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RazabQ
July 26, 2004, 03:23 PM
I managed to catch (on TV) both test matches in Windies and one match in the Asia cup. In that match (BD vs. Pak), the commentators were mentioning how Rafique was bowling fastish flat balls, and therefore the trick was to play him as a medium pacer. That statement was pretty much a confirmation of what I've been thinking for a while - that Rafique is not bowling attacking spin. Recall his comment from the Utpol Shubhro interview? "Ami, tight bowling korum ...". At this level, at some point just bowling accurately will stop getting you wickets if you are a spinner. Even Ashley Giles seems to have realized that.

Yet, at one point Rafique used to have a lovely loop to his bowling. He'd get some drift and occasionally the ball would bite and take off from the pitch (nijer chokhey dekha). Shouldn't Whatmore have noticed this defensive mindset with his star bowler and taken corrective actions?

I wonder if others here on BC have similar thoughts ...

Nasif
July 26, 2004, 03:28 PM
I have heard that comments from Sanjay during Asia Cup also. It is true he is bowling much faster these days. Whatever variation he is making in bowling, he isn't slowing down the pace. His avg speed these days are around ~94kph, which I think is bit too fast. His most deliveries are straighter ones. I don't see much flight and loop as before ...:(

[Edited on 26-7-2004 by nasif]

shovon13
July 26, 2004, 03:34 PM
yeah...i think he's looking more to keep a low economy rate than to pick up wickets. this will only succeed when the batsmen will get frustrated in the later overs and will decide to go after him.

i dont think this is such a good idea. we need wickets to put some pressure on...

samircreep
July 26, 2004, 09:54 PM
Rafique's not bowling any faster; he has always bowled this fast. If you look at his one-day stats, it's pretty poor: his best haul was a meagre 3 wickets in a match.

The reason why he has been getting more wickets at the test level is not because of the much vaunted arm ball which psuedo-sages like to talk about, but the build up to the arm ball.

Note Butcher's dismissal in the England series:two balls that left the left hander followed up by one that kept straight and hit him plumb. It is exactly this variation that hs got him so many wickets at the test level.

But back to his one day performances. Rafique will never excell merely by skidding the ball Jayasuriya style as he has been doing.Occasionally he will get a 3 wicket haul for 40 odd runs but more often than not, he will be taken to the cleaners by classy batsmen like Inzy and Sachin.

Which beggars an interestiong question: do you necessarily have to have a loop (and I repeat, Rafique never had a lopp when bowling in the one-dayers) as a left handed spinner at the one day stage?That's a moot point I guess:Oboya, the chinaman Kenyan bowler had a nice loop which troubled most international batsmen, but in smaller stadiums, you're gonna be in trouble.

I would call Saqlain as the most successful slow bowler I have seen in the one-dayers simply because he kept the batsmen guessing, something that rafique does at the test level but definitely not in the one-dayers.

SS
July 26, 2004, 10:41 PM
Rafique's era is almost over...we should
nuture Rana, Razzaq, Enamul jr. to be allrounder like him. Rafique recently pose to threatt to the opponent.

AsifTheManRahman
July 27, 2004, 02:25 AM
I would worry about this if Rafique had been in his mid twenties, and already achieved what he has done so far. However, he is pretty old, and we should concentrate more on the you9nger ones; but I do think he's been bowling really flat lately. He should reduce his speed and give the ball a lot more flight if he's trying to achieve anything at all.

mahbubH
July 27, 2004, 03:04 AM
Now I think Bangladesh dropped Bulbul, Akram bit early than they should. I am thinking this because their replacement Rajin, Kapali are not doing any better than them.

Currently Rafik is not up to his standard but before dropping him we should have replacements ready. I do not think Raj and Enamul jr are ready to replace him right now. Rafik should be around at least another year!

Shish Ahmed
July 27, 2004, 06:42 AM
by the way talking of bulbul bd dropped him too early as he deserved more chances. One of few BD batsmen who spent time at the crease.

'patience is a virtue'

oracle
July 27, 2004, 09:02 AM
I would call Saqlain as the most successful slow bowler I have seen in the one-dayers simply because he kept the batsmen guessing, something that rafique does at the test level but definitely not in the one-dayers.


There is also Abdul Qaddir, more classier, in my opinion than Saqlain, but you are right Saqi had his own innovations to keep the batsmen on their toes.

Arnab
July 27, 2004, 11:12 AM
Rafique's not taking any chances with experimenting probably because he knows our inept batsmen have never posted a commanding total or made a successful chase.

Every run conceded counts.

Rafique is being smart.

Rafique will start looping when our batsmen start batting responsibly.

[Edited on 27-7-2004 by Arnab]

SS
July 27, 2004, 11:51 AM
agree with Arnab...but he needs looping few deliveries atleast...our batsmen need
to do something immediately
"if they don't fit, they should quit"

Ahmed_B
July 27, 2004, 12:37 PM
anybody had the same feeling as me that Rafiq is not only looping the ball less.. he is getting less turn lately??

by the way.. i wouldn't worry about Rafiq getting less wickets in ODI.. coz he has been like that from the beginning..
But he is very economic.. which is an important ODI bowling requirement.

If he starts underperforming in Tests also.. that might become a thing of worry for us. Because we do hav juinor replacements .. but again.. experiences do count!

