Javed Miandad belongs to a select breed of batsmen whose Test batting average never dropped below 50 runs per innings at any point in their career.
The pair of famous families of Pakistani test cricket that we review this week contain some of the biggest names of our cricketing history.
Inzamam was part of the legendary 1992 World Cup winning team. In the semi-final against New Zealand, Pakistan were 140 for 4 in 35 overs, needing another 123 in 15 overs when the 21 year old Inzamam stepped in and began to slaughter the Kiwi attack. He raced to his 50 in 31 balls and by the time he was run out for 60 in 37 deliveries, he and Miandad had added 87 runs in just 10 overs, and Pakistan cruised to victory with an over to spare. Interestingly his dismissal was trough a run out, the first of 40 celebrated run outs of his ODI career, a tally which is the third highest in ODI history. In the final there was another little gem from him as he made 42 off 35 balls, helping his team to a match winning total. A new star had arrived.
A big man, with a deceptively languid style he had an amazing ability to pick the length of the ball very early and play his shots late with minimal apparent effort. He played 119 Tests for Pakistan and a solitary Test for the ICC World Eleven. He is the third highest run-getter for Pakistan in Test cricket and one of four Pakistanis to score a Test triple century. Imran Khan considered him to be the best batsman in the world against pace bowling.
Inzamam was a true match-winner. Of the 25 hundreds that he scored in Test cricket 17 were in matches that Pakistan subsequently won. This is the fifth highest number of centuries by a batsman in matches won. His total run aggregate in matches won is 4690 runs in 49 Tests at an average of 78.16. If we consider his aggregate in Tests won at home, the tally is 1983 runs from 20 Tests at a Bradmanesque average of 94.42.
Inzamam captained Pakistan in 31 Tests in which he scored 2397 runs at an average of 52.10. However, his captaincy is remembered for the infamous Oval Test of 2006 when umpires Darryl Hair and Billy Doctrove ruled that Pakistan had tampered the ball and penalized them. Inzamam protested and led his team off the field. After failed negotiations Pakistan forfeited the match making Inzamam the first captain in Test history to do so.
Inzamam is the only Pakistani batsman to score more than 20,000 international runs from all forms of the game. He became the 10th batsman to score 25 centuries in Test cricket and the fifth to score a century in his 100th Test. He holds the record for the most consecutive half centuries against a single country, scoring nine in nine innings against England from May 2001 to July 2006. Inzamam has hit 1105 boundaries in Tests for Pakistan which is a national best.
A little known fact about Inzamam is that as a slow left arm bowler he got a wicket with his first ball in ODI cricket. His victim was the legendary Brian Lara.
Following his retirement from cricket Inzamam has held coaching and selectoral appointments in Pakistan and Afghanistan. A member of the Tablighi Jamaat he has also undertaken some business ventures. Along with another cricketer Saeed Anwar he has a partnership in the meat shop chain, Meat One. He has also started a clothes store called Legends of Inzamam ul Haq, in Lahore.
Imam-ul-Haq is Inzamam’s nephew. His Test debut was against Ireland who were playing their inaugural test. Imam scored a match winning 74 not out to guide Pakistan to victory.
Imam’s real successes have come in ODIs. In a short career of 37 one-dayers, he has already scored seven centuries. He marked his ODI debut versus Sri Lanka in 2017 with a century. In July 2018 against Zimbabwe, Imam and Fakhar Zaman put together 304 runs for the opening wicket, which was a record opening partnership in ODI’s at the time. Imam presently has the highest ODI batting average for a Pakistani opener with 1723 runs at 53.84 per innings. His 151 against England in is the highest ODI score by a Pakistani batsman at the number five batting position. The 705 runs that Imam and Fakhar scored in the series against Zimbabwe is the highest by an opening pair in a bilateral ODI series. In Jan 2019 Imam became the second fastest to score 1000 runs in ODI’s, reaching the milestone in his 19th innings.
Between them Inzamam and Imam have scored 9315 Test runs with 25 centuries, while in first-class cricket they have 19,345 runs with 50 centuries.
Javed Miandad/ Faisal Iqbal
Javed Miandad is arguably the best batsman that Pakistan has produced. He made a century on debut against New Zealand in 1976, becoming the youngest debutant to do so at the age of 19 years and 119 days. Later in the same series he scored 206 in the first innings of the third Test and at the age of 19 years and 140 days became the youngest player in Test history to score a double century.
In October 1978 Miandad, at the age of 21 years and 126 days, became the second youngest player in Test history to reach 1000 runs. He was also the 3rd youngest batsman to reach 2000 Test runs at the age of 22 years and 187 days and the 6th youngest to score 5000 Test runs at the age of 27years and 242 days. When Miandad reached 6000 Test runs he was at the time the youngest to do so at the age of 30 years and 57 days.
Miandad was the first batsman to score a century in both his first and his 100th test. He hundredth Test was against arch rivals India at Lahore in 1989. In the second Test of the 1984-85 home series against New Zealand Miandad scored a century in each innings. This was also the 1000th match in the history of Test cricket.
Miandad belongs to a select breed of batsmen whose Test batting average never dropped below 50 runs per innings at any point in their career. He is the only player with over a 100 Tests and one of two with over 50 tests to reach this milestone. His six Test double centuries are the joint highest by a Pakistani player and the seventh highest in the world.
He has the highest Test career batting average of any Pakistani, with his 8,832 runs coming at an average of 52.57. He has the highest run aggregate by a Pakistani test batsman at the number four batting position, with 6925 runs at an average of 54.10. He also has the best Test average for a Pakistani player at the number five batting position with 1468 runs at an average of 54.37. At his home ground, the National Stadium Karachi, Miandad has scored 1393 runs at 58.94 runs per inning. This is the highest aggregate at this venue.
Miandad has featured in two of the highest Test cricket partnerships for Pakistan. His 3rd wicket partnership of 451 runs with Muddassar Nazar aint Hyderabad in 1983 then represented a world record stand for the third wicket. His partnership of 397 with Qasim Omar, again for the third wicket, in 1985 was the second highest for this wicket at the time. All together, Miandad was involved in seven Test partnerships of over 250 runs. He is one of five Pakistanis to have their name in the ICC Hall of Fame at Lord’s.
Miandad captained Pakistan in 34 Tests being first appointed captain at the tender age of twenty two. He is also one of five Pakistanis to have captained an English county team. Following retirement from the game he has had multiple stints as the coach of the national team.
Faisal Iqbal is Javed Miandad’s nephew. He has had a checkered career for Pakistan, playing in 26 Tests over a nine-year period without finding a regular place in the side. A middle-order batsman and a brilliant fielder, his story is one of unfulfilled promise and potential.
Maindad and Faisal have a combined Test aggregate of 9956 runs with 26 centuries. Their corresponding figures for first-class cricket are 41,368 runs and 108 centuries.
Next week we will present the final three of the twenty two families that make up Pakistan’s cricket dynasties.
Dr Salman Faridi is a senior surgeon, poet, sports aficionado and an avid reader with a private collection of over 7000 books