Zaheer Abbas November 29, 2010

The art of Z

Alastair Hignell
Watching Zaheer Abbas bat from the other end was a study in the art of elegant batsmanship. And a lesson in running yourself out
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Bespectacled, studious and mild-mannered, he seemed more like a check-in clerk at Pakistan International Airways than the star player for their cricket team. Skinny, frail and allergic to strenuous exercise, he was a reluctant fielder and could not see the point of taking more than two paces to deliver his apologetic offspin. He hated the cold - but not as much as his compatriot Sadiq Mohammad, who went out to field one icy April afternoon wearing his pyjamas under his tracksuit under his whites - and he disliked the daily grind of the county cricket circuit. But, boy, could he bat.

When Zaheer was at the crease, the whole thing looked ridiculously simple. Upright and elegant, he was equally at ease off front foot or back, but such were his reflexes that he quite often switched from one to the other mid-shot. Stylish and graceful, he never seemed to hurry a stroke or offer a false one. At the top of a back-lift with more twirls than a cheerleader's baton he seemed to pause for a fraction of a second before bringing the bat crashing down at the last moment to send the ball scorching away to the boundary.

Despite the spectacles he had the eyesight of an eagle. He also had the wrists of a squash player. It may have looked effortless, fluent and rhythmic, and all the other adjectives that were showered on Z's batting, but when Zaheer hit a ball, it stayed hit. And such was his feel for a gap that it rarely went straight to a fielder. Zaheer could play defensively but could not see much point in doing so. Even when he seemed to be going along quietly by his standards, it took only a glance at the scoreboard to see that the runs were still flowing freely.

He loved to bat. When he got to the crease Z entered a world of his own, where all that mattered was the bat in his hands and the possibilities it offered. He never set out to dominate the opposition. All he wanted to do was bat for as long as possible and score runs. If in the process records were broken, that was as it should be. If bowlers' hearts were broken as well, that was collateral damage.

He was dubbed the Asian Bradman and, like the Don, Z dealt in big scores. Four of his 12 Test centuries were doubles and the first was a nine-hour 274 against England at Edgbaston in 1971 in only his second Test. He made two against India in Lahore: the first, in 1978-79, was in a three-match series in which he scored a then record 583; the second, in 1982-83, made him the first batsman from the subcontinent to hit a hundred hundreds.

He also hit a second double-century against England, 240 at The Oval on Pakistan's 1974 tour. By then he had been capped by Gloucestershire, most of whose batting records looked unassailable in the hands of WG Grace and Wally Hammond. But while neither of those managed a double-century and a hundred in the same match, Zaheer did, four times. In all eight innings he was unbeaten. And County Championship matches lasted only three days. And there was a 100-over limit on each first innings. And he did not open the batting.

He loved to bat. When he got to the crease Z entered a world of his own, where all that mattered was the bat in his hands and the possibilities it offered

In 1976, apart from the 230 not out and 104 not out against Kent and the 216 not out and 156 not out against Surrey, he hit seven other Championship centuries and topped the first-class averages with 2554 runs at 75. In 1981, the year of his 215 not out and 150 not out against Somerset, he did not bat in May because of rain, scored 1000 runs in June and 2306 all season. In 206 matches for Gloucestershire he scored more than 16,000 runs at just under 50.

As a team-mate for the best part of 10 years, I watched him score most of those runs and I was lucky enough to witness many of them from the other end. I like to think that by the end of the decade we were on a perfect wavelength. I knew better than to ask him for advice about how the wicket was playing or what particular bowlers were doing. "If I tell you," he said, "you'll only start worrying, and you've got enough problems as it is." I also learnt to count to six, as Z regarded it as entirely natural that he should farm the strike and only right and proper that, if anyone should be running to the danger end, it would not be him. I learnt that for all his single-minded concentration Zaheer had a thing about records. After his double-century in Canterbury, he suddenly realised that he would miss out on a second-innings century if I scored too many of the runs required for victory, and marching down the wicket ordered me to block.

