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Inzamam-ul-Haq names three batters who changed the game of cricket

Inzamam himself was one of the greatest batters of his generation.

Inzamam-ul-Haq
Inzamam-ul-Haq. (Photo by ARIF ALI/AFP/Getty Images)

Inzamam-ul-Haq, the former Pakistan batsman, put forth three names, who redefined the game of cricket with their own unique style of play. The right-hander, himself was one of the greats of the game and also captained Pakistan with authority. The Multan-born had over 20,000 runs at the highest level to go with 35 centuries and 129 half-centuries in his illustrious career.

He pulled the curtains down on his career after Pakistan’s home Tests against South Africa in 2007. He also served as the chief selector of the national team and stepped down after the World Cup in England and Wales. Talking about the game changers, Inzamam said their brand of cricket became a trend, which was later followed by a number of other cricketers.

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“3 players have changed the game of cricket, given it a new style,” Inzamam was quoted as saying in his official YouTube channel.

To start with, he put forth the name of Sir Vivian Richards, one of West Indies’ most attacking batsmen in the 1980s. “Years ago, it was Viv Richards, who changed the game. At that time batsmen used to play fast bowlers on the backfoot but he showed everyone how to play them off the front foot. He taught everyone that fast bowlers can be attacked. He was an ever-great player,” he said.

One current batsman in Inzamam’s list

Inzamam then named former Sri Lankan batsman Sanath Jayasuriya, who was a part of the 1996 World Cup-winning squad. Inzamam said that Jayasuriya’s approach of taking the aerial route to the fast bowlers brought about a change.

“The second change was brought in by Sanath Jayasuriya. He decided to attack the fast bowlers in the first 15 overs. Before his arrival, the ones who used hit the ball in the air were not considered as proper batsmen but he changed the perception by hitting the fast bowlers over the infield in the first 15 overs,” Inzamam stated.

As the third player, Inzamam put forth AB de Villiers’ name. The former South African cricketers has flourished across formats. He has recently turned 36 and is also in contention for a place in the Proteas squad for the T20 World Cup in Australia.

“The third player who changed cricket was AB de Villiers. He changed cricket for the third time. I would credit the fast-paced cricket that you see in ODIs and T20s today to de Villiers. Previously batsmen used to hit the straight bat. De Villiers came in, started to hit the paddle sweeps, reverse sweeps,” he added.

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