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Mohammad Sami : The Thunderbolt from Karachi

Pakistan has always been producing promising new talent in the fast bowling department but till recently Karachi, undoubtedly one of the highlights of Pakistan hadn’t been able to boast of any pace-man but in the year 2000 and Karachiites had the immense pleasure to see a young lad Mohammad Sami of their very own making debut in international cricket against New Zealand in the form of a right- handed pace man.

Sami had a dream start to his international career. Little known in cricket circles until then, what to speak of the common man, he has risen to international fame almost overnight. His five-wicket haul in the very first test match against New Zealand speaks for itself of the immense talent that oozes out of him. He performed a destructive job in the first Test of Pakistan’s last series in New Zealand – in 2000-01, when NZ lost nine wickets for 26 – wound up and routed the top order. He took 5 for 44 in all, and bowled 13 overs unchanged.

Small and wiry, with an appearance and run-up like Aaqib Javed of not-so-distant memory, Sami skips up to the crease, all big hair and arms, and whirrs the ball down at a stunning rate. This talented Karachiite is a tear away fast bowler with a lot of talent, but usually has to content himself by staying in the shadow of the more flamboyant Shoaib Akhtar. He hardly looks like a pace bowler; more like a fifth- former, neither does he have the express run-up of Akhtar, but produces consistent speed of around 90 mph. His potency with the bat was displayed at Rawalpindi in the ongoing test match against India, where he braved lusty blows to anchor his side from 137/8 to 224 and top scoring with a career-best 49. This lad from Karachi is for sure a potential superstar of Pakistani cricket, not because of his hostile bowling, or his batting skills but for his competitive spirit and a never-say-die attitude.

Mohammad Sami has found the right rhythm and bowls with dazzling speed and accuracy; He has also quickly got to grips with the traditional out swing and Yorker-length reverse-swing. He has grabbed hat tricks in both forms of the game – both in 2002 – and averages around 27 in one-day cricket. A rapidly improving fast bowler with speed and penetration. Has emulated Wasim Akram by recording hat tricks in both one-dayers and Tests. He sure shows a lot of promise and is a bright hope for the future.

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