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Fast bowling has been Pakistan's trump card, their national obsession, and a resource they have never been short of. Which men make it to the final XI?
May 10, 2010
The one constant in Pakistan cricket, from start to now, through the good days, the bad, the controversies, the scandals, the fights, revolts and madness has been the ability to produce fast bowlers the rest of the world envies.
Pace bowling is a national obsession. Wanting to bowl quick, to hit stumps or hit batsmen is as much a part of growing up in Pakistan as anything and it has been that way since at least the mid-70s. Even before that, with men such as Fazal Mahmood, Khan Mohammad and Mahmood Hussain, Pakistan was never short of a quality fast-bowling options.
Few countries have as rich a tradition of pace bowling as Pakistan; of the 14 fast bowlers who have taken over 350 Test wickets, only the West Indies has as many representatives as Pakistan (three). And unlike the West Indies, Pakistan has benefited from a great variety in its fast-bowling ranks.
There have been the super-quick, men such as Waqar Younis, Shoaib Akhtar and Mohammad Zahid. There have been the super-quick and ultra-rounded, like Imran Khan and Wasim Akram. And there have also been the not-so-quick, but very smart: Fazal, Sarfraz Nawaz, and from the modern vintage, Mohammad Asif. In reverse swing, they have also given the world the most significant fast-bowling innovation of the modern age. They are mostly the reason why Pakistan have won nearly a third of all their Tests and more or less a quarter of away Tests.
Most Pakistan XIs have used three fast bowlers and thrown a spinner into the mix. But an all-time XI can benefit from greater options, especially as Imran Khan provides such flexibility as an allrounder.
We'll be publishing an all-time Pakistan XI based on readers' votes to go with our jury's XI. To pick your fast bowlers click here
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