When a cricketer from contemporary circuit does well, he is bound to be compared with one of the greats from yesteryear. This happens very often and the comparison drawn is fascinating for every cricket fan. Although it is unfair to compare cricketers from a different era, as different aspects like conditions, accessories, pitches, bats and boundaries play a massive role in determining the kind of impact he had. Some may agree while the rest may not but isn’t the comparison intriguing?
When Sachin Tendulkar shot to limelight during his time, he was often being compared with Viv Richards. But as the gentlemen played in different eras it wouldn’t be just to say who was better. But again, the comparison was absorbing.And today, when Indian star Virat Kohli is shattering records across the globe with his elegance, he is often being compared with Tendulkar. Well, this was for the batsmen, what about bowlers? With the balance of the bat being heavily titled in the favour of batsmen, a bowler’s life in contemporary cricket has become miserable. Yet, there are few bowlers who prove their worth and stand apart from others.
Pakistan’s Yasir Shah has been scaling newer heights in Test cricket, he picked a lot of wickets in the recently Test series against West Indies and so does the comparison arises. Yasir is undoubtedly one of the best wrist spinners in the contemporary circuit and easily the best in his country. He has been the backbone of Pakistan’s spin attack and has done a magnificent job so far, chipping 149 wickets in 26 Tests at 29.91. In the recently concluded Test series against West Indies, which Pakistan won by 2-1, Yasir accounted for 25 West Indian scalps. The series was also a farewell one for two Pakistani stalwarts – Younis Khan and Misbah-ul-Haq. Yasir was the silent assassin in the series were attention was primarily on Misbah and Younis.
Abdul Qadir, on the other hand, is hailed as one of the best wrist-spinners Pakistan have ever produced. In his 67 Tests career, Qadir had 236 wickets in his basket at 32.80. His canny variations were his forte and it is also said that he had two kinds of googlies. Qadir was believed to have six different kind of deliveries up his sleeves, which was astronomical for any spinner and a nightmare for any genius at the crease. He possessed a great temperament for a spinner and Yasir certainly reminiscences Qadir when it comes to leg-spin.
In his career so far, Yasir has picked 11 fifer and couple of 10-wickets hauls, which is huge for any bowler who has played just 26 Tests. Qadir, in his career of 67 Tests, has claimed 15 fifers and five 10-wickets hauls. Let’s take a look at their records respectively.
Yasir Shah didn’t play a Test match in Pakistan as the cricket fanatic country has not hosted a Test in the recent times due to security reasons. Pakistan played their Tests in UAE and other neutral venues and Yasir has played 10 games at neutral venues, where he bagged 63 wickets at 25.34. Abdul Qadir, on the other hand, played 40 matches in Pakistan, in which he scalped 168 wickets at 26.82. Yasir boasts of a strike-rate of 50.98 while Qadri has a strike-rate of 62.28.
For a spinner, the overseas conditions are always tough to bowl. Yasir featured in 16 Tests on foreign soil for Pakistan, where he had 86 wickets at 33.25 whereas Qadir played 27 games and bagged 68 wickets at 47.58. But the massive difference between these two were about the massive strike-rate. Yasir has of a strike-rate of 59.93 while Qadir’s strike rate of 97.97 on foreign soil gives the former an edge. Though Yasir’s strike-rate overseas is not awe-inspiring but in comparison, Qadir has been less effective.
Fastest to 100 wickets
Australia legend Shane Warne spoke highly about Yasir Shah’s leg-spin and also said that the canny leg-spinner with finish with 200 Test wickets. Well, as of now, Yasir seems to be well on track as he already has 149 wickets from 26 Tests. However, if we talk about the fastest man to 100 Test wickets between Yasir and Qadir, the former has won this race comprehensively. Yasir raced away to 100 Test wickets from 17 games while Qadir achieved the milestone in 28 games. Though one may argue saying Qadir debuted at an early age and played a lot of cricket then. But the huge difference of 12 games speaks highly about Yasir’s dominance. Also, Yasir is the joint second-fastest bowler to 100 Test wickets along with legendary bowlers like Turner, Barnes and Grimmett.
Impact becomes a vital aspect while comparing any cricketer. Out of 26 games, that Yasir played, Pakistan have won 14 and drew a couple. In 14 games that Pakistan won, Yasir picked wickets in heap, 102 to be precise at a staggering average of 21.57. Qadri played 67 games from which, Pakistan won 21 games and drew 37. Qadri picked 100 wickets in 21 games that his side won, while Yasir has already crossed that number. Though matches were drawn on a heavy basis those days but one can easily say that Pakistan win most of the games when Yasir chips wickets.
Yasir banks on his accuracy, unlike Qadir, he does not possesses a lot of variations or even an effective googly for that matter. Still, he has enough in his stock deliveries and flipper to trouble the best of the batting line-up. Yasir is genius in his own and the numbers above don’t lie. One can easily predict that Yasir will certainly be hailed as one of the great spinners by the time he is done with playing cricket.
Both Yasir and Qadri are champions from their respective eras. And it won’t be appropriate to hail one as better than the other but the numbers demonstrate that, Yasir will overhaul Qadri’s figures if he plays 67 Tests for Pakistan. As of now, Yasir is enjoying a prolific run with the ball and will continue to pick wickets with his craft and guile in the upcoming time.