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ESPNcricinfo's stats editor S Rajesh looks at the stories behind the stats

Allrounder Hafeez on top of his game

Over the last couple of years, Mohammad Hafeez has won 13 Man-of-the-Match awards in international cricket - more than any other player

S Rajesh

January 11, 2013

Comments: 92 | Text size: A | A

Mohammad Hafeez tears away in celebration of having David Warner lbw, Australia v Pakistan, Super Eights, World Twenty20 2012, Colombo, October 2, 2012
Mohammad Hafeez's ability to bowl economically with the new ball in limited-overs cricket has been a huge bonus for Pakistan © Getty Images
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The world's top-ranked ODI allrounder, the second-best bowler in the format, as well as the second-best allrounder in T20 internationals, according to the ICC rankings; plus, one half of the most successful ODI opening combination in the last year. Mohammad Hafeez is only three months short of completing one decade in international cricket (though he hasn't always been a part of the Pakistan team during this period), but the last couple of years have been quite remarkable, a period in which he has truly blossomed into a consistent performer with both bat and ball.

Even when Hafeez first came into the ODI team, as part of a new side in the aftermath of Pakistan's poor 2003 World Cup campaign, it was clear that he possessed the skills to contribute with both bat and ball, at least in the ODI format. He scored his first half-century in only his second ODI innings, and took five wickets at 17 and an economy rate of 3.54 in his first ODI series, a fairly forgettable tournament called the Cherry Blossom Cup in Sharjah that featured Sri Lanka, Zimbabwe and Kenya.

The start was extremely promising, but then came the slump. Over the next four years Hafeez's ODI batting was characterised either by early dismissals or by an inability to convert starts. After 48 ODIs his batting average had nosedived to 18.59, which was even worse than it looked as in most of those matches he had opened the batting. His bowling was adequate but not enough to save his place. When his Test batting also collapsed in 2007, it was time to leave him out of the Pakistan side in all formats.

After spending three years on the outer, Hafeez returned to international cricket late in 2010 as a far more consistent batsman (though still with the tendency to get out after getting his eye in), while his bowling stayed reliable and steady. The improvement in stats is obvious in the table below.

Since the beginning of 2011, Hafeez's batting and bowling stats in all formats are better than his overall career numbers. In ODIs his batting average has moved into the mid-30s, with all of his four centuries coming during this period. As an ODI bowler he has been far more economical, conceding just 3.56 runs per over. His Test batting average has moved into the 40s in this period, compared to his overall average of 38.41, while his highest Test score of 196 came against Sri Lanka in June 2012. His T20 stats have improved too in the last couple of years: all of his four half-centuries in T20Is have come during this period.

Mohammad Hafeez in the last two years, and in all international cricket (since Jan 2011)
  Matches Runs ave/ SR Career Ave/SR Wickets Ave/ ER Career ave/ ER
Tests 16 1152 42.67/ 59.04 38.41/ 53.93 23 25.43/ 2.32 35.00/ 2.43
ODIs 52 1648 33.63/ 74.20 27.28/ 68.74 47 30.57/ 3.56 32.86/ 4.01
T20Is 21 561 26.71/ 113.56 23.17/ 114.16 20 18.60/ 5.87 23.43/ 6.73

The stat that stands out among all the numbers above is his economy rate in ODIs in the last couple of years. In the 52 matches he played in during this period, the average economy rate achieved by all bowlers was 4.59; Hafeez's was 3.56, 22% better than the average in those games. Among bowlers who have sent down at least 150 overs during this period, his economy rate is the best. Admittedly Saeed Ajmal has taken many more wickets at an economy rate that's almost as good, but given that Hafeez has contributed with the bat as well, his bowling stats are remarkable.

Most economical ODI bowlers since Jan 2011 (Qual: 150 overs)
Bowler Matches Overs Wickets Average Econ rate
Mohammad Hafeez 52 403 47 30.57 3.56
Saeed Ajmal 39 338 73 17.53 3.78
Sunil Narine 20 189.5 37 19.48 3.79
Harbhajan Singh 17 164 17 41.29 4.28
Dale Steyn 23 184.1 35 22.97 4.36
Shahid Afridi 43 361 60 26.40 4.38
Graeme Swann 30 259 39 29.30 4.41
Ray Price 19 176 20 39.05 4.43

Ajmal is clearly the more attacking bowler, with more wicket-taking options in his armoury, but Hafeez's value as a bowler to Pakistan has been his ability to bowl with the new ball, inside the first 15 overs, when the fielding restrictions are on and spinners usually struggle to grip and control the ball. In the last couple of years Hafeez has bowled 678 deliveries within the first 15 overs of an innings, 228 more than the next best. In those 678 balls he has taken 14 wickets at an economy rate of 3.11, and conceded only 23 fours and six sixes, an average of one four or six conceded every 23 balls. Most of the other spinners have conceded boundaries at a far greater frequency when bowling in the early part of an innings. Among spinners who have bowled at least 30 overs (180 balls) in the first 15, only Zimbabwe's Ray Price has a better economy rate.

Most balls bowled by a spinner in the first 15 overs of an ODI since Jan 2011
Bowler Balls Wickets Average Econ rate Balls per 4/6
Mohammad Hafeez 678 14 25.14 3.11 23.38
Abdur Razzak 450 7 44.85 4.18 11.54
Shahid Afridi 342 8 29.25 4.10 21.38
Sunil Narine 336 9 22.22 3.57 14.61
Ray Price 324 6 23.83 2.64 21.60
Shakib Al Hasan 308 8 25.00 3.89 15.40
Tillakaratne Dilshan 306 3 76.00 4.47 20.40
R Ashwin 276 4 57.00 4.95 14.53
Prosper Utseya 270 4 47.25 4.20 14.21
Graeme Swann 264 5 37.00 4.20 18.86

In T20 internationals too, Hafeez's economy rate over the last two years is the best (among bowlers who have bowled at least 40 overs). The overall economy rate in the 21 matches he has played in is 6.86, a run per over more than Hafeez's 5.87.