[Edited on 27-7-2004 by crickethorizon]

Habibul_bashar
July 27, 2004, 02:58 PM
I think he has play a big In..... in west indies.So he not want to play too much.
I hope he will play in (Bd VS Pk)

RazabQ
July 28, 2004, 01:46 AM
Excellent points made by the posters - perhaps the most telling of which is Arnab's one; namely that Rafique bowls defensively because he feels he does not have enough runs to play with.

I will concede that one, but I must disagree with those who feel loop is unimportant. Loop which starts above the batsmen's eye level, and then has a drift and drop is what will cause the batsman's head to move (i.e. not stay still). When the head bobs, bad shots or mistakes happen. Loop is what will make a top class batsmen think twice about coming down the wicket at you - who knows perhaps his judgement of length or the line will be proved wrong and a stumping will result.

As a spinner you can almost get by without being a true "fizzer", but you can't get by without a loop. As for Jayasuria - he has canny variations of pace. He bowls two very well disguised faster deliveries, one that goes with the arm another that straightens. Then again, Jaysuria is a batsmen who bowls and really, should we be comparing our strike bowler with him?

Look at Daniel Vettori before his injuries. He had such beautiful loop. Rafique needs to mix up his flight and come up with a few more variations of pace. Only then will he get wickets on non flat, slow wickets, test or ODI wise.

That arm-ball is nice but just going on relying on that delivery will make him a one trick pony which any coach with a slo-mo camera will eventually solve.

samircreep
July 28, 2004, 04:29 AM
Good post made by razabq.But I do have two points to disagree with.Let me belabor them once more:

1.Rafiqe is a good one day bolwer but definitely not in the world-class category.Using Saqlain as a benchmark, we can see that the main problem with Rafique is his lack of variation. When the batsmen knows that all Rafique will do is try to contain him (as opposed to getting him out), half the game's up.Most international batsmen have it in their armoury to hit a spinner out of the ground as soon as he realizes that all Rafique is trying to do is bowl quickly at his pads. the great thing about Saqi is that all of his six deliveries are completely different from each other so he's basically a spinning version of Wasim Akram.It is really delightful to see master spin players like Lara and Lehman being completely bamboozled bySaqi's variety.

As I mentioned in my first post, Rafique will never become a great one-day bolwer because his one-day bowling has evolved very little since he first started playing international cricket.And unfortunately for us, he shows absolutely no signs of changing for the future either.

2.Loop is important but not that important in the one-dayers(and I think razabq slightly overstated its importance in his last post).Arnab's right, Qadir was definitely the best exponent of flight and I think he was a great one-day bowler.But I would rather have Saqi in my team (well, I'd want to have both!) than Qadir simply because the limited version of the game allows a batter with limited technique bash out a spinner even when he's bowling with a nice loop for a sustained period of time. But someone with enough variation will get both orthodox and unorthodox batters out in no time.At the end of the day, Qadir will probably end up with figure of 10-1-46-2 while Saqi will have 10-2-31-3 and I would rather have the latter.

Last little quibble;I think it's perfectly alright to compare jayasuriya with Rafique. Rafique might be our alleged strike bowler but Jayasuriya could easily have been the leading spinner in the WI squad.Too bad that he's playing for a team that has never had a dearth of backup bowlers.And I would've easily chosen him over Rafique simply because he's a better one-day spinner .

potshot
July 28, 2004, 11:36 AM
Going by his record in ODI, Rafique is not a strike bowler in ODIs. Jayasuriya is vastly superior ODI bowler and a genuine strike bowler.Even part timers in other countries have better bowling average and strike rate than Rafique. Yuvraj Singh of India is a more classy bowler who bowls clever loopy left arm spin but he does not get too many opportunities to bowl in ODIs.

ODI Bowling records of these three left arm bowlers are as under:

Ov Mdn Rs Wkts Avg BB 4wI 5wI SR EcoRt

Jayasuriya 1943.3 30 9316 255 36.53 6-29 6 3 45.7 4.79

Yuvraj Singh197.3 9 978 26 37.61 4-6 1 - 45.5 4.95

Mohd Rafique 512.2 30 2364 50 47.28 3-56 - - 61.4 5.46

As can be seen, Rafique's bowling average, strike rate and economy rate are nothing to write home about by ODI standards.

[Edited on 28-7-2004 by potshot]

RazabQ
July 29, 2004, 12:26 AM
It seems we are arguing on seperate points. I am not prescribing what Rafique needs to do to become a better ODI bowler. For that the Saqlain-like variety may be the best thing and aspiring to be the next Jayasuria might be a good goal. But for all their one day exploits, Saqlain and Jayasuria will never be called great spin bowlers as say, a Warne, Bhajju, Kumble, Quadir or Vettori.

Rafique is a sr. member of the side and will not probably feature in the next WC so is his becoming a better ODI player what we should hope for or expect?

What we _can_ hope for from him as the Sr. player, for the next 1-3 years (or until Enamul jr is read), is to lead by example and get those wickets that we badly need - whether it be to win test matches (gotta take 20) or check a rampaging batting side in a ODI (as Imran Khan said, the best way slow down a ODI team is to keep taking wickets).

Now can we really expect Rafique to develop a dusra and a tisra? Not really. He's gotta build up on what he has which is an ability to bowl accurately, for long spells. So what variations can one build on an accurate action, especially when one's not considered a big spinner of the ball? I maintain it's gonna be in the area flight and pace aka developing better loop.

I'd love to hear counters from respected posters :) :)