></tbody></table>

That's 12 wickets in 3 matches and a wicket every 42 balls. From what I understand, he might be going to the next U/19s World Cup and he's already bowling 80mph and above. Obviously won't be figuring in the Test team any time soon though.

I'll be interested to hear people's suggestions.

I'd also really, really appreciate it if anyone who's seen Shahzada, Dolar or Azim could comment on what sort of bowlers they are in terms of style and pace.

But say we were playing at a place like Perth where 3 pace bowlers are still a must, and we did happen to lose Mortaza to injury for the match, who would we turn to as the 3rd paceman behind Rajib and Rasel?

I really hope no one will suggest Baiysa because the thought of us having to rely on him still fills me up with dread. He seems to have learned how to bowl 5km faster than before, but still suffers from a complete inability to control his line and length. I remember a commentator pointing out during the Natwest series how he just seems to put the ball there and hope it lands in the right area. Nothing much has changed on that front.

I can't comment with too much authority on Talha Jubair and Mohammed Sharif because I haven't seen either of them bowl for years. However, I have to say that due to injury, their recent stats aren't too impressive. Furthermore, Talha has very rarely returned 3 or 4 wicket performances in his entire List A career.

But stats only tell half the story so I'll defer to the judgement of people who've actually seen them in the flesh in recent years.

But based on statistics alone, my suggestion is Mohammed Shahzada. Check out these numbers:

<table><tbody><tr><td>Season</td><td> </td><td>Balls</td><td>Mdns</td><td>Runs</td><td>Wkts</td><td>BB</td><td>Ave</td><td>5wI</td><td>10wM</td></tr> <tr><td>2003-04 (http://www.cricketarchive.com/Archive/Seasons/2003-04_BDESH.html)</td><td>(Bangladesh)</td><td>1374</td><td>55</td><td>622</td><td>28</td><td>4-64</td><td>22.21 </td><td>0</td><td>0</td></tr> <tr><td>2004-05 (http://www.cricketarchive.com/Archive/Seasons/2004-05_BDESH.html)</td><td>(Bangladesh)</td><td>1133</td><td>51</td><td>488</td><td>24</td><td>4-43</td><td>20.33 </td><td>0</td><td>0</td></tr> <tr><td>2004-05 (http://www.cricketarchive.com/Archive/Seasons/2004-05_IND.html)</td><td>(India)</td><td>102</td><td>2</td><td>92</td><td>0</td><td> </td><td> </td><td> </td><td> </td></tr> <tr><td>2005-06 (http://www.cricketarchive.com/Archive/Seasons/2005-06_BDESH.html)</td><td>(Bangladesh)</td><td>795</td><td>35</td><td>382</td><td>14</td><td>5-81</td><td>27.28 </td><td>1</td><td>0</td></tr> <tr><td>2006-07 (http://www.cricketarchive.com/Archive/Seasons/2006-07_BDESH.html)</td><td>(Bangladesh)</td><td>1512</td><td>64</td><td>676</td><td>44</td><td>7-95</td><td>15.36 </td><td>3</td><td>1</td></tr></tbody></table>

His stats from last season are phenomonal. That's 44 wickets at an average of 15 from just 8 matches on slow Bangladeshi pitches. Even Mortaza would struggle to produce a return like that. Insanely good numbers.

Also here's a couple of 18 year olds who are obviously too young to play for the Test team, but could eventually become regulars a few years down the track.

Dolar Mahmud

<table><tbody><tr><td>Season</td><td> </td><td>Balls</td><td>Mdns</td><td>Runs</td><td>Wkts</td><td>BB</td><td>Ave</td><td>5wI</td><td>10wM</td></tr> <tr><td>2004-05 (http://www.cricketarchive.com/Archive/Seasons/2004-05_BDESH.html)</td><td>(Bangladesh)</td><td>805</td><td>25</td><td>438</td><td>15</td><td>3-46</td><td>29.20 </td><td>0</td><td>0</td></tr> <tr><td>2006-07 (http://www.cricketarchive.com/Archive/Seasons/2006-07_BDESH.html)</td><td>(Bangladesh)</td><td>723</td><td>29</td><td>384</td><td>17</td><td>5-44</td><td>22.58 </td><td>1</td><td>0</td></tr></tbody></table>

Dolar is still only 18 so it's far too early to tell. It's safe to say he's not quite ready for Test cricket yet though.

The other player that interested me was Mohammed Azim.

Mohammed Azim

<table><tbody><tr><td colspan="8"></td></tr> <tr><td>

</td><td>Balls</td><td>Mdns</td><td>Runs</td><td>Wkts</td><td>BB</td><td>Ave</td><td>5wI</td><td>10wM</td><td>SRate</td><td>Econ</td></tr> <tr><td>Overall</td><td>548</td><td>28</td><td>275</td><td>13</td><td>5-54</td><td>21.15 </td><td>1</td><td>0</td><td>42.15 </td><td>3.01</td></tr></tbody></table>

That's 12 wickets in 3 matches and a wicket every 42 balls. From what I understand, he might be going to the next U/19s World Cup and he's already bowling 80mph and above. Obviously won't be figuring in the Test team any time soon though.

I'll be interested to hear people's suggestions.

I'd also really, really appreciate it if anyone who's seen Shahzada, Dolar or Azim could comment on what sort of bowlers they are in terms of style and pace.