Best economy rates in T20Is since Jan 2011 (Qual: 40 overs)
Bowler Overs Wickets Average Econ rate
Mohammad Hafeez 63.2 20 18.60 5.87
George Dockrell 40.1 15 16.00 5.97
Saeed Ajmal 82 30 16.60 6.07
Sunil Narine 47.4 16 18.37 6.16
Graeme Swann 68 21 20.19 6.23
Nuwan Kulasekara 42 14 18.85 6.28

And then there's Mohammad Hafeez the batsman. In Tests he has scored 1152 runs at an average of more than 42; only Azhar Ali has scored more runs and centuries among Pakistan batsmen.

Highest run scorers in Tests for Pakistan since Jan 2011
Batsman Tests Runs Average 100s/ 50s
Azhar Ali 16 1283 49.34 4/ 8
Mohammad Hafeez 16 1152 42.67 3/ 4
Younis Khan 14 1125 59.21 3/ 5
Taufeeq Umar 16 1077 38.46 3/ 5
Misbah-ul-Haq 15 1056 58.66 1/ 10

In one-day internationals and T20 internationals, Hafeez is the leading run scorer for Pakistan during this period. Out of nine ODI hundreds for Pakistan, Hafeez has contributed four; the ratio is exactly the same for half-centuries in T20 internationals. Combine all three formats and Hafeez is the only Pakistan batsman to score more than 3000 international runs in the last couple of years. In ODIs, Hafeez has also forged two successful opening combinations for Pakistan: first with Imran Farhat (632 runs in 14 innings at 48.61) and currently with the hugely impressive Nasir Jamshed (760 runs in nine innings at 84.44), who is in line to become the fastest to 1000 ODI runs for Pakistan.

Perhaps the best way to sum up Hafeez's contribution to Pakistan over these last two years is to state that he has won 13 Man-of-the-Match awards during this period - seven in ODIs, five in T20 internationals, and one in Tests. No other player has won as many awards for any team in international cricket.

S Rajesh is stats editor of ESPNcricinfo. Follow him on Twitter

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© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by   on (January 14, 2013, 7:57 GMT)

@all the way@azab@warm coffe u guyz can cry all u want but facts are facts.This is a page on hafeez and his stats for his country and individual performances which are and will remain valuable for pakistan cricket. If your team players like shakib, murtaza or yuvraj and watson can do that then good for your teams dont hate on a player who's resurgence is helping him and his nation. Go do it then talk about it.

Posted by KingAjmal on (January 13, 2013, 17:38 GMT)

But will he do well against South Africa? just have to wait and see.

Posted by SamRoy on (January 13, 2013, 17:16 GMT)

Although he has been outstanding in ODIs and T20s (and currently the best cricketer in the world in short formats), you can't say he has been all that great in tests. Yes, he can bowl tight overs in tests but he won't get good batsman out. And really good bowlers will get him out without much struggle in tests.

Posted by rizzz86 on (January 13, 2013, 16:33 GMT)

Agree with writer - I call him an enemy of Left handed batsmans. The way he ended career of Westindies opener Devon Smith and later put Tamim in serious problems is remarkable. These are low profile players but against England he has proves his left handers enmity against Cook and recently we have seen how he has fooled Suresh Raina and Yuvraj (both left hander). Talk about his economy he has proved it against aggressive teams like India and Australia by consistently give less than 30 runs in 10 overs quota. Hafeez is becoming a very handy allrounder for Pakistan. The performances that he has given in last 2 years are really appreciated.

Posted by AzAb12754 on (January 13, 2013, 14:23 GMT)

@FRRR: You should do something about it instead of just arguing good luck! nothing will happen to our Cricket anymore its too late :P

Posted by FRRR on (January 13, 2013, 14:00 GMT)

@AzAb12754 ,,, When you can not defeat ZIm in 2011. How can your players be any good? Your players are below average and your team needs to play club cricket.

Posted by The_Ashes on (January 13, 2013, 12:10 GMT)

@FRRR - your arguments are illogical, Hafeez wasn't even player of the tournament at the Asia Cup enough said. Same test matches as Shakib and still can't even achieve 30 wickets let along 102 wickets despite Test Cricket there's unlimited time. I swear Pakistan fans always say Ireland 10x greater than Bangladesh but still silly excuses from you guys "his stats are against them" or something need to stop contradicting mate after all, Bangladesh are the worst of the teams aren't they? :D

Posted by AzAb12754 on (January 13, 2013, 12:01 GMT)

@FRRR: Stop being so desperate Bangladesh are minnows and there's nothing wrong with minnows achieving stats against minnows in fact its you guys that say that teams like Zimbabwe and Ireland are better than Bangladesh so please stop acting hypocritical, Zimbabwe like Warm_Coffee mentioned beat Bangladesh in 2011 in all the series so you need to be clear. Shakib has 9 test match 5 wicket hauls against South Africa, England and Pakistan so he can perform against top teams as well.

Also Shakib cannot gain stats against Bangladesh because he plays for them but what about the other players? you stil haven't answered my simple question what are you? below average? :)

Posted by FRRR on (January 13, 2013, 11:45 GMT)

@AzAb12754 ,,, Have you seen the teams against which he has got his runs and wickets. A single innings against Pakistan (the best bowling attack) does not make you good.

If you will play Zim, Ireland and WI ,,,, You are not world class and the worth of your wickets are also not much. The day Bangla start playing top teams and come up with a good allrounder, then we can comment on him. Hafeez plays his matches against top teams. (Feel the difference)

Posted by ExtremeSpeed on (January 13, 2013, 11:42 GMT)

@FRRR - lool!!! Its funny he owns your Pakistan team in all formats bat and ball and has much much better record than Hafeez, Afridi, Malik and others. First tell them to be consistent in all formats then judge. Please make sense next time.