And I also learnt that he really was as shy and as unassuming as he looked when he asked me to help him write letters to potential benefactors in his testimonial year. Knowing that he was as reluctant to turn out in benefit matches as he was to make personal appearances, I asked him how he proposed to secure some of their largesse. "Just say I am the best batsman in the world. That should be good enough". It was for us.

Alastair Hignell, former BBC rugby commentator, played cricket for Gloucestershire (1974-83) and rugby union for England (1975-79).This article was first published in the November issue of the Wisden Cricketer. Subscribe here.

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Toescrusher on December 1, 2010, 23:46 GMT

    Any player who was selected for the Kerry Packer World Series has to be the greatest player of that era and Zaheer Abbas happened to be one of them who played one down for the World XI. It is difficult to compare two batsman however if anyone really want to compare then criteria must be absolutely strict i.e. Num 3 batsman should be compared with Num 3 batsman. Here are the most recognized and specialist num 3 batsmen of that era: Richard, Greg Chappell, Zaheer, Kim Hughes, Martin Crow, David Gower, Mohinder Amernath. Among them Richard is on the top however if you look at runs e.g. ODI centuries Zaheer tops Richard with 8 ODI centuries that was highest in ODI by any player till Zaheer played International Cricket nearest to him was Richard with 5 ODI centuries. Gavasker was not num 3 & he has only one ODI hundred; it is not a fair comparison with Zaheer. Gavasker with one ODI hundred was not a ODI player he was a specialist Test opener; should be compared only with Test openers.

  • on December 1, 2010, 15:06 GMT

    The Romantic poet Keats said: "A thing of beauty is a joy forever!" The saying is so much applicable to Zaheer!! Zaheer in his elements had been such a joy!!!

  • The_Dynamite_Kid on December 1, 2010, 11:38 GMT

    The analogy is simple - If you can't respect players from other nations, don't expect others to respect players from your nation.

  • Bilal_Choudry on December 1, 2010, 11:11 GMT

    @The_Dynamite_Kid it tells me that stats can be used to prove anything ... the fact remains that zaheer was a brilliant player and the idea to compare him or anyone to Vishwanath or Vengsarkar or for that matter to gavaskar on stats is absurd .. one watches zaheer play for the sheer elegance and thats what sets him apart and a man with century of hundreds is not tying anyone's boot laces

  • The_Dynamite_Kid on December 1, 2010, 9:39 GMT

    @ Bilal_Choudry - Of course Mr Z. will average that much against the laughable Indian bowling attack. Almost all batsmen in history has cashed in heavily against the sub-par Indian bowling attacks over the years. When someone like Afridi can average close to 50 in Test cricket against Indis, what does that tell you?

  • Bilal_Choudry on December 1, 2010, 6:55 GMT

    @The_Dynamite_Kid

    Mate since you like stats here is some for you Mr. Z ave an unimpressive 87 against the great bowling line up of india ... and for that matter the great Lillee ave 100 plus with the ball in Pakistan .. so what does this tell you ?

  • harshthakor on December 1, 2010, 3:33 GMT

    Those who say that Zaheer is not great because he averaged only 18 against the West Indies and scored most of his runs against India forget his 2 great double-hundreds in England in 1971 and 1974,scoring 274 and 240 respectively.How many great batsman have scored 2 double hundreds in England?They also forget his brilliant 101 and 85 at Brisbane against the likes of Lillee in 1976-77 ,his superb 91 against the West Indies in Packer Cricket in 1978 and his masterly 93 against the West Indies in the 1979 world Cup semi-final.He literally tore Holding,Roberts,Croft and Garner to shreds,like a tiger tearing flesh.Michael Holding rated him a truly great batsman.In one -day Internationals,at his best he would have even given Viv Richards a run for his money.Remember Zaheer'superb batting in the one day games in Australia in 1981-82 and in the 1983 World Cup.

