Why has Pakistan run out of quality spinners? Is it because of lack of talent or poor selection policies?

The Bald Eagle

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Pakistan had been gold mine of spinners that had produced great spinning stars like Abdul Qadir Khan, Mushtaq Ahmad, Saqlain Mushtaq, Shahid Afridi, Saeed Ajmal ,Muhammad Hafeez etc. But since the retirement of Saeed Ajmal, Shahid Afridi , Muhammad Hafeez etc Pakistan has been struggling greatly in the spin department and our spinners have become an easy target for the opposition batters. Unfortunately the current lot of spinners like Shadab, Muhammad Nawaz, Abram,Sajid Khan have failed to leave an indelible impression and can’t be considered as quality spinners in any sense. So what’s the reason behind this slump?
 
It's a pity that the land from where the magical delivery of doosra and leg break was discovered is unable to churn out new quality bowlers. And if we find some in Psl then we don't give them chance in National side.
 
Lack of consistency and oversight on players, otherwise Shadab Nawaz & Gohar should have been groomed and worked on for the three formats but PCB left them at their own and they were only tempted in micky mouse cricket
 
The U19 talent is even worse it seems last time we had Arham and Faisal who can actually turn the ball but this time we have only got darters
 
Lack of consistency and oversight on players, otherwise Shadab Nawaz & Gohar should have been groomed and worked on for the three formats but PCB left them at their own and they were only tempted in micky mouse cricket

Shadab and Nawaz have mostly been picked because they can bat a bit, I think if selectors were picking on spin bowling skills alone then not sure they would be getting in the team. Maybe the specialist spinners are just not very good in Pakistan, I don't really follow the local scene. Somewhat embarrassingly, it seems English born Pakistanis are performing at a higher standard.
 
Lack of consistency and oversight on players, otherwise Shadab Nawaz & Gohar should have been groomed and worked on for the three formats but PCB left them at their own and they were only tempted in micky mouse cricket
All 3 aren't good. Gohar is awful and can't turn the ball, and the other 2 are worse.
 
Zafar Gohar is the best spinner in the country, god knows why he hasn't been in the team for the past few years.

It's been ages since Pakistan has had a good non-chucking spinner
 
Zafar Gohar is the best spinner in the country, god knows why he hasn't been in the team for the past few years.

It's been ages since Pakistan has had a good non-chucking spinner
Well, Gohar is good but I think Muhammad Ashgar of Peshawar zalmi and Umer Khan of Karachi King were even better than him. Don't know where they have vanished.
 
Whereas the shortage of quality pacers can be explained by obvious factors including premature debuts, medical mismanagement and lack of understanding of biomechanics - the shortage of quality spinners is a harder question to answer.

Some blame the effect of T20 where spinners are often firing the ball at the stumps with minimal spin to restrict runs as opposed to looking for wickets. However if T20 was killing spin bowling - why aren't India, Sri Lanka, Afghanistan and Bangladesh struggling to produce quality spinners too ?

IMO one of the reasons was the abundance of damp, grassy FC pitches in the late 2000s and early 2010s that did little to encourage spinners. And when the grass is shaved - our pitches don't really deteriorate like Indian or Sri Lankan wickets do. If anything the pitches get slower and lower on Day 4 and 5.
 
Gohar is not great but he definitely turns the ball and is far better option than anyone in the country for tests.
He was a better bowler at U19 level than he is today. He is county bowler but just like all the other guys he cant turn the ball enough to beat the good batsman.
 
What were the pitch conditions like. I have seen him play for PK and Gloucestershire and he cant get the ball off the straight
 
What were the pitch conditions like. I have seen him play for PK and Gloucestershire and he cant get the ball off the straight
He's played just twice for pakistan across 6 years. One ODI in the UAE where he got Root and Hales, and one test in New Zealand in the worst possible conditions for a spinner, when NZ didn't even select on in their XI. He's well earned a run for Pakistan
 
He's played just twice for pakistan across 6 years. One ODI in the UAE where he got Root and Hales, and one test in New Zealand in the worst possible conditions for a spinner, when NZ didn't even select on in their XI. He's well earned a run for Pakistan
I have seen a fair amount of him in county cricket and he isnt an international spinner.
 
Shadab had the potential to be an upgrade on afridi but then he focused on T 20 leagues instead of red ball cricket and he deteriorated massively
 
Gohar used to turn it huge and watch some older youtube videos of him if you can't believe it but now he doesn't turn it huge but still he can turn it more than any other spinner in Pakistan except Usman Qadir.
 