@Explicit - Afridi doesn't even play Test anymore shows his attitude to particular formats unlike Shakib. You're right Afridi is a good player of spin but mainly plays because of his good precise bowling. Your silly excuse that the ball hit Misbah yes but it was coming straight at the bowler anyway and the catch looked awkward because he was in Shakib was in getting that catch otherwise it would've been clean so good effort in that excuse but don't work.

Neither Malik, Yuvraj, Hafeez, Afridi and others like Shakib has achieved a 1000 runs in the 2 main formats and 100 wickets in the 2 same formats together so we all know who the average players are. Mind you all of them have almost or played over 10 years and still cannot achieve this feat :)))

Posted by AzAb12754 on (January 13, 2013, 11:23 GMT)

@ExplicitPlatinum: I liked how Warm_Cofee caught you about that Afridi bit. Stop trying to cover up that fault of yours :)

Posted by AzAb12754 on (January 13, 2013, 11:22 GMT)

@FRRR: What are you? Shakib is the youngest and quickest all-rounder ever to achieve more than a 1000 runs in ODIs and Tests and more than a 100 wickets in ODIs and Tests together so elaborate? exactly! unlike Hafeez he also has a test 100 and 5 wicket haul in the same innings so that's not average nice try though :P

Posted by   on (January 13, 2013, 2:26 GMT)

my all dear paki fellows plz say bangla people yes shakib is better than hafeez. and keep them bragging on him . bcz we even dont need ranking player we just need a complete 100% winning team only that we hve already and by the way our all players are better than all bangla players in every sense and we proud of our team and we are proud of hafeez . and please please please do not debate with thse people.

Posted by The_Ashes on (January 13, 2013, 1:48 GMT)

Hafeez is an improved player a good player but no way he's number 1, something is wrong with those rankings. Before the West Indies series, Shakib had 447 rating points but somehow he dropped a massive 39 without playing because of a shin injury, Hafeez is lucky for playing 20 ODIs and his series against India was average couldn't even finish the third ODI game off does not deserve the title number 1. Watson, Yuvraj even Matthews are better ODI all-round players than Hafeez.

Posted by FRRR on (January 13, 2013, 0:31 GMT)

@AzAb12754 ,,, The problem is Bangladesh has only one mediocre player and Pakistan has 11 good players. It is difficult to maintain a place in Pakistani side with your batting and especially bowling. Moreover, Hafeez is not a T20 captain as well. What is Saqib??? Saqib is an average player ..... a one-eyed man is king amongst blind. Hafeez has a place in a very good side .... Saqib has a place in a near associate team (Feel the difference)

Posted by ExplicitPlatinum on (January 12, 2013, 22:33 GMT)

@Warm-Coffee I don't have nothing against Bangladesh since I want them to grow in the cricket arena. And btw, Afridi got out against Shakib being aided by Misbah. There's no way Shakib would have caught the ball if Misbah wasn't in the way. And it's true, if Afridi can smash a quality bowler like Ajmal, then he can cart Shakib anywhere like did before. He carted Warne, Murali you name it. @TheRisingTeam- Yuvraj is an excellent allrounder, his batting is better than Hafeez, Sehwag, Ganguly and Shakib. Honestly speaking bro, Afridi and Yuvraj are bigger match winners than Shakib and have done well in the past. I'm in no way, any sense a biased person but Afridi and Yuvraj will get a nod in the big teams ahead of Shakib. Afridi being the most expensive player in the BPL last year. I do admire Shakib's allround skills but that doesn't mean your Bangladesh brothers can undermine the resurgence Of Mohammad Hafeez.

Posted by KingAjmal on (January 12, 2013, 21:02 GMT)

@Bilal Mustafa - Overall records are just overall records all in the past. Pakistan are only lucky at the moment but will be exposed in the South Africa series and our Indian team will be facing you in ICC Champions Trophy in seaming neutral conditions to really show who is the better of the 2 till then pray for a Pakistan win.

Posted by   on (January 12, 2013, 20:37 GMT)

@ Mask Rider: Yeah Indian team is better than us who lost to England 3-1 at their home grounds................ Do you recall what we did to them when we played them at not 100% home ground i.e. UAE. By the way a match is a match and every PAK vs IND match is imp for us so you better go and check the over all PAK vs IND stats and see for yourself as who has won more matches :P.

Posted by TheRisingTeam on (January 12, 2013, 20:08 GMT)

@ExplicitPlatinum:- Shakib also bowled economically well in that match in T20 World Cup. Also everyone knows Bangladesh bowling attack is not that strong compared to Pakistan so Imran Nazir of course bar Shakib, could able to smash the other Bangladesh bowlers all over the park but Shakib 84 was against a quality Pakistan attack who has a fantastic record by the way against Pakistan in all forms. Yuvraj Singh is a very good all-rounder definitely better than Hafeez but he has played almost 300 ODIs and just over a 100 ODI wickets and Shakib has 160 from 126 matches which is less than half Yuvraj has played. Yuvraj bowling record in tests is also nowhere near Shakib check the stats so I don't understand that Afridi and Yuvraj will get the nod ahead of Shakib and Shakib play for 3rd or 4th ranked team unless you're being biased.

Posted by Warm_Coffee on (January 12, 2013, 20:00 GMT)

@ExplicitPlatinum: You're very funny Afridi smash Shakib? I hope you remember the 2 Asia Cup matches where Afridi got out on both occasions to SHAKIB :)

Posted by Warm_Coffee on (January 12, 2013, 19:56 GMT)

@ExplicitPlatinum - There's nothing wrong with Bangladesh recording stats with teams like Zimbabwe or Ireland or whatever because they are minnows who are on the same level otherwise you guys are rating Bangladesh highly sorry but can't have it all your way its this or that. What about Hafeez success against teams like Bangladesh or other likes Sachin 100 100s where 20 have comes against Bangladesh, Namibia etc? I don't understand with that argument. Zimbabwe are better than Bangladesh they beat them in a test match in 2011 so there nothing wrong with i.e. Shakib gaining stats against them if you can see. Its doesn't matter if the team is England or Fiji, Shakib can perform against anyone. He has 9 five wicket hauls against the big teams so that's proof enough mate.