  • harshthakor on December 1, 2010, 3:18 GMT

    If you consider his first-class record where he has score 108 hundreds and average over 51 runs,Zaheer Abbas is one of the all-time greats.His one day International average of 47.62 is remarkable and he would make the 2nd one day all-time 11.Had he done justice to his true talent and overcome his later inhibtions against real pace,Zaheer would have been the best Pakistani batsman of all.At his peak he was the closest to Gavaskar,Richards and Greg Chappell.It was Packer Cricket that affected his tackling of genuine quick bowling and in previous years he superbly tackled Dennis Lille.In 1976-77 he averaged over 57 in Australia scoring a century +an 80 and a 90.

    His batting reminded you of the batsman of the golden age and no batsman had superior timing.He bissected the most impregnable of fields.

  • The_Dynamite_Kid on December 1, 2010, 1:28 GMT

    @ U.A.1985 - I guess you didn't see the comments made by one 'pakspin'. My comment was to serve as a dose of reality to his hilarious statements of Abbas being so much better than Indian batsmen.

  • Wolverine94 on November 30, 2010, 21:37 GMT

    Zaheer Abbas was my favorite cricketer growing up. I used to skip school classes to go see him bat in first class matches and, of course, in test matches. He was the most stylish batsman that I have seen. He had a lot of time to play his shots and would play them very late. His cover drives and square cuts were absolute poetry. He did not adapt to test cricket in the beginning. It seemed that he was not playing with the same freedom in test matches as he would in first class. His average hovered around mid thirties despite those two double hundreds against England. From 1976 onwards he scored at an average of over 50 and that matched his first class average. I so enjoyed seeing him bat. It was like listening to a piece of classical music. Thank you, Zaheer Abbas!

  • Toescrusher on December 1, 2010, 23:46 GMT

    Any player who was selected for the Kerry Packer World Series has to be the greatest player of that era and Zaheer Abbas happened to be one of them who played one down for the World XI. It is difficult to compare two batsman however if anyone really want to compare then criteria must be absolutely strict i.e. Num 3 batsman should be compared with Num 3 batsman. Here are the most recognized and specialist num 3 batsmen of that era: Richard, Greg Chappell, Zaheer, Kim Hughes, Martin Crow, David Gower, Mohinder Amernath. Among them Richard is on the top however if you look at runs e.g. ODI centuries Zaheer tops Richard with 8 ODI centuries that was highest in ODI by any player till Zaheer played International Cricket nearest to him was Richard with 5 ODI centuries. Gavasker was not num 3 & he has only one ODI hundred; it is not a fair comparison with Zaheer. Gavasker with one ODI hundred was not a ODI player he was a specialist Test opener; should be compared only with Test openers.

  • on December 1, 2010, 15:06 GMT

    The Romantic poet Keats said: "A thing of beauty is a joy forever!" The saying is so much applicable to Zaheer!! Zaheer in his elements had been such a joy!!!

  • The_Dynamite_Kid on December 1, 2010, 11:38 GMT

    The analogy is simple - If you can't respect players from other nations, don't expect others to respect players from your nation.

  • Bilal_Choudry on December 1, 2010, 11:11 GMT

    @The_Dynamite_Kid it tells me that stats can be used to prove anything ... the fact remains that zaheer was a brilliant player and the idea to compare him or anyone to Vishwanath or Vengsarkar or for that matter to gavaskar on stats is absurd .. one watches zaheer play for the sheer elegance and thats what sets him apart and a man with century of hundreds is not tying anyone's boot laces

  • The_Dynamite_Kid on December 1, 2010, 9:39 GMT

    @ Bilal_Choudry - Of course Mr Z. will average that much against the laughable Indian bowling attack. Almost all batsmen in history has cashed in heavily against the sub-par Indian bowling attacks over the years. When someone like Afridi can average close to 50 in Test cricket against Indis, what does that tell you?

  • Bilal_Choudry on December 1, 2010, 6:55 GMT

    @The_Dynamite_Kid

    Mate since you like stats here is some for you Mr. Z ave an unimpressive 87 against the great bowling line up of india ... and for that matter the great Lillee ave 100 plus with the ball in Pakistan .. so what does this tell you ?

