Observe Fawad’s stance. It exudes anything but style. The square-on stance comes from Shivanarine Chanderpaul and Craig McMillian’s school of thought, and is plain out ugly.
It’s not just limited to stance. Fawad’s entire batting process seems laboured. When he hits a boundary, it shows on his entire body. What’s missing? Elegance.
Unfortunately for him, Pakistan cricket is still operating on classic principles where stylish failures have more of a chance than successful grinders. It is why Umar Akmal and Ahmed Shehzad, with their picture-perfect drives and textbook pulls, have more of a chance than the southpaw.
Fawad’s greatest misfortune is that he fails the ‘eye test’. It makes one wonder what Pakistani selectors would have done had Steve Smith, with his unorthodox style, been a Pakistani too.
Then there is another aspect to the debate. Fawad’s case has been discussed and championed so much, it has almost become a no-go area for the board and the new coach and selector.
If given a chance now and if he succeeds, imagine what the backlash would be like for the PCB to have wasted this 34-year-old’s prime cricketing years. Misbah-ul-Haq, who famously did not pick Fawad for the entirety of his captaincy, would be held directly responsible.
And so cricket fans, don’t hold your breath when the squad for the Sri Lanka Test series is announced next month. Fawad is too ugly/unconventional a player for Misbah and his band of purists to take a risk on.