Posted by ExplicitPlatinum on (January 12, 2013, 19:33 GMT)

As a Pak fan, I really want Pak to whitewash South Africa. Now with the Bangladesh fans, comparing Shakib to Hafeez just because of his drop to number 2 is just insane. A third of Shakib's runs and wickets have come from Zimbabwe. There are other better spinning allrounders out there, Afridi, Malik, Hafeez, Yuvraj etc. I respect Shakib but it's insane to degrade Hafeez's hard work. People talk about Shakib's 84 bs Pak in the T20 WC but our mediocre Imran Nazir smashed your entire bowling line up to pieces. Even Afridi bowled more economically in that match. If a premier league was to be made, Afridi and Yuvraj would make it into the big teams, since Afridi and Yuvraj raise the game higher than Shakib. Shakib would be picked into a 3rd 4th ranked team in a league. Players like Afridi and Yuvraj are very good players of spin, meaning that they could just smash Shakib all over the park. Recently, Afridi carted Ajmal in the SLPL constantly.

Posted by faizan_feroz on (January 12, 2013, 18:05 GMT)

and for the records pls promote razzak as well the guy is a trier and i do thnk he is the unsung hero of ur so called improvement , for shakib let him comeback to int arena which he has missed due to his own personal matters :) cheers :P and mask rider : from which point did u find the current team of india better than pakistan ? :P u lost to bd so that sums up the over confidence and undue arrogance :P

Posted by Warm_Coffee on (January 12, 2013, 17:08 GMT)

@faizan_feroz - it looks like you know a lot maybe you should be playing Cricket, fact is bro Shakib is miles better than you didn't think of that? :)

Posted by AzAb12754 on (January 12, 2013, 17:06 GMT)

@faizan_feroz: Don't be jealous mate, you know that Shakib is not ranked number 1 in any of those formats because he hardly played any games last year only 2 test matches and 4 ODIs whereas players like you mentioned in your last post below have played way more but in those games he has played last year, he has performed very well. But despite that, he's still somehow holding onto number 2 in ODIs and Tests just shows his class. In T20 he has only played 24 matches whereas players like Hafeez well over 40 so there's your answer, your players or these players are quantity our Shakib is quality :P

Posted by AzAb12754 on (January 12, 2013, 16:39 GMT)

@The_Ashes: Yeah mate I didn't know that nice of you to bring that up. These Pakistan fans are trying so hard to uplift an average all-rounder like Hafeez :D

Posted by AzAb12754 on (January 12, 2013, 16:36 GMT)

@faizan_feroz: Instead of trying to change the subject of our discussion like your last line of your last post we are talking about the players not the team. You talk about man of match awards won he only gets loads of these compared to Shakib because Pakistan has a very good team compared to Bangladesh. Thanks for bringing up 144 score of his he also achieved in that innings 6/82 something Hafeez has yet to achieve :P

Mashrafe? he is our frontline bowler why the lie? he has has 150 something wickets averaging 30 in ODI so think before you say something silly. Shakib isn't our main bowler based on these other figures nice try :)

Posted by faizan_feroz on (January 12, 2013, 16:29 GMT)

and even with those 5 fors and 4 fors compare both of their bowling strike rates :P i always enforce the fact that shakib is a gud player , the act ual pride of bd , yet he is nt the best what bd thnks he is and whther u like it or not nw he is not the best all rounder in both the formats , and his record is almost the same as our fifth bowler record , what to do we have such flwxibility in our bowling that we can start the innings with our fith bowler :P can shakib do that ? :P nah his figures will be spoiled and still bd willl lose as it has happened constantly , the big point he wasnt and he isnt a match winner hope with the prayers of bd he turns himself into the match winner mould otherwise lets sit back and enjoy the reign of kallis watson and hafeez as the best all roundrs in their respective formats at the moments :)

Posted by faizan_feroz on (January 12, 2013, 16:22 GMT)

because simply that is his role azab , u quite fail to inderstand the simple point that if u want bananas u buy bananas and if u want apples u buy apples :P shakib role is to get wickets no doubt he is the front line bowler , mashrafe is lets leave that alone :P and let his record speak :P and pls take some footage from the net and see the last series of pakistan in uae as well he is not opening the balling anymore due to the twon new balls rule even if he did his job is to stop the flow of runs and he take wickets on consistent basis thats why he has won those 13 mom awards and is the BEST all rounder at the moment :P sure shakib myt chase him but whats the point u chase the rankings he chase the victories :P even without ur concerned 5 fors and 4 fors he still has almost the same record as shakib and em sure that record will improve with tym , and as for the 100s i thnk u are talking abt the pak bd match in which shakib scored 144 ?? is it ?? the result is known and the case rest :P

Posted by KingAjmal on (January 12, 2013, 15:50 GMT)

Pakistan fans India we lost that series because we hardly have a break in Cricket and Pakistan had 2 months off so clearly refreshed. We had a test series against England and T20 matches which is why we lost to you. India Cricket team is better than Pakistan we beat you in important matches i.e. in tournaments world and asia cup :P

Posted by   on (January 12, 2013, 15:25 GMT)

To all my Bangladeshi friends.. This article is not a comparison by any means and is rather 'calculated' for a specific period of time and no one has asked Shakaib to play less cricket anyways, he can play and prove himself and once he does all cricketing fans would admire him..I will because he definitely is gifted.. so when in time would you get out of the loosing the Asian Championship dilemma.. I guess never !!! Try and cherish the 'facts' he has stated .. these are numbers and they don't lie my friend..