  • harshthakor on December 1, 2010, 3:33 GMT

    Those who say that Zaheer is not great because he averaged only 18 against the West Indies and scored most of his runs against India forget his 2 great double-hundreds in England in 1971 and 1974,scoring 274 and 240 respectively.How many great batsman have scored 2 double hundreds in England?They also forget his brilliant 101 and 85 at Brisbane against the likes of Lillee in 1976-77 ,his superb 91 against the West Indies in Packer Cricket in 1978 and his masterly 93 against the West Indies in the 1979 world Cup semi-final.He literally tore Holding,Roberts,Croft and Garner to shreds,like a tiger tearing flesh.Michael Holding rated him a truly great batsman.In one -day Internationals,at his best he would have even given Viv Richards a run for his money.Remember Zaheer'superb batting in the one day games in Australia in 1981-82 and in the 1983 World Cup.

  • harshthakor on December 1, 2010, 3:18 GMT

    If you consider his first-class record where he has score 108 hundreds and average over 51 runs,Zaheer Abbas is one of the all-time greats.His one day International average of 47.62 is remarkable and he would make the 2nd one day all-time 11.Had he done justice to his true talent and overcome his later inhibtions against real pace,Zaheer would have been the best Pakistani batsman of all.At his peak he was the closest to Gavaskar,Richards and Greg Chappell.It was Packer Cricket that affected his tackling of genuine quick bowling and in previous years he superbly tackled Dennis Lille.In 1976-77 he averaged over 57 in Australia scoring a century +an 80 and a 90.

    His batting reminded you of the batsman of the golden age and no batsman had superior timing.He bissected the most impregnable of fields.

  • The_Dynamite_Kid on December 1, 2010, 1:28 GMT

    @ U.A.1985 - I guess you didn't see the comments made by one 'pakspin'. My comment was to serve as a dose of reality to his hilarious statements of Abbas being so much better than Indian batsmen.

  • Wolverine94 on November 30, 2010, 21:37 GMT

    Zaheer Abbas was my favorite cricketer growing up. I used to skip school classes to go see him bat in first class matches and, of course, in test matches. He was the most stylish batsman that I have seen. He had a lot of time to play his shots and would play them very late. His cover drives and square cuts were absolute poetry. He did not adapt to test cricket in the beginning. It seemed that he was not playing with the same freedom in test matches as he would in first class. His average hovered around mid thirties despite those two double hundreds against England. From 1976 onwards he scored at an average of over 50 and that matched his first class average. I so enjoyed seeing him bat. It was like listening to a piece of classical music. Thank you, Zaheer Abbas!

  • U.A.1985 on November 30, 2010, 19:00 GMT

    @The_Dynamite_Kid - Seems the scars of the last bashing havent still gone...lol...you are still wondering here...anyways first of all the article isnt about averages it is tilted towards the softer side and more related to stlye of Zaheer's batting rather than his averages against other teams. One cannot compare Zaheer to calibre of Miandad; but we can always admire his style and yes he was called an Asian Brandman in his days and your so called phenomenal greats like Gavaskar and co. will testify to that fact. If Pakistan had a good bowling attack then it meant that their batsmen had to score less runs which automatically led to lower batting averages for Pakistani batters.

  • on November 30, 2010, 16:15 GMT

    As an impressionable young man and avid cricket fan during 70s and 80s, I simply LOVED to watch Zaheer play. In his melodic elegance of the bat, and gap-creations of an awe-inspiring artist, he remains unparallel to date. We could afford to miss out on such greats as Gavaskar, Boycott, Chappells, Turner, Majid, and even Richards, but when it came to Zaheer, no matter what we had to be with him while he batted. I remember we stayed up the night for his relentless attack on Roberts, Garner, Croft, Marshall in West Indies, and we had our B.A. Hons. final exam following morning! Then who could possibly forget his English epic off Underwood, Snow, Brown, his scintillating rhapsodies off Lillee, Gilmour, Thompson in Australia, his making mockeries of the likes of Chandrasekhar, Bedi, Venkat and Prasanna of India?! Indeed when in full cry, he had been the most difficult batsman ever from the perspectives of a bowler, as the English legend Derek Underwood had commented. Hats off!!!

