Although the first Test between Pakistan and New Zealand ended in a victory for New Zealand, Fawad Alam's innings was widely debated.
In this innings, Fawad Alam managed to score a century in Test cricket after 11 years. Fawad Alam's century came at a time when Fawad could not afford another failure. While Fawad's critics were happy with his failures, Fawad's fans feared another failure. A failure that would have ended Fawad Alam's career forever.
Fawad Alam:— ICC (@ICC) December 30, 2020
1st Test hundred 👉 13 July, 2009
2nd Test hundred 👉 30 December, 2020
Never give up 💪 pic.twitter.com/3Iu9pvDQ2I
Fawad Alam may not get a chance in this Test match if Babar Azam was fit to play this match. After the failure in the first innings, it looked like maybe this was Fawad Alam's last Test, and of course, after more failures, his critics could have said that we had already said that international cricket with this batting style. It is impossible to play, although it is almost the same style with which Shivnarine Chanderpaul scored more than 10,000 runs in Test cricket.
Despite scoring a century in his debut Test 11 years ago, Fawad Alam got a chance in only 3 Test matches. Middle-order batsman Fawad Alam was dropped as the opener in the Colombo Test against Sri Lanka. When Fawad Alam stepped on the field in the second innings, Sri Lanka had a lead of 150 runs but Fawad Alam got Pakistan out of trouble by forming a partnership with Khurram Manzoor and then Younis Khan.
Fawad Alam faced 259 balls during this innings and scored 168 runs with the help of 15 fours and a six. It is another matter that later all the batting line was piled up and Pakistan lost by 7 wickets despite a strong position.
Fawad Alam, who played three Tests, was dropped from the team after failing a Test on a tour of New Zealand. No one has ever said this but it is heard that the main reason for dropping Fawad Alam from the team was his batting style. A batting style that has become more and more complex over time.
There were many critics of Fawad Alam's batting style but no one was ready to consider that Fawad has been consistently scoring in domestic cricket with the same style. Fawad Alam became the highest first-class average batsman for Pakistan in 2013 and still holds the record.
But selectors, coaches, and captains may have thought that Fawad Alam is a domestic player who is impossible to play in international cricket. Maybe that's why no one thought it necessary to know that Fawad has scored the most runs in first-class cricket since 2015, nor is it that only Steve Smith of Australia and Hanuma Vihari of India are the only current cricketers from Fawad Alam, more first-class scores than average.
Fawad Alam was scoring runs every year but the selectors had probably taken him out of their minds. After Fawad Alam was dropped, Umar Akmal, Azhar Ali, Umar Amin, Asad Shafiq, Mohammad Ayub, Nasir Jamshed, Shan Masood, Ahmed Shehzad, Sami Aslam, Iftikhar Ahmed, Babar Azam, Sharjeel Khan, Haris Sohail, Imam-ul-Haq, Usman Salahuddin, Fakhar Zaman, and Abid Ali made their debuts for Pakistan, Mohammad Rizwan played as batsmen, Mohammad Nawaz, Shadab Khan, and Faheem Ashraf were named as all-rounders but Fawad Alam could not return.
Many of them became part of the permanent Pakistani team and many failed. Fawad Alam, who performed much better than those who were included in the national team due to their excellent performance, waited for the opportunity. Now it seemed as if the chief selectors were using the name of Fawad Alam in the press conference held on the announcement of the team. Board chairman, chief selectors, coaches, captains kept changing but Fawad Alam's excellent performance in the domestic and national team could not change.
Fawad Alam was included in the squad for the home series against Sri Lanka but he got the chance in the series against England. Had Haris Sohail been ready for the series, Fawad Alam might have had to wait longer for the opportunity, and given Fawad's performance in these two Test matches, he wished that this might have been better for Fawad.
Fawad Alam faced the bowling attack of England which was the best in these conditions. Fawad may have been dropped after this failure on the tour of England but several Pakistani batsmen failed on this tour and it was impossible to get all of them out. While Babar Azam's absence was a factor in Fawad's inclusion in the Test match, Fawad's excellent century in the first-class match against New Zealand A was also a major factor.
Fawad Alam played a very wrong shot in the first innings of the first Test under difficult circumstances and suffered the consequences, while in the second innings in which Fawad stepped on the crease, Fawad's chances of success were slim. People had, but it was Fawad's day. The wicket had slowed down a bit on the fifth day where it was possible for Fawad Alam to play his natural game.
The wicket was somewhat favorable for batting but it was not easy to face the swing of Tim Southee and Trent Bolt as well as the bouncers of Neil Wagner and Kyle Jameson. The ball was high and low and there were cracks on the pitch but Fawad Alam formed such a partnership with Mohammad Rizwan after Azhar Ali was out that by the tea break there was hope for Pakistan's victory.
In his innings, Fawad Alam played some beautiful shots with his unconventional batting style that the commentators applauded for many moments. Fawad Alam could not save Pakistan from defeat despite playing an excellent inning which will be regretted by Fawad along with the fans, but with this innings, he has got a chance to come back, and hopefully now if Fawad Alam continues to perform So one can play for the national team for a long time, but here an important question arises that when will the rest of the players who have consistently performed in domestic cricket get a chance?
This century of Fawad Alam is a question from the selectors and coaches who are not giving a chance to the players who have consistently performed in domestic cricket just because their batting style or bowling speed is suitable for them in international cricket. Don't think so Players who perform in Pakistan Super League or U-19 get a chance soon but players who consistently perform in first-class cricket are deprived of opportunities.
Players like Mohammad Ayub, Usman Salahuddin, and Mir Hamza get a test on their performance in the domestic, but after that, they do not get a second chance despite their consistently excellent performance. Not only Fawad Alam, Sadaf Hussain, Kashif Bhatti, Tabish Khan, and many other players who did not get to play in Pakistan Super League have spent their life playing at their best, but they did not get any chance.
Numerous players including Amir Yameen, Saud Shakeel, Kamran Ghulam, Sajid Khan, Zahid Mahmood, Danish Aziz, and Salman Ali Agha are still looking for opportunities. Fawad's case is also one of the strongest voices for all of them that first-class cricket needs to be given importance in selecting a Test team. It is okay to feed T20 cricket to the players on the basis of their excellent performance in the Pakistan Super League, but to include them in the Test team is beyond comprehension. Doing so violates not only the deserving players but also the players who are being fed along with the Pakistani team.