Posted by The_Ashes on (January 12, 2013, 15:05 GMT)

@Desihungama - No their stats are not identical where you get that from? Shakib has almost 300 wickets in all 3 formats and almost 6000 runs and more than 50 catches in a team which is not that strong so he has all the pressure on him to deliver unlike Hafeez who has top quality bowlers and batters around his team. Shakib plays under pressure and still delivers, Hafeez doesn't.

Posted by   on (January 12, 2013, 15:02 GMT)

He is realy on top of his game

Posted by The_Ashes on (January 12, 2013, 15:00 GMT)

Its so hilarious some Pakistan fans are comparing Hafeez to Shakib. Yes Pakistan destroys the Bangladesh team in all departments but Hafeez over Shakib is the joke of the year so far. Shakib is the youngest and quickest all-rounder in history to achieve more than a 1000 runs in ODI matches and Tests and taken more than a 100 wickets in ODI matches and Tests together so enough said.

Posted by AzAb12754 on (January 12, 2013, 14:56 GMT)

@faizan_feroz: Actually Mortaza and Abdur Razzak are our frontline bowlers, Shakib is third but whether frontline or not, doesn't prove anything. Hafeez usually bowls the opening overs now so of course he's a frontline bowler. He still bowls a lot of overs even though its not quite near Shakib but still overs good enough to achieve at least 1 4 wicket haul but still 0 :P :)

Posted by AzAb12754 on (January 12, 2013, 14:52 GMT)

@faizan_feroz: Stop with these excuses, it doesn't matter whether he is the frontline bowler or 5th line bowler it won't lift Hafeez above Shakib because you have to do and perform on the field not making up excuses that had he done that or this then he would've been on top nope sorry we don't know that for sure. The good thing is that for once Shakib will have lots of matches to play this year so both these Test and ODI player rankings will be retained by him. He's number 2 right now in both those formats because he has played only 2 test matches and 4 ODI matches last year these numbers speak for itself otherwise he would've dominated those rankings. Hafeez has still not achieved a 5 wicket haul and test 100 in the same innings but Shakib has :P

Posted by Warm_Coffee on (January 12, 2013, 14:45 GMT)

32 year old Hafeez is just lucky to be there but will lose it anyway. He has played far more games in the past year and a bit compared to Watson and Shakib but no where near both of them. It doesn't matter whether he's a fifth bowler or tenth bowler fact is he still bowls a lot and yet to achieve a 4 or 5 wicket haul in ODIs in the amount of overs he has bowled in ODIs over a 100 matches just shows how pathetic he really is. To play 16 more ODIs than Shakib last year and only leading by 2 points just shows his worth. His series against India in the ODI matches were average couldn't even finish the game in that last match just speaks for itself.

Posted by Desihungama on (January 12, 2013, 14:05 GMT)

@AzAb12754- On a second note as Faizan explained Hafeez is our 5th bowler and Shakib is your front liner and yet their stats are somewhat identical. So, what does that tell you? Well, it tells me you need 55 Bangladesh players to beat One Pakistan Team. Peace my friend :)

Posted by faizan_feroz on (January 12, 2013, 13:15 GMT)

azab u r forgetting sumthng . he is the BEST all rounder in one day cricket , the crown of test cricket was always and will always remain with kallis till he is on the field , no doubt abt that , and nw compare the stats in one day , shakib has balled 6452 balls equal to almost 1075 overs in which he has gone at a rate of 4.29 and taken 160 wickets at an avg of 29 almost while hafeez has balled 4523 balls meaningg 250 ovrs less and has a wicket tally of 92 with an economy of 4.01 and an avg of 32.86 , nw keeping this in mind that he is the 5th bowler and is not use nw as a new ball bowler in odis specially due to the change in rules our 5th bowler has a less or equal racord to ur shakib who is ur front line bowler , thats what i am trying to say :P and hafeez roles in test is only limited to left handers and that too in the subcontinent so he is never used in test as a full quota bowler , and we dont need him to bowl as we have 4 genuine wicket takers , :P

Posted by Desihungama on (January 12, 2013, 13:14 GMT)

@AzAb12754- Following Bangladesh cricket does not qualify you to comment on cricketing matters let alone on Mohd. Hafeez. Have you followed his career? Do you know a thing about his career? Do you even understand this article written so articulately by Mr. Rajesh? Hafeez has made not one but two comebacks. Simply because he was good enough to warrant those comebacks. In his earlier stints, he wasn't taking those wickets and scoring runs and therefore did not qualify to be a good all-rounder. But, as the writer is trying to explain the thick brain like you that ever since his second comeback he's been the best all-rounder over the last two years. As good as he is playing now Shakib can only dream on while injured. And speaking of that, player's durability is also taken into consideration when label them Great. Your Shakib is injury prone and not quiet fit for consistent International Cricket and this is why he has taken less wickets and scored less runs than Mohd. in the last two years.

Posted by Shazli on (January 12, 2013, 12:20 GMT)

owesome Cricketer no doubt about it.....he has proved himself in all over the world....

Posted by AzAb12754 on (January 12, 2013, 12:07 GMT)

@ysfcapricorn: hahaha Afridi and Hafeez better than Shakib yeah that's a good one. To kill that silly argument of yours here's just one example both Afridi and Hafeez have played 26 and 28 test matches but between them together, how many test wickets have got and compare it with Shakib? now who is better? Don't understand why some people have to lie :)

Posted by AzAb12754 on (January 12, 2013, 12:02 GMT)

@faizan_feroz: Actually wherever I see Hafeez on screen now, he usually bowls the very first over and in tests, overs are basically unlimited so no excuse of him not bowling. A real all-rounder has hunger for success not hide away so the batsman can work out on his bowling :)

Posted by AzAb12754 on (January 12, 2013, 11:58 GMT)

@FRRR: Rubbish! Shakib has 100s against Pakistan and New Zealand IN Pakistan and New Zealand. Shakib has 4 and 5 wicket hauls against England and South Africa IN England and South Africa so ha ha unlike our man Shakib, Hafeez has still yet to achieve a test 100 and 5 wicket haul in the same test match and still not even 50 test wickets let along 100. Don't worry about your man, his reign will be short. I hope you haven't forgot Shakib 84 against Pakistan :P

Posted by   on (January 12, 2013, 11:16 GMT)

A stylish Batsman and an awesome bowler

Posted by FRRR on (January 12, 2013, 10:49 GMT)

Saqib can only play in local grounds of bangladesh. He is overhyped and got lucky in few games. Hafeez is without a doubt is the most valuable player in cricketing world.

