PAK v SA 2021

Who was right about Faheem Ashraf? Dean Jones or Mickey Arthur!

Pakistani all-rounder Faheem Ashraf took the national team to a formidable total as he top-scored against South Africa with an unbeaten 78 on Friday at Pindi Stadium.

This was the batsman’s fourth half-century in international cricket and his second this series. His standout performance, which included 12 boundaries, helped Pakistan resist the pressure from Proteas as they struggled with 229 for seven at lunch.

Faheem averages 142, highest among all, in the two-match series against South Africa so far and is the second highest run-getter with 142 runs.

The batsman stayed on crease till the very end in the first innings to ensure the scoreboard keeps moving in Pakistan’s favour while wickets kept falling from the other end.

Faheem has impressed one and all with his batting during the recent past, especially in Test cricket, with runs against New Zealand, away from home, and the ongoing Test series against South Africa.

Famous commentator Alan Wilkins has revealed what former Australian cricketer Dean Jones said about Pakistan all-rounder Faheem Ashraf’s batting abilities.

Dean Jones had passed away after a sudden cardiac arrest in Mumbai on September 24, 2020.

Wilkins’ tweet came after he scored a half-century in the first innings of the second Test in Rawalpindi.

“When our great friend Dean Jones was coach at Islamabad United, he always maintained that Faheem Ashraf was a “proper batsman” alongside Shadab Khan and Hussain Tallat — it gave the team many batting permutations in the PSL,” tweeted Wilkins.

Remember that Pakistan’s former head coach Mickey Arthur had different views about Faheem Ashraf.

He publicly told reporters in Cape Town, after a miserable day of Test cricket against South Africa, that he did not consider Faheem to be an allrounder: just a bowler. 

Faheem Ashraf is in red hot form as averages 65.60 with the bat since his return to Pakistan’s Test side. Earlier in a press conference he claimed that he “would consider himself a bowling allrounder till the day I retire”.

“I started as a bowling allrounder and it’s in that role that I am playing in the side,” Ashraf said.

“My batting is my plus point, and I am grateful that I’m performing with the bat, a discipline that I have put a lot of hard work into. I hope I’ll score a hundred one day, but if it’s in my fate, I’ll get a hundred without even noticing it. It’s not something I can control.”

Faheem, however insists he hasn’t shifted focus away from bowling. “I have always viewed myself as a bowling allrounder. I try and give my all with the ball, and help the specialist bowlers,” he said, talking to the media over video conference.

“I’m having a good run with the bat but when I have the ball in hand, I want to play like a bowler, not an allrounder. I’m focusing on bowling just as much as I did before, even if my performances are more apparent with the bat. But that shouldn’t mean I’m focusing on my bowling any less.”

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