  • The_Dynamite_Kid on November 30, 2010, 6:20 GMT

    @Danish Bilal Your facebook profile says you are from Karachi. BTW, 11 out of Michael Slater's 14 Test centuries came in wins, while only 8 out of Brian Lara's 34 Test centuries came in wins. Hence, going by your logic Slater was a much better match winner than Lara, right? India sucked in the 90's because they used to have the worst bowling attack in the world, and that too by a long way. They didn't have many great batsmen either. Sehwag made his debut after 2000. Dravid and Laxman peaked after 2000, and the only two batsmen with some credibility were Tendulkar and Azharuddin.

  • The_Dynamite_Kid on November 30, 2010, 5:58 GMT

    Here's some trivia on Zaheer Abbas. In Test cricket, against the most dominant team of his era aka the West Indies, he averages a phenomenal 18.50. And outside his home country, he averages another phenomenal 36.87. While chasing in the 4th innings of Test matches, he averages a Bradmansque 22.53. A flat track bully that goes missing against the best of his era, and chokes while under the pressure of chasing in 4th innings of Test matches. This guy isn't good enough to lace the boots of guys like Gundappa Vishwanath and Dilip Vengsarkar, let alone greats like Sunny Gavaskar or Sachin Tendulkar.

  • zsn on November 30, 2010, 5:20 GMT

    I watched Zaheer in his prime and he was one of the stylish batsmen of that era (Rowe, Viswanath, Gower were others) but it is questionable how many of those double centuries he would have made had it not been for that "friendly-Pakistani-umpiring"! He was good, but not as good as Miandad, IMHO. I remember that the running joke used to be that Pakistan was 245-for-2 and Zaheer's score was 87-for-3. It would be interesting to know what his split is on centuries in and out of Pakistan.

  • Hema_Adhikari on November 30, 2010, 3:53 GMT

    It is difficult to call a player great if he averages 18 against the strongest side of his era-as pointed out by another reader. I mean it is beyond bad.

  • on November 30, 2010, 2:39 GMT

    great article. although i was too young to remember zaheer abbas, i have heard, he was most stylish batsman of his era. this article certainly has increased my curiosity to watch his batting on youtube. sounds very capable replacement for ijaz butt!

  • Thesonofg on November 29, 2010, 23:06 GMT

    I have always said that Zaheer Abbas was one of the most classic batsman to have played the game. To say though, that he was the most elegant is not correct. That tltle goes to Lawrence Rowe. Older cricket followers will mention Sir Frank Worrell. However, the most classic batsman ever to have don cricketing gear is Lawrence Rowe of the West Indies.

  • msnsrinivas on November 29, 2010, 21:32 GMT

    Dude harsh_vardhan2002, where are punctuation marks and why capitals? Oh and by the way, your post is no way related to the content of the article above. Which school did you go to?

  • on November 29, 2010, 19:19 GMT

    harsh_vardhan2002 LOOK INZY was below average batsman. he played 27 tests againt aus & s africa passed 100 just once i do belived pakistan lost more than 25 test and he was part of 25 defeat so that mean he got dismsd atleast 50 times and listen i dont belive records example arvinda average 33 odi but a match winner bat against any bowling attack at any condtion j kalis 45 odi never bat likes champion matchwinne rbut in inzy case 27 test r 2 much brother

    INZY IS STILL with shoib malik ha ha ha THE PAK'S BEST BATSMAN but againt india sri lanka new zea land when pakistan playing in sharjah india or pakistan on batting paradise track

  • waspsting on November 29, 2010, 18:38 GMT

    I don't know... that article makes Zaheer look like a selfish prat, I thought - though his skill is celebrated. Never understood the "played for his average, not the team" argument against him, which Imran amongst others have come up with. If your bolstering your average, aren't you scoring runs? and if your scoring runs, aren't you helping your team? and in Zaheer's case, he scored QUICKLY, unlike say, Boycott. Whats wrong with that?

    @Dynamite Kid... Inzamam was worth his place in the side in that last match, its weird Pakistani politics that wanted him out anyway because of the teams failures in WC. If his only motive was the national scoring record, I don't think he'd have got out the way he did - why not just pick it up in singles? More likely, he just wanted to have one last game in front of his home fans.