Posted by akmshabbir on (January 12, 2013, 8:47 GMT)

well my observation is,

1. Kallis is a legend dont compare him with all the others are currently playing for their countries. 2. Hafeez got to number 1 position with his performance. may be he is the most improved cricketer in the last decade or so. 3. a comparison can be done between among Hafeez, Shakib and Watson. 4. Among them Watson is most devastating no doubt about it. he can single handedly destroy the opposition attack and may be most consistent with his batting among the three dudes we are talking about here. 5. Hafeez seems most economical. he also has the quality of leadership. 6. Shakib carries the burden of his colleagues failure so many times. 7. Shakib never bogged down and play a vital role both his batting, bowling and fielding. 8. actually it all depends how you are performing all around the world. in that case Mr. Jacques Kallis is the best.

Posted by davidatlas999 on (January 12, 2013, 8:08 GMT)

okay bngla fans he is not the greatest like shakib but he is doing really good for us so we loving him.yes he didnt say to icc make me no1 allrounder but he played good so he is no1 right now but we does nt care he is no1 or 10 we need him play like this for more years and win matches for us and good luck for your shakib may he won half for his fans which pak won last two year.cheers

Posted by ysfcapricorn on (January 12, 2013, 8:08 GMT)

@M Talha Siddiqui ............ Come on dude. Whole bangladesh can not produce a single quality all rounder as good as Hafeez or Afridi in next 100 years... Check out the stats... Has any bangla bowler picked more wickets than Hafeez? you Gotta be kidding.

We support Bangladesh and their cricket so much, but it's sad to get such comments from Bangla supporters.

Posted by swingstowin on (January 12, 2013, 8:04 GMT)

funny..this article was about how Hafeez has improved his game in last two years.. Not if he's the best all rounder in the world. I am sure he has no control over rankings and i am also sure he doesn't care about them either. What matters is he's serving his team the best he can, and we love him for that. Keep doing your thing,Professor!!

Posted by faizan_feroz on (January 12, 2013, 7:39 GMT)

and let my arguement be more clear ! pakistan goes mainly with 5 bowlers 6th being a part timer. 4 of them are ajmal gul junaid and another pacer or spinner depending on the pitc , 5th bowler at the moment is hafeez older times it was afridi , 6th is malik at the moment , the top three are genuine wicket takers who get wickets regularly then comes hafeez, his job is to keep the pressure up with his tyt bowling as runs are mostly hard to come by from the other end , his job is not to pick wickets its just to bowl 10 economical overs , thats his role . shakib is the frontline bowler fro bangladesh and apart from him the rest of the bowling are weaklings so cricketers tend to play him defensively and he gets wicket there , also he is a very good one day bowler but just because he is the leader of the pack !

Posted by   on (January 12, 2013, 7:28 GMT)

man wht do these bangladehi people want. ok shakib and razzaq are better than hafeez . buddies winning only one match against india (in ur home condition) will not make u world class team. and what u hve in ur team just shakib razzaq and tamim .what in ur mind man improve urself rather than only commenting....bangladesh is far behind in cricket and dont say u are new in cricket you playing from 90s . .i.e. you hve been playing for app 20 years . so try to creat gud bowlers and what abt hafeez he is just an extra bowler for us . compare ur players with juniad irfan gul wahab riaz nasir jamshed younus

Posted by faizan_feroz on (January 12, 2013, 7:28 GMT)

the rising team : again bro snap out of the dream and read my comment once again , shakib is ur number 1 bowler and hafeez is our 5th bowler if u wanna compare no 1 with no 1 then sure ajmal is here :P and i do believe u wil lsay that razzak or even some sohag gazi is better than ajmal :P

Posted by faizan_feroz on (January 12, 2013, 7:25 GMT)

warm_coffee : still who restricted bd in both the matches in asia cup ?? learn to defferntiate bw match winning players and just performing players bro ,

Posted by   on (January 12, 2013, 4:34 GMT)

the whole bangla team is a better allrounder than hafeez. end of the story. now pls stop this nonsensical debate.

to all my pakistani fellows, enjoy the peak of hafeez, he may not be a wicket taking bowler, but he is the most effective in stopping the outflow of runs from one end at any stage of the game, and thats what makes him an important allrounder along with his batting to have in your playing XI, and of course he has a brain as well (i was always against this average player but over the years he has started to prove me wrong).

Posted by da_man_ on (January 12, 2013, 1:05 GMT)

@MaskRider, who just pounded the world champions at home mate? And remind me, who won the Asia cup again? Also, which team lost to BD in that tournament?! @BD fans, it shows the level of your aspiration, where the only thing that matters is whether Shakib is ranked 1 in this spot. I'm sure Hafeez and all Pak fans won't mind Hafeez being no. 2 so long as remains as consistent a performer, and Pak continue to do well despite all the haters. Kindly go post on your own respective pages if you have nothing positive to say. This is a page about Hafeez's numbers. Not Shakib fall to no. 2, nor the consistent abject failures of a farcical Indian team.

