Hafeez has opened the bowling for Pakistan in Twenty20s, ODIs and test matches with success and that element of surprise. It’s “outside of the box thinking” which has been enforced by either Afridi or Misbah over the time Hafeez has been in the side. He is an underrated bowler. He is so damn nagging accurate with his line, length, control & varied trajectories. He bowls according to his field placements and sets high standards of himself and his fielders. Containment is his strength. He bowls economically. He is a reliable operator. Against left handers specifically Hafeez is a demon. He drifts the ball, inserts a fair deal of revs in the air, and gets the odd one to go straight on with the arm which creates enough doubt and uncertainty in the mind of the striker, but also can get the ball to turn and bounce from a length and bring the slipper into play. He has a simple action with that “kink” allowing him to second guess the batter and adjust his delivery accordingly. He is a thinking bowler. He is a cunning bowler.
WI left handed opener Devon Smith has been a bunny of his who has been dismissed 6 times consecutively when the two have encountered (5 of them being LBW). The professor has had him in a complete tangle. However, he has had weaknesses against off spinners throughout his career.
Just wondering here whether Misbah opens with the Professor against England in the UAE with Cook and Strauss opening up for them. Gul and Riaz opening together is probably not best because both are the same type and neither is an out and out bowler with the new red cherry. Hafeez can provide that “surprise package” and trouble these two prolific run getters. When he has got wickets and breakthroughs in test cricket it has been as a result of his own guile as opposed to batsmen mistakes and errors. He has provided breakthroughs at crucial times. I think Hafeez can pose some serious questions against these lefty’s early doors. Hopefully this is considered. I think this will be more effective than seeing Umar Gul running in and Strauss happily letting 3 or 4 an over go through to the keeper, Wahab Riaz sending down legside half volleys or bowling short and wide for Strauss to square cut him to the fence or even Tanvir Ahmed ambling in with his military medium only to be spanked through the covers. This is worth a try. Even if Hafeez doesn’t get a breakthrough he is unlikely to go for many. Strauss is not keen to come forward whereas Cook pushes hard at the ball. Hafeez could work these over.