Fawad Alam batting stance: Pakistan star's quirky technique explained

Jordan Carlisle December 30, 2020
Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images

Fawad Alam batting stance: We take a look at the Pakistan batsman’s technique following his excellent century against New Zealand.

Fawad Alam led fierce Pakistan resistance on Day Five of the First Test against New Zealand at Mount Maunganui, scoring 102 from 269 balls at a strike-rate of 37.92.

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He was caught behind off the bowling of Neil Wagner shortly after reaching his second Test hundred – which came a record 11 years after his first – and the Blackcaps blew away the Green Shirts’ lower order to secure a 101-run victory in the final hour.

Alam’s efforts were ultimately in vain but his impressive knock and unconventional technique still attracted plenty of attention.

Fawad Alam batting stance explored

Alam has always had an open stance which has similarities to that used by West Indies legend Shivnarine Chanderpaul.

However, when the now 35-year-old burst onto the Test scene with a huge score of 168 against Sri Lanka in 2009, it was far less exaggerated.

Photo by LAKRUWAN WANNIARACHCHI/AFP via Getty Images

The evolution of his batting stance took place on the domestic circuit after he was dropped by Pakistan.

Alam hadn’t played international cricket in any format for five years prior to his call-up for the Test series in England in August and he returned with something much quirkier.

The left-hander now faces directly down the pitch in his set up, before snapping into a more conventional yet crouched position just prior to the bowler’s delivery.

It’s a stance unlike that adopted by any other current international cricketer, but the key is that Alam is comfortable with it, despite the scrutiny it has received.

“I have no difficulty playing with this stance,” he said on the tour of England [Geo.tv]. “I do listen to the remarks passed about my stance but I take them in a positive manner. I got to this stage and am representing Pakistan on the basis of the stance I have.”

“The batsmen with orthodox stances also get out on zero and also make hundreds, which is why this topic does not hold much value to me.” 

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Alam’s initial set up and trigger movements do look ungainly, while his final position in front of the stumps appears to make him an obvious LBW candidate.

Yet, as he quite rightly points out, the modified technique has served him well.

His career first-class average sits at an outstanding 56.54, and he scored a century in a warm-up game against New Zealand A before delivering on the big stage against one of the best attacks in world cricket.

Fawad Alam certainly doesn’t have a textbook stance or style, but if a player can make it work for them, their batting technique should be respected, no matter how unorthodox it may be.