Posted by The_Ashes on (January 12, 2013, 0:57 GMT)

Hafeez is definitely NOT the best one-day all-rounder in World Cricket, he doesn't take many wickets and whenever he does get dominated by the batsman, he comes under tremendous pressure and finds it difficult to bowl. A true all-rounder performs in all formats with both bat and ball together and really there are only 3 in World Cricket right now that have the ability to do that and Hafeez is not one of them. Despite playing so many games across all formats in almost 10 years, he still hasn't achieved together more than a 1000 runs in one-day and test Cricket and 100 wickets in one-day and test Cricket all at the same time. Anyway he should enjoy this reign because its not going to last that long, South Africa will target him bowling or batting and drop down the player rankings.

Posted by   on (January 11, 2013, 22:32 GMT)

Hafeez is a flat track bully or a good batsman against ordinary bowlers, I'll be very surprised if he scores even a single 50 in South Africa during the test series, Philander and Morkel will be too good for him provided if he is not dismissed in the first over by Dale Steyn.

In ODI and T20, yes he is a very valuable player bcz of his bowling skills but in test you need master of one art than bits and pieces players and he certainly lacks that technique to perform against quality bowlers.

Posted by ExtremeSpeed on (January 11, 2013, 22:23 GMT)

Hafeez is an improved player no doubt about that and has hunger for success but definitely not number 1 ranked all round player and is lucky to be there but hope his form keeps up a good player.

Posted by FRRR on (January 11, 2013, 22:20 GMT)

Hafeez as a cricketer has improved alot .... He is the best allrounder in ODIs and T20 too .... Only if he improves his batting a bit, he can be the man in the coming world cup .... Come on hafeez rise up to the challenge.

Posted by Boi90 on (January 11, 2013, 22:17 GMT)

@abhishek Completely agree, Hafeez's numbers are inflated becasue of playing against mediocre teams like Zimbabwe, Bangladesh and India. Real test will be next month in SA.

Posted by nabeel89 on (January 11, 2013, 21:39 GMT)

@MaskRider: no one would enjoy cricket as much if there was no improvement in teams. don't be a sour loser now and making comments at others when your so called champions are being battered in every form of the game no matter where they play! maybe Pakistan will lose in South Africa, maybe they will win, it's cricket and you never know! i wouldn't be so worried about that right now but worry about getting my another whooping by another team! apologies to the other Indian cricket fans for the comments who actually support the cricket than talking like a sour loser!

@Abhishek Agarwal: maybe this is what you should suggest to your team/ board to do as well then. oh wait, the kind of form they are in, they don't wanna lose to their other neighbors as well. now that wouldn't be so nice, would it?

Posted by Warm_Coffee on (January 11, 2013, 21:02 GMT)

@faizan_feroz: Who was player of the tournament at the Asia Cup? Hafeez? huh? :)

Posted by TheRisingTeam on (January 11, 2013, 20:56 GMT)

@faizan_feroz:- Actually unlike Hafeez, Shakib has 14 4 and 5 wicket hauls in ODIs, T20s and Tests against teams like England, Pakistan, South Africa etc so that argument of yours is a lie based on those facts of his. Yes my name speaks for itself as times are changing especially with the 'old' Pakistan team :P

Posted by SyedAreYouDumb on (January 11, 2013, 20:18 GMT)

Nice timing of article just before SA series!!

Posted by KingAjmal on (January 11, 2013, 20:08 GMT)

@Fadi Hussain Syed: Who are the world champions mate? we beat you in Asia Cup chasing a record score. You got South Africa next where Pakistan will be finished :)

Posted by faizan_feroz on (January 11, 2013, 19:36 GMT)

abhishek : if it werent for bd and zim thn srt wudnt be having that 100 ton landmark , and to English CRicket : the stats do help him but 13 mom awards was not only frm bd and zim , the rising team : keep dreaming as ur name :P and for the time being let a real match winner all rounder be at the top of the ladder !

Posted by   on (January 11, 2013, 19:31 GMT)

@abhishek ! lol wot he did against ENDIA we all know it! made raina fool Twice hahahhaha! Oh n i forgot sorry yes pak played well against bangladesh becoz bangladesh is far better den india! cant forget ban humiltd india in asia Cup! Awww!

Posted by faizan_feroz on (January 11, 2013, 19:22 GMT)

and for the 5 wicket haul theory then for those people who have no idea abt cricket or at least pakistan cricket , that he is not the frnt line bowler of pakistan , he is the fifth bowler for pakistan and if afridi is in the team than he turns into a sixth bowler unlike shakib who the captain relys to take wickets on constant base because his bowling side is weak , his job is merely to provide a wcket or slow things up thats it he is not sent there to take 5 fors or 4 fors ,

Posted by TheRisingTeam on (January 11, 2013, 19:14 GMT)

Don't worry Shakib will reclaim that ranking back and Hafeez only got there because he has played 16 more ODI games compared to Shakib in 2012 and still only has a small lead just shows the difference of class between the 2 players. It seems to me ICC are deliberately degrading Shakib status as the best all-rounder in the world because he even dropped so many points in that West Indies series despite not officiating in any of those games for some reason otherwise he still would've been leading oh well he'll regain that back soon.

Posted by EnglishCricket on (January 11, 2013, 18:39 GMT)

@Abhishek Agarawal - Totally agree with you. His stats against Bangladesh and Zimbabwe helps him.

Posted by   on (January 11, 2013, 18:10 GMT)

well this is what u get when u play against bangladesh and again bangladesh

Posted by ExtremeSpeed on (January 11, 2013, 17:28 GMT)

He's getting old now. Had both Watson and Shakib been fit and played just as much games Hafeez has played then he would've ranked way below these 2. But even with the amount of games he has played in the past 2 years still only 2 points ahead just shows his class :)

Posted by   on (January 11, 2013, 17:12 GMT)

Everyone is entitled to his/her opinion but I beg to differ with the comments of @Aina Maria Waseem. Apples need to be compared with apples and not oranges. Ever since Hafeez made a comeback in to international cricket in 2010,not a single match was staged inside Pakistan. Accordingly all the matches were overseas. Although Kallis and the likes are excellent players in their own rights, but we must take into consideration the ground realities. Mohammad Hafeez is a patriot and plays only for the country. He toils hard in each and every match and has never ever erred in his commitment. His equation with Misbah is commendable, hence no politics has raised head in the dressing room-otherwise the epic-center of mudslinging and controversies.