Gohar used to turn it huge and watch some older youtube videos of him if you can't believe it but now he doesn't turn it huge but still he can turn it more than any other spinner in Pakistan except Usman Qadir.
Great pity that Gohar hasn't gotten any chance yet. He deserves a green cap. Also it's better to have a proper spinner then some fancy all rounder in the team.
 
Great pity that Gohar hasn't gotten any chance yet. He deserves a green cap. Also it's better to have a proper spinner then some fancy all rounder in the team.
He lost his huge turn so I don't think he will be much effective now but still he can turn it more than Abrar and Sajid.
 
When you play a medicore player like Nawaz continuously without giving other people a single chance.... then how can you expect Shane Warne to emerge from your setup...
 
Nawaz gets into the squad every time because of his 1 good knock once in a blue moon. Otherwise, there is no place for him, he has been poor recently and well deserved to be left out and play some domestic.
 
When you play a medicore player like Nawaz continuously without giving other people a single chance.... then how can you expect Shane Warne to emerge from your setup...
Spot on bro! You nailed it. I personally believe we do have ample talent but we don't bring them forth.
 
Great pity that Gohar hasn't gotten any chance yet. He deserves a green cap. Also it's better to have a proper spinner then some fancy all rounder in the team.

From what I saw of him in the PSL he seemed to have the similar knack of chucking in one boundary ball per over as the rest of our spinners. Turn or no turn, if you can't pitch it on a line and length you aren't going to make it at international level.
 
Sajid Khan is a quality spinner, but the issue is that he isn't respected. These days, selectors don't seem to value and respect domestic cricket experience and records.
 
Dying of youth interest in joining clubs and starts playing proper cricket is the primary reason we are not getting speed demons and proper spinners
 
We are only seeing village boys with low intellect and no understanding of modern game joining local clubs and those clubs having sub par coaches
 
Everyone is getting materialistic these days and when your country doesn’t provide you even basic needs then people will not be encourage to play proper cricket and losing the chance to earn bread and butter because there is no incentive in cricket as a profession and when you don’t have food over your table how on earth you suppose to play the sport?
 
T20 Cricket

Test quality spinners don't do very well in Limited overs these days. In the last decade or so we have had Ajmal, Jadeja, Ashwin, Herath, Swann, Lyon, Maharaj

Only 2(Jadeja and Ajmal) played a lot of LOIs. And Jadeja gets in as an all rounder.

Becoming a test quality spinner could very likely mean sacrificing T20 ability in the modern era
 
T20 Cricket

Test quality spinners don't do very well in Limited overs these days. In the last decade or so we have had Ajmal, Jadeja, Ashwin, Herath, Swann, Lyon, Maharaj

Only 2(Jadeja and Ajmal) played a lot of LOIs. And Jadeja gets in as an all rounder.

Becoming a test quality spinner could very likely mean sacrificing T20 ability in the modern era
not necessarily, take the examples of genn philips,santner, K.Maharaj etc
 
So pathetic! It's been eight years now and we could not find a proper spinner as replacement for the likes of Shahid Afridi, Saeed Ajmal etc.

We lost against India in WC 2022 because of our spinners, we suffered badly in WC 2023 because of it and today Usama Mir let us down big time. Where are Zafar Gohar, Mohammad Asghar and other 5 wicket haul taking domestic spinners. Are they from some low caste that they can't represent Pakistan.

Current Pak spinners are just like parasites. We have stooped so low now that even Iftikhar and Salman Ali Agha are 10x better than our main spinners lot.
 
All our aspiring spinners want to dart in, no concept of flight and turn or using the wicket perferance given to 4 overs rather than toiling for 5 days
 
All our aspiring spinners want to dart in, no concept of flight and turn or using the wicket perferance given to 4 overs rather than toiling for 5 days
The pity is that even Zimbabwe has better spinners than us.
 
Just look at PJL or Ramadan tournaments or domestic cricket or U19 players , there is not a single big spinner with decent control , Faisal Akram and Sufyan Muqeem and Arish Ali Khan are the only spinners who can actually spin the ball even they are not huge turners and all of them lack control as well , may be Arish is the best of the lot here and there is Rameez jnr who can spin decently but not big with very good control and is the highest wicket taker in grade ii tournament, so clearly it’s the lack of talent not selection issues.

