‘Dale Steyn vs. Mohammed Hafeez’ has created a lot of buzz recently. The youth around the world, especially in Pakistan, has had long discussions and debates on the topic. But to the surprise of many, Mohammed Hafeez isn’t the only Pakistani batsmen to have struggled against a specific bowler. Bowler’s Bunnies (Batsman who have been dismissed by a same bowler very often) is the term used for such batsmen. These Bowler’s Bunnies found it really tough facing their nemesis. They simply just could not find an answer to this mystery and continued to get out to them, no matter where they played in home condition or away.
Starting from the batsman dismissed most times by a specific bowler irrespective of the ‘Matches per Dismissal’, here I’ll reflect some light on some Pakistani batsmen who had been Bowler’s Bunny during their career.
Kapil Dev – Mudassar Nazar
Kapil Dev (India) has dismissed 14 times (most by any Pakistani) in International cricket. Both played 35 matches against each other (Matches/Dismissal = 2.50). Kapil dismissed Mudassar 12 times in 18 test matches (Matches/Dismissal = 1.50) and only two times in 17 ODIs (Matches/Dismissal = 8.50). Eight times Mudassar has been caught by the wicket-keeper off the bowling of Kapil (most dismissals by a specific type of dismissal). In these 14 dismissals, Mudassar Nazar has been out on Duck just once.
Chaminda Vaas – Saeed Anwar
14 times in 47 matches (Matches/Dismissal = 3.35) Saeed Anwar, best left-handed batsman Pakistan ever produced, was dismissed off the bowling off Chaminda Vaas (SL). In 9 tests both had played together, Vaas dismissed Anwar 3 times (Matches/Dismissal = 3.00) and 11 times in 38 ODIs (Matches/Dismissal = 3.45). Saeed Anwar was mostly (8 times) caught by a fielder off Vaas but Vaas bowled’em 4 times too. Anwar on the other hand remained not-out 2 times (both times in ODIs) and never got out on a Duck against Vaas.
Muttiah Muralitharan – Mohammed Yousuf
Mohammed Yousuf faced Muralitharan 40 times in his career and ended up losing his wicket 13 times (Matches/Dismissal = 3.07). 9 times in 8 test matches Muralitharan showed Yousuf the way to the dressing room (Matches/Dismissal = 0.88). Yousuf largely dominated the tricks of Murali in ODIs, gifting his wicket just 4 times in 32 ODIs (Matches/Dismissal = 8.00). Only once in his career Murali dismissed Yousuf on a Duck. However, he was stumped twice, clean-bowled twice and caught by a fielder 8 times off Murali.
Dale Steyn – Mohammed Hafeez
Shuddering is what Mohammed Hafeez does whenever he is up against Dale Steyn, probably the quickest and fearsome bowler of the modern times. Hafeez had surrendered to the pace of Dale Steyn 12 times in 19 matches they have played together (Matches/Dismissal = 1.58) until November 15, 2013. In 7 test matches, Hafeez has had tough-luck 8 times (Matches/Dismissal = 0.87) while in 8 ODIs, Dale Steyn helped him to the dressing room only 3 times (Matches/Dismissal = 2.66). In T20Is, Hafeez has generally survived against Dale Steyn, losing his wicket once in 4 matches (Matches/Dismissal = 4.00). To add insult to injury, Hafeez has been out on a Duck three times against Steyn.
Inzamam lost his wicket 12 times each against Chaminda Vaas (59 matches) and Muralitharan (56 matches), 11 times against Shane Warne (29 matches) and 10 times each against Glenn McGrath (39 matches) and Anil Kumble (41 matches).
Shahid Afridi was a bunny to Muralitharan. 11 times in 49 matches, he was dismissed off Murali. Apart from Murali, Jasvagal Srinath (23 matches), Irfan Pathan (27 matches) and Chaminda Vaas (39 matches) dismissed him most.
Like many of his countrymen, Abdur Razzaq was also a bunny to Muralitharan. Murali dismissed Razzaq 12 times in 47 matches.
Younis Khan too didn’t spent a good time against Muralitharan. He went to the dressing room 12 times in 44 matches, courtesy Muttiah Muralitharan.
Our very own ‘King of Swing’ had many bunnies but only a few people know that he was too a bunny of Muttiah Muralitharan. In 37 matches against him, Murali performed his magic trick on ‘King of Swing’ 11 times.
Waqar Younis – the toe-crusher, also had difficult times against Murali and lost his wicket 11 times against him.
Israr Hashmi is a cricket enthusiast based in Lahore and he tweets at @IamIsrarHashmi.
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