Hats off to Mohammad Hafeez, who can be rated as a Star Performer. Lets lend him moral support to excel in his outing in South Africa and bring back laurels for the much deprived nation.

Posted by The_Ashes on (January 11, 2013, 15:59 GMT)

He's going to exposed in that South Africa series.

Posted by   on (January 11, 2013, 15:29 GMT)

@Warm_Coffee and as far as his bowling in the past is concerned, Afridi didn't get wickts early in his career. But later he became one of the leading wkt takers in ODI/T20 games. So u never know, what's there for Hafeez in future. Just wait n watch and learn to appreciate when its due.

Posted by Zoey_95 on (January 11, 2013, 15:23 GMT)

Most of all, what impresses the passionate viewer of the cricket is the ability of a cricketer to take charge of the situation and deliver his best, keeping the crowd entertained alongside. Hafeez, whether it be batting at crunch moments or bowling to maintain pressure, always tries to deliver his best with zeal and enthusiasm. Taking commendable catches to make the viewer realize his significant presence in the team, and active participation in the field placing and tactics, regardless of being the captain or not, prove his enthusiasm and significant role he plays for team Pakistan. He is a fighter and we hope he will always remain so!

Posted by Warm_Coffee on (January 11, 2013, 13:48 GMT)

@Aina Maria Waseem: You say he was never a wicket taker then he really shouldn't be number 1 as there are other all-rounders that regularly takes wickets and scores more than him. He's an improved player but only got their because others below him have not even played 25% of the games he has played in the past 2 years so lets see if he can hold that position for more than 6 months.

Posted by   on (January 11, 2013, 13:11 GMT)

@Professor's critics: No one, least of all Professor himself, sees him as anything more than the current top ODI all-rounder. However, he didn't get to the top by doing nothing. If he played more games, he had to do well in them. He didn't just have to turn up. Considering how hard to please armchair critics are, anyone would think Don Bradman and co. can't hold a candle to their cricket skills. Besides, people are actually making us respect him more, that a primarily containing bowler has been in the top 3 all-rounders for so long. If it was so easy to maintain a low economy without being Ajmal, more people would have done it, and they obviously haven't. Comparison to the likes of Kallis and Imran Khan are out of the question.

Posted by   on (January 11, 2013, 13:02 GMT)

@Warm_Coffee: I wouldn't count on it. Professor was never a big wicket taker. His role is to contain, and contain he almost always does. If after having played sufficiently against India, (arguably the best team against spin) and Kumar Sangakarra (one of our biggest bogeymen) his stinginess with runs hasn't been hit, it means it will take something big to spoil it.

Posted by   on (January 11, 2013, 12:26 GMT)

@warm cofee surely u havent been watching pak matches

Posted by   on (January 11, 2013, 11:33 GMT)

@MarkRider you will see that too. Kallis is a legend don't compare him with Hafeez yet.

Posted by AzAb12754 on (January 11, 2013, 11:15 GMT)

Watson and Shakib are still by far the best performing all-rounders in World Cricket and Hafeez only got there because he has played far more games than them in the past 1 and half year. His bowling stats are manipulative still hasn't achieved 1 5 wicket haul in Test Cricket and still not even 1 4 wicket haul in ODI Cricket. Enjoy your short reign because he will be exposed soon.

Posted by KingAjmal on (January 11, 2013, 11:00 GMT)

Has he achieved like Kallis a 5 wicket haul and 100 in the same innings? nope just an average all-rounder.

Posted by   on (January 11, 2013, 10:49 GMT)

great perfommance hafeez well done u r the best t20 capton according to ur perfommance :D

Posted by Warm_Coffee on (January 11, 2013, 10:19 GMT)

He's only top ranked ODI all-rounder now because he has played more ODI games than anybody else in terms of all-rounders. His bowling is over-hyped I must say more than a 100 ODI games and still no 4 wicket haul and less than a 99 wickets says it all. He's going to lose that position quickly within the next 2 months.

Posted by   on (January 11, 2013, 10:02 GMT)

Well done Mohammad Hafeez, thanks for making us proud :)

Posted by   on (January 11, 2013, 9:32 GMT)

yes his comeback has been one of the great comebacks of all times. and certainly a far more better player than his first term. His bowling abilities have made him more dangerous with such low economy rates even in power plays is a great plus point. He can bowl 10 full overs as a regular bowler & most of time restrict batsmen to score freely.though in tests his bowling is not much utilized or not much impact but in shorter format, he is very good. Good batting stats for last 2 years with 2nd in odi bowling rankings make him special.

Posted by HEARTOUT on (January 11, 2013, 5:27 GMT)

All above stats doesn't mean anything since he's not been utilized completely and above stats could have been much better...........What I see from here that he has the ability to become Michael Clark of Pakistan if given authority and confidence no wonder this man could LIFT WORLD CUP FOR PAKISTAN...........................

Posted by SyedArbabAhmed on (January 11, 2013, 5:12 GMT)

I wonder how a Pakistani can have this award, no matter how good Pakistanis performed normally award goes to opposition specially when it comes to India, Jamshed got 100 but Dhoni got MOM, Saeed got 5 wickets for nothing Dhoni got MOM

Posted by   on (January 11, 2013, 4:02 GMT)

Well Done Muhammad Hafeez. Proud of you my boy!!

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S Rajesh Stats editor Every week the Numbers Game takes a look at the story behind the stats, with an original slant on facts and figures. The column is edited by S Rajesh, ESPNcricinfo's stats editor in Bangalore. He did an MBA in marketing, and then worked for a year in advertising, before deciding to chuck it in favour of a job which would combine the pleasures of watching cricket and writing about it. The intense office cricket matches were an added bonus.

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