Windies wary of world-class Afghanistan spinners admits captain Pollard

By Sports Desk November 03, 2019
Windies skipper Kieron Pollard. Windies skipper Kieron Pollard.

Windies skipper Kieron Pollard has insisted it will be important for the team to carefully plan its approach in what could be a tricky upcoming series against Afghanistan.

The Pollard-led regional squad will square off against the Rashid Khan-led Afghans in three One Day Internationals (ODI) and three T20 internationals.  Despite being ranked just above the hosts in the ICC ODI standings, the Afghans hold an advantage in recent results after winning three of the last six encounters.  The Asian team has often taken advantage of the Windies noted weakness against spin bowling, a fact not lost on the Windies skipper.

 "Rashid Khan is a world-class bowler. It was seen by all of us and all around the world. Again there is no secret about it. Nabi himself has been doing well, he is a classical off-spinner. Mujeeb has done well for himself," Pollard said ahead of the match.

"We as a team, we have to plan how we are going to structure our fifty overs of batting and then our fifty overs of bowling. Each and every one of us is a good player in his own right and must show what we have to offer," he added.

 The team will bowl off the series on Wednesday at the Bharat Ratna Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee International Cricket Stadium, in Lucknow.

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    Garry Sobers is regarded as the greatest all-rounder in the history of cricket.

    The West Indies legend burst onto the Test scene at just 17, setting the stage for a remarkable career.

    His debut for his country came on March 30 back in 1954.

    On the 66th anniversary of that occasion, we use Opta data to see just how Sobers stacks up against his fellow all-rounders.

    A RUN FOR EVERY DAY OF THE YEAR

    The most remarkable display of Sobers' batting credentials came in his stunning 365 not out against Pakistan.

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    CONSISTENCY IS KEY

    Compiling a big score is one thing, but consistently racking up runs is the real test of talent.

    The numbers favour Sobers on that front, too. His average of 57.8 again puts him top of the pile.

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    SOBERS THE CENTURY KING

    In 160 Test innings, Sobers recorded 26 centuries.

    While that figure pales next to Kallis' 45, the Proteas great took 280 innings to reach that tally.

    That means Sobers triumphs again in this category, with 16.3 per cent of his innings producing scores of 100 or more, with Kallis standing at 16.1 per cent.

    Nobody else on the list can boast a double-figure percentage, with Botham on 8.7 and Miller on 8.
     

    HANDY WITH THE BALL

    Sobers claimed 235 wickets from 159 Test innings with the ball.

    In this area, at least, he does have to take a back seat to some more prolific wicket-taking all-rounders.

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    BEST FIGURES STAND UP

    With best figures of 6-73, Sobers compares favourably with his competitors. 

    Hadlee and Dev both enjoyed nine-wicket innings, but Botham's 8-34 in 1978 against Pakistan is the pick of the bunch.

    Sobers' best match figures are 8-80, with Hadlee the proud owner of a 15-wicket haul.

    With 36 five-fors, Hadlee also leads the way on that score, with Botham (27) followed by Khan and Dev (both 23).

    Sobers', meanwhile, had just six five-fors.


    NOBODY IS PERFECT

    Although the data clearly supports Sobers' status as the GOAT, there is one category in which he comes last.

    His bowling average - still a very commendable 34 - is a long way short of the 22.3 that belongs to Hadlee.

    Khan (22.8) and Miller (23) are also a long way ahead of Sobers.

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