    @Danish Bilal ... which Indians do you think just play for their records? I assume you mean Tendulkar and Dravid? Have you seen their figures in matches India have won?

  • on November 29, 2010, 18:36 GMT

    I assume this article is supposed to honor Zaheer Abbas - the last 2 paragraphs certainly don't seem to. Isn't it very selfish of a player to want a record rather than do whatever is possible to get the team win

    And this is the thing about Pak cricket - the players play more for themselves rather than their team

  • pakspin on November 29, 2010, 17:00 GMT

    Really the only Asian Bradman. Just look at his stats both in test and ODI cricket and he will make Tendulker look pedestrian..mind you he played during an era when the wickedts were tougher (not Indian dead track bully pitches) and the bolwers were more lethal..average of 47 in Odis with a strike rate of 84 in the 70s is out of this world..and his test stats speak for themselves...he is rated number 2 second only to viv richards in ICC all time ODI ratings...his century to mathces played ratio leaves Tendulker in the dust..and for good reason too..Indians don't like him because he makes the dead pitch kings and record chasers look pathetic..thank you so much for this article..best batsman out of asia without a doubt is Zaheer abbass

  • gujratwalla on November 29, 2010, 16:21 GMT

    Zaheer was a superb timer of the ball and a tremendous accumulator of runs.Pace did not worry him early on but after being hit in the Packer carnival he become nervous of it.His biggest blemish was being average concious.In everything else he belonged to the list of great batsmen in world cricket.

  • Engle on November 29, 2010, 15:00 GMT

    If you ever visit the Vatican, you will notice a distinct difference between the painting on the ceiling of the Sistine chapel by Michaelangelo and the paintings on the side walls by other artists. That was the impression I got while watching Zaheer bat in comparison to his partner. He was artistry personified, waving his bat like a magic paintbrush, flowing curves that challenged, mesmerised and lit the eyes. While his partner merely trudged along with technical textbook type thuds. Z wasn't batting; he was painting.

  • ram_sachin on November 29, 2010, 14:11 GMT

    Here's another Story about Zaheer Abbas, it was some where in the mid 80's, in the Test match series between India and Pak. Zaheer Abbas was in his prime form coming into the Series.But Roger Binny took him out all the 4 times in the test series for a DUCK. In the 5th test Zaheer Abbas was on Bench :-)

  • on November 29, 2010, 13:24 GMT

    @dynamite kid How u know I'm from Pakistan. I could be from Mexico or Uganda. Well you're right about Miandad, but Inzy wasn't selfish. He has won so many matches for Pakistan single handed. If compare him with Tundulkar, Tundulkar got 25 match winning centuries out of his 49 centuries, Inzy got 17 out of 25. India had so many great batsmen in 90's and still they sucked big time because their batsmen were selfish. It's only been few years that India is been playing good because now their approach is positive. Like Sehwag and Gambhir who smack the hell out of other teams without thinking about records.

  • John-Price on November 29, 2010, 13:03 GMT

    Very odd tribute; didn't like fielding, wouldn't help others, kept pinching the bowling, obsessed with statistics and records, wouldn't run to the danger end, expected people to send him gifts but couldn't be bother to go and meet them - what would a character assassination read like?

  • Bilal_Choudry on November 29, 2010, 11:48 GMT

    @The_Dynamite_Kid Lets not go Ind vs Pak i am sure u can give me 100 examples of how pak players messed up and I can give 200 example of how indian players lost the plot

    This article is about the genius of one Zaheer Abbas. Lets talk about him and how wonderful he was

  • Gulshan_Grover on November 29, 2010, 8:57 GMT

    Zaheer Abbas...what can one say? Stylist batsman but against dominant team of his era WI he averaged about 18!! (filtered 1975-1981 8 259 80 18.50 ) that shows he could not deal with pace and bounce. Similarly Miandad averaged about 25 against the WI pace battery...this is enough proof for many fans that he was not a great player and may have been barely good enough for test cricket.

