January 15, 2007


Kaneria: an enigma to all

Kamran Abbasi
Danish Kaneria is frustrated again, South Africa v Pakistan, 1st Test, Centurion Park, January 15, 2007
 © AFP

Danish Kaneria's introduction to international cricket was accompanied by great optimism. Here was a young man whose bowling was mature beyond the age of his wrist. He spun the ball sharply, he could get it to drift in, he rarely bowled bad balls, and he had enough energy to keep going on and on and on. With Shane Warne's retirement, Kaneria has announced his desire to succeed him as the world's premier leg spinner. But Kaneria's career has been a triumph of ambition over achievement. The occasions have been few when Kaneria has threatened to run through a top order and he has achieved it on even fewer.

His first innings performance on a helpful wicket hinted that he might be a genuine threat if Pakistan could muster a sufficient lead. Well, Pakistan's lead might not have been great but it was possibly sufficient. Kaneria might not have had much back up but he had Mohammad Asif. That Kaneria failed to take a single wicket in these circumstances is bewildering, an enigma. Pakistan might still not have won but Kaneria, you imagined, might make it one hell of a task. He didn't. His failure in helpful conditions leaves Pakistan's selectors with a hellish dilemma: Pakistan need Shoaib Akhtar and Umar Gul back but can they be risked? All this might spell good news for Mohammad Sami?

Whatever happens with the pace attack it will be a surprise if Kaneria is not twirling away at the other end. But leg spinners are meant to be match winners not stock bowlers--and Kaneria has some matches to win. He might work on his flipper too. Without that he can forget following in Warne's footsteps.

Kamran Abbasi is an editor, writer and broadcaster. He tweets here

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Posted by Md. Hasanuzzaman on (February 15, 2007, 15:37 GMT)

Kaneria could take much more wickets on any surface if he is backed by superb fielding not lathergic Pakistan fielding.

Posted by Irfan on (January 31, 2007, 14:42 GMT)

I think the problem with Kaneria is that he lacks the wit, the wisdom to outfox the batters. He may have the talent and the passion, but the biggest weapon of any spinner is his mental edge over his opponent. Just take example of Saqi, he always outsmarted his opponents not through extravagant spin but through witty bowling. He has become a victim of politics and mindboggling selectioin priorities.

Posted by HateScreechers on (January 28, 2007, 12:04 GMT)

Kaneria's opera singing is just rediculous. What he lacks in bowling he makes up for in shouting, screaching at almost every delivery today against Kallis, as if he can get Kallis out if he (and the team) scream enough. Umpires should stop such a rediculous and cowardly display - it does the game of cricket injustice.

Should he scream his comments in english, he'd be sitting alongside Gibbs by now.

Posted by Michael-Sydney on (January 27, 2007, 23:44 GMT)

Boy Oh Boy. Hasn't Kaneria proved his doubters completely wrong! To be honest I always thought that he was a great bowler especially for his age! Sure he isn't no Murali or Warne yet but in my opinion he is the No.3 Spinnner in the world (No.2 now that Warne has retired). He will only get better with age and quite frankly if Pakistani fans complain about him they have rocks in their heads. I know for certain that a player of his quality would be welcome in the Aussie team. If it is good enough for us then it should be more then good enough for you!

This article about him really is quite rubbish and definitely shows a lack of understanding of wrist-spin bowling. It is also indicative of the 'complaining style' of Pakistani fans and that is unfortunate.

Posted by Siddiqi on (January 24, 2007, 11:14 GMT)

Kaneria is a class bolwer have confidence in him provide a keeper like Rashid Latif ( Kamran dropped three catch and missed a stumping = 4 wickets) and a strong pace attack consist of Shoiib,Asif and Gul to soften batman and give him chance to show his magic

Posted by AussieMark on (January 24, 2007, 0:20 GMT)

Well I saw Kaneria out here 2 years ago, and he certainly showed he had not only the ability, but temprament to mix it at Test level for a long time to come. He was giving the Aussie batsmen verbal barrages and fist-pumping send offs. Great stuff. The Pakistani pace bowling, though, was pathetic, and from the sounds of things hasn't improved too much. Perhaps Kaneria is worn out from having to carry the bowling attack, and from the public pressure on him. Get a fit, consistent, mentally strong pace quartet in there and help him out!

Posted by Saqib on (January 21, 2007, 16:29 GMT)

Kaneria is a lively energetic bowler who can bowl all day with the same enthusiasm and does not leak many runs. I think he is one of those players who are plain unlucky, ermmm another example would be collymore for the west indies. I feel for the guy i really do, but hopefully patience with him and faith in him from the pakistani fans and selectors will allow him to produce and show his great talent.

Posted by Muhammad Faheem Khan on (January 21, 2007, 7:40 GMT)

yes there is no doubt that Danish Kaneria is a very good leg spinner bowler after shane warne i think he is only the best. but unfortunately in the 2nd innings of ist test he could not gotton the wicket and pakistan lost the ist test. but i hope that in future he would be the backbone and wicket taker bowler.

Posted by Viju Jacob on (January 20, 2007, 11:12 GMT)

Kaneria talks the talk but hasnt managed the walk yet. It's time he stopped talking big ang instead try & emulate Qadir, if not Warne.

Posted by Aaiz Aziz on (January 20, 2007, 9:24 GMT)

I totally agree with last few of you.Kamran Akmal has had an extended run, longer than he deserved.Zulqurnain deserves a few tests now.

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Kamran Abbasi
Kamran Abbasi is an editor, writer and broadcaster. He was the first Asian columnist for Wisden Cricket Monthly and Kamran is the editor of the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine. @KamranAbbasi

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