And none of those mentioned name seems like a next big thing from Pakistan
 
There is a bajore guy name Maaz khan who is apparently 14 and turn it huge with very good control , you can search the video on YouTube , that guy probably look the next big thing from Pak to be honest , very quick off the surface for a 14 year old and spin it huge with very good control.
 
Saad Masood from PJL also can spin it huge his googly but his stock leg spinner is too slow and doesn’t turn huge as well to be effective even though he is fairly accurate
 
One of the most under-rated realities of Pakistan cricket is Ajmal destroying a generation of spinners. Him freely chucking was a nod to those bowlers who also went for short cuts and chucked instead of legally trying to be better bowlers. When Ajmal was banned, PCB shortly after conducted tests for bowlers in domestic and tens of bowlers were banned in result.

Another exceptional case is Raza Hassan who was very talented, but had a drug case on him and then vanished forever.
 
One of the most under-rated realities of Pakistan cricket is Ajmal destroying a generation of spinners. Him freely chucking was a nod to those bowlers who also went for short cuts and chucked instead of legally trying to be better bowlers. When Ajmal was banned, PCB shortly after conducted tests for bowlers in domestic and tens of bowlers were banned in result.

Another exceptional case is Raza Hassan who was very talented, but had a drug case on him and then vanished forever.
Raza Hassan just ruined himself like Amir. We still have some guys like Khalid Usman in domestic who today claimed his 11th 5-wicket haul but pity the selectors don't give them any chance in team.
 
Raza Hassan just ruined himself like Amir. We still have some guys like Khalid Usman in domestic who today claimed his 11th 5-wicket haul but pity the selectors don't give them any chance in team.
Even i wasnt aware of khalid usman. This is so tragic. We at PP should raise awareness about him.
 
Raza Hassan just ruined himself like Amir. We still have some guys like Khalid Usman in domestic who today claimed his 11th 5-wicket haul but pity the selectors don't give them any chance in team.
Raza Hassan was a single dimensional bowler which could be handy only in T20.

We need someone who can play all three formats and certainly we don't have such player in our domestic circuit.

Zafar Gohar was the only one who was good enough to play for Pakistan but he never got any chance to play.
 
T20 Cricket

Test quality spinners don't do very well in Limited overs these days. In the last decade or so we have had Ajmal, Jadeja, Ashwin, Herath, Swann, Lyon, Maharaj

Only 2(Jadeja and Ajmal) played a lot of LOIs. And Jadeja gets in as an all rounder.

Becoming a test quality spinner could very likely mean sacrificing T20 ability in the modern era

This is a very good post.

I often hear the refrain that Pakistani spinners didn't do well at the World Cup because they don't play 4 day cricket and hence they are not accurate enough.

Codswallop!

Zampa is the best ODI spinner and he's not even considered for Tests by Australia.

It's rare these days to find a spinner who's good across formats or even across different conditions.

For example, in the World Cup in India, the most successful spinner - Zampa bowled a high percentage of deliveries finishing on the stumps at a flat trajectory and the speeds were consistently high.

Only the odd ball was tossed up to force a batsman to play a false shot after they had been tied up by restrictive stumps bowling.

Adil Rashid bowled exactly the opposite and found success - he bowled slow and wide and tossed it up and spun it away and consistently asked batters to play big shots and reach the ball and generate their own pace .

Only the odd ball was fired in as a fast, flat googly at the stumps to surprise batters


Shadab neither could slow it up to that extent nor did he target the stumps at pace and ended up giving width and pace to batters who lashed him relentlessly.

Pakistan should either have selected available spinners who could use either method effectively or worked with Shadab and got him to bowl in a way that made him most effective in the conditions for the World Cup.


bowling off spin in Australian Tests is hard .

But Ashwin found success by consistently varying his pace.

A third of his deliveries were below 83 kph , another third was between 83-88 kph and the remaining were above 88 kph (From Cricviz)

And a high percentage was on a good length.

He clearly had done his homework on how to bowl in Australian conditions .

I didn't see anywhere near that level of pace variation by Sajid Khan who was bowling like he would on a Lahore pitch.
 
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This is a very good post.

I often hear the refrain that Pakistani spinners didn't do well at the World Cup because they don't play 4 day cricket and hence they are not accurate enough.

Codswallop!

Zampa is the best ODI spinner and he's not even considered for Tests by Australia.

It's rare these days to find a spinner who's good across formats or even across different conditions.

For example, in the World Cup in India, the most successful spinner - Zampa bowled a high percentage of deliveries finishing on the stumps at a flat trajectory and the speeds were consistently high.