  • CharlieAlanJakeHarperFamily on November 29, 2010, 8:25 GMT

    YEAH LOOK INZY IS STILL THE PAK'S BEST BATSMAN YES ZAHEER WAS STYLISH AND ELEGANT BUT INZY WAS BEST PAK PLAYER AGAINST THE QUICKS THE GORDON GREENIDGE FLICK AND PULL OF THE HIP IS QUITE HIS SIGNATURE STROKE SURE ABBAS WAS GOOD BUT INZY DID NOT RAN AFTER RECORDS LIKE THE INDIAN BATSMEN BY TRYING TO OVERTAKE MIANDAD IN TEST BY I GUESS IT 3 OR 4 RUNS WAS UNSELFISH UNLIKE IMRAN KHAN WHO SAID ONLY ABOUT HIMSELF IN THE 92 WORLD CUP WIN PRESENTATION I'M HAPPY AT TWILIGHT OF CAREER TO WIN WC GOSH ITS PAK WON NOT U

  • The_Dynamite_Kid on November 29, 2010, 7:48 GMT

    @Danish Bilal Ha, ha, ha .... the greatest batsman your country has produced, Javed Miandad, is till this day whining about Imran Khan declaring the innings when he was on 280* potentially missing out on breaking the then world record of the highest Test score of 365 held by Gary Sobers. What a team player! And one Inzamam-ul-Haq, after leading his country to the most disgraceful chapter in the 2007 WC, forced his way to the Test team against everyone's wishes for just 1 Test match, dismantling the team's balance, just so that he could become the highest Test scorer for Pakistan. Rashid Latif openly called him selfish, and that he owed it to the nation to retire for the WC saga. And then in his last Test match (as expectec against Aus and S.A), scored less than 20 runs in the 2 innings he played in his last Test match, and then broke his bat in the dressing room out of frustration for not being able to achieve that record. What a team player!

  • on November 29, 2010, 4:53 GMT

    awesome article... hats of to Alastair Hignell the way he portrait one of the greatest of his times... " The Asian Bradman"

  • on November 29, 2010, 4:00 GMT

    Great batsman, but for me he was following the footsteps of Indian batsman, which is worry about his own records rather then winning games for his team.

  • harshthakor on November 29, 2010, 3:47 GMT

    The greatest stylist the game of Cricket has ever known.His batting posessed such grace that he reminded one of a violinist strutting his strings .Some of his strokes were the equivalent of musical composition to the game.He was the best exponent of the drive through extra-cover.On slow wickets,at his best he was the best batsman in the world as he demonstrated against India in 1978 and 1982-83 in Pakistan as well as when he scored 2 double centuries in England in 1971 and 1974.In first-class Cricket in England his batting reached Bradmanesque proportions becoming the only batsman to score a century and a double hundred in the same game 4 times.

    His weakness was against fast bowling on bouncy tracks ,however he was prolific in 1976-77 in Australia averaging 57 run sin tests.Amongst the top 5 one day International batsman of all time with his remarkable ability to improvise like in the 1979 World Cup semifinal against the West Indies where he tore the 4-pronged attack to shreds

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  • harshthakor on November 29, 2010, 3:47 GMT

    The greatest stylist the game of Cricket has ever known.His batting posessed such grace that he reminded one of a violinist strutting his strings .Some of his strokes were the equivalent of musical composition to the game.He was the best exponent of the drive through extra-cover.On slow wickets,at his best he was the best batsman in the world as he demonstrated against India in 1978 and 1982-83 in Pakistan as well as when he scored 2 double centuries in England in 1971 and 1974.In first-class Cricket in England his batting reached Bradmanesque proportions becoming the only batsman to score a century and a double hundred in the same game 4 times.

    His weakness was against fast bowling on bouncy tracks ,however he was prolific in 1976-77 in Australia averaging 57 run sin tests.Amongst the top 5 one day International batsman of all time with his remarkable ability to improvise like in the 1979 World Cup semifinal against the West Indies where he tore the 4-pronged attack to shreds

  • on November 29, 2010, 4:00 GMT

    Great batsman, but for me he was following the footsteps of Indian batsman, which is worry about his own records rather then winning games for his team.