Only the odd ball was tossed up to force a batsman to play a false shot after they had been tied up by restrictive stumps bowling.

Adil Rashid bowled exactly the opposite and found success - he bowled slow and wide and tossed it up and spun it away and consistently asked batters to play big shots and reach the ball and generate their own pace .

Only the odd ball was fired in as a fast, flat googly at the stumps to surprise batters


Shadab neither could slow it up to that extent nor did he target the stumps at pace and ended up giving width and pace to batters who lashed him relentlessly.

Pakistan should either have selected available spinners who could use either method effectively or worked with Shadab and got him to bowl in a way that made him most effective in the conditions for the World Cup.


//ly, bowling off spin in Australian Tests is hard .

But Ashwin found success by consistently varying his pace.

A third of his deliveries were below 83 kph , another third was between 83-88 kph and the remaining were above 88 kph(From Cricviz)

And a high percentage was on a good length.

He clearly had done his homework on how to bowl in Australian conditions .

I didn't see anywhere near that level of pace variation by Sajid Khan who was bowling like he would on a Lahore pitch.
But bro, have you forgotten the late Shane Warne. He was top class in all formats. Ajmal was too top class for Pakistan. Need another such gem again now.
 
But bro, have you forgotten the late Shane Warne. He was top class in all formats. Ajmal was too top class for Pakistan. Need another such gem again now.
Warne was an exception. And he was from a different era.

Ajmal had a dodgy action. ICC has outlawed such actions now. So you can't look at Ajmal as a successful model for a spinner.
 
Pakistan selectors always look for guys who can play 3 formats which is not possible for a spinner unless he is one of the greatest. If someone who performs in one format gets drafted into other formats as well and will play until he peaks out or phased out by injury. No concept of rotation or giving rests
 
Pakistan selectors always look for guys who can play 3 formats which is not possible for a spinner unless he is one of the greatest. If someone who performs in one format gets drafted into other formats as well and will play until he peaks out or phased out by injury. No concept of rotation or giving rests
Yep like Australia we need proper rotation and rest schedules for our players.
 
Warne was an exception. And he was from a different era.

Ajmal had a dodgy action. ICC has outlawed such actions now. So you can't look at Ajmal as a successful model for a spinner.
Bro Ajmal was just handpicked by ICC Ashwin and other spinners too have dodgy actions but this won't budge ICC.
 
Sometimes it makes you feel sick that you keep trying guys like Nawaz despite failures and don't give chance to proper spinners from domestic.. Disappointing!
 
Our lack of a quality spinner is imbalancing the entire attack !

Right now we're asking our pacers to be both stock bowlers (a role none of them are suited to) and wicket-taking bowlers.

Our pacers since the Asia Cup have leaked runs like sieves, but we haven't a spinner to turn to. Our spin stocks are easily the worst amongst the major SC teams.
 
Our lack of a quality spinner is imbalancing the entire attack !

Right now we're asking our pacers to be both stock bowlers (a role none of them are suited to) and wicket-taking bowlers.

Our pacers since the Asia Cup have leaked runs like sieves, but we haven't a spinner to turn to. Our spin stocks are easily the worst amongst the major SC teams.
After Saeed Ajmal we have never found a spinner who can win us games. We have been stuck with players like Shadab and Nawaz and we never gave any chance to young spinners from the domestic circuit which lowers the morale of youngsters.
 
After Saeed Ajmal we have never found a spinner who can win us games. We have been stuck with players like Shadab and Nawaz and we never gave any chance to young spinners from the domestic circuit which lowers the morale of youngsters.
I think the criminals here are selectors who kill the careers of many deft spinners to give guys like Shadab and Nawaz an extended run. Until we wont promote the right guys we will keep on suffering with no end to humiliation in sight.
 
I think the criminals here are selectors who kill the careers of many deft spinners to give guys like Shadab and Nawaz an extended run. Until we wont promote the right guys we will keep on suffering with no end to humiliation in sight.
Shadab has done resonably well in t20s.
 
Pakistan has quite a few mystery and quality spinners. They just don’t back them or groom them like the Indian cricket team does. Teams is in the doldrums
 
Spin department is currently Pakistan's weakest spot. They haven't had a stable spinner since Yasir Shah.

Abrar seems like a good find. 38 wickets from 6 Tests so far.
 
Abrar's injury has left the Pakistan team with no other options apart from Nawaz or Usama. Shadab was injured but he is fit 200% so he will be back in the t20 team soon.
 
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