  • on November 29, 2010, 4:53 GMT

    awesome article... hats of to Alastair Hignell the way he portrait one of the greatest of his times... " The Asian Bradman"

  • The_Dynamite_Kid on November 29, 2010, 7:48 GMT

    @Danish Bilal Ha, ha, ha .... the greatest batsman your country has produced, Javed Miandad, is till this day whining about Imran Khan declaring the innings when he was on 280* potentially missing out on breaking the then world record of the highest Test score of 365 held by Gary Sobers. What a team player! And one Inzamam-ul-Haq, after leading his country to the most disgraceful chapter in the 2007 WC, forced his way to the Test team against everyone's wishes for just 1 Test match, dismantling the team's balance, just so that he could become the highest Test scorer for Pakistan. Rashid Latif openly called him selfish, and that he owed it to the nation to retire for the WC saga. And then in his last Test match (as expectec against Aus and S.A), scored less than 20 runs in the 2 innings he played in his last Test match, and then broke his bat in the dressing room out of frustration for not being able to achieve that record. What a team player!

  • CharlieAlanJakeHarperFamily on November 29, 2010, 8:25 GMT

    YEAH LOOK INZY IS STILL THE PAK'S BEST BATSMAN YES ZAHEER WAS STYLISH AND ELEGANT BUT INZY WAS BEST PAK PLAYER AGAINST THE QUICKS THE GORDON GREENIDGE FLICK AND PULL OF THE HIP IS QUITE HIS SIGNATURE STROKE SURE ABBAS WAS GOOD BUT INZY DID NOT RAN AFTER RECORDS LIKE THE INDIAN BATSMEN BY TRYING TO OVERTAKE MIANDAD IN TEST BY I GUESS IT 3 OR 4 RUNS WAS UNSELFISH UNLIKE IMRAN KHAN WHO SAID ONLY ABOUT HIMSELF IN THE 92 WORLD CUP WIN PRESENTATION I'M HAPPY AT TWILIGHT OF CAREER TO WIN WC GOSH ITS PAK WON NOT U

  • Gulshan_Grover on November 29, 2010, 8:57 GMT

    Zaheer Abbas...what can one say? Stylist batsman but against dominant team of his era WI he averaged about 18!! (filtered 1975-1981 8 259 80 18.50 ) that shows he could not deal with pace and bounce. Similarly Miandad averaged about 25 against the WI pace battery...this is enough proof for many fans that he was not a great player and may have been barely good enough for test cricket.

  • Bilal_Choudry on November 29, 2010, 11:48 GMT

    @The_Dynamite_Kid Lets not go Ind vs Pak i am sure u can give me 100 examples of how pak players messed up and I can give 200 example of how indian players lost the plot

    This article is about the genius of one Zaheer Abbas. Lets talk about him and how wonderful he was

  • John-Price on November 29, 2010, 13:03 GMT

    Very odd tribute; didn't like fielding, wouldn't help others, kept pinching the bowling, obsessed with statistics and records, wouldn't run to the danger end, expected people to send him gifts but couldn't be bother to go and meet them - what would a character assassination read like?

  • on November 29, 2010, 13:24 GMT

    @dynamite kid How u know I'm from Pakistan. I could be from Mexico or Uganda. Well you're right about Miandad, but Inzy wasn't selfish. He has won so many matches for Pakistan single handed. If compare him with Tundulkar, Tundulkar got 25 match winning centuries out of his 49 centuries, Inzy got 17 out of 25. India had so many great batsmen in 90's and still they sucked big time because their batsmen were selfish. It's only been few years that India is been playing good because now their approach is positive. Like Sehwag and Gambhir who smack the hell out of other teams without thinking about records.

  • ram_sachin on November 29, 2010, 14:11 GMT

    Here's another Story about Zaheer Abbas, it was some where in the mid 80's, in the Test match series between India and Pak. Zaheer Abbas was in his prime form coming into the Series.But Roger Binny took him out all the 4 times in the test series for a DUCK. In the 5th test Zaheer Abbas was on Bench :-)