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25.06.2018 08:11
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Cellophane Mr Cellophane Should have been my name Mr Cellophane Cause you can look right through me Walk right by me And never know Im there The Pakistan travelling show is a billboard bursting with shiny headline acts: a chorus line of sexy quicks belting out their best swing numbers, a legspinner with more razzle dazzle than Catherine Zeta-Jones; Misbah-ul-Haq, the noble leading man with a stirring solo; Sarfraz Ahmed grabbing centre stage for a dashing cameo; and, of course, Younis Khan - mesmerising the audience with footwork that would have flabbergasted Bob Fosse himself.Among the noisy and entertaining flamboyance its easy to miss Asad Shafiq: Pakistans Mr Cellophane, quietly accumulating runs in the wings with a purer technique than any of his flashier team-mates. Shafiq plays an unselfish role; coming in at No. 6, he often provides stability when Pakistans batting crumbles and guides the tail with the authority of a batsman who, in many other teams, would be at three or four. If not for the longevity of Misbah and Younis, he almost certainly would fill one of those roles for Pakistan.Shafiq is currently the 13th ranked Test batsman in the world. He is almost certainly the least famous in the top 20, despite playing 43 Tests over a period of nearly six years. He lives with his wife and two young daughters, and looks after his widowed mother, in Karachi. While others at his level have been endlessly profiled, their backstories told and retold, their personal lives treated as public property, he has remained refreshingly enigmatic.Im not that person that I want to really go out and express myself as a celebrity, Shafiq tells ESPNcricinfo. I just want to do things very simply and very quietly.It was on the suburban back streets of Karachi that Shafiq simply and quietly began his cricketing journey. His mother was kept busy looking after ten children while his father worked at a cement factory. Shafiq, the youngest and smallest, would often be found with his friends and neighbours, pretending to be Sachin Tendulkar as he faced a taped-up tennis ball on the street outside his front door. He would bowl a few deliveries, too, the lightweight ball allowing him to bowl faster than his small frame would normally allow.But it was while batting that he made people sit up and take notice. Enough to stand out as a 12-year-old and be invited to play against much older boys at the local cricket ground. Enough to be singled out to join Karachis Jalaluddin academy.I started playing with the big boys in the ground, Shafiq says, and then I found the love of cricket inside me. The love took me to my first trial of hard-ball cricket at the Under-19 regional academy in Karachi. Thats how I found the love for the game and the start of my career.Once cricket became a serious career path, Shafiq looked closer to home for inspiration, settling on the elegant and prolific Mohammad Yousuf as a role model.I watched Mohammad Yousuf when he scored 1000 runs and broke the world record for number of centuries in a calendar year, Shafiq says. The way he was playing, especially in that year, it was amazing and I just cant forget his drives and his cuts. I really liked him after that.Yousuf is now one of Shafiqs batting mentors, a group that also includes Javed Miandad and Rashid Latif. While his technique may be widely praised, Shafiq is on a never-ending perfectionists quest to hone his already considerable skills.Im always thinking about my batting and my front foot and my back foot and I always like to talk about it with Grant Flower, our batting coach, Shafiq says. I discuss with him what I should do to get it better every time. What to do and what not to do. I want to sit with him and talk about my batting, about my stance, about my grip, about my head position. Shafiqs promotion to the national side in 2010 came with a demotion from his usual top-order batting position. He had never batted at No. 6 until his first Test but he has made more of his role there than most; his tally of eight Test centuries is the joint highest by a number six, a record he shares with Garry Sobers.The best of those innings came during his first tour of South Africa, in 2013. On a hard and bouncy Newlands wicket, facing a fearsome pace attack boasting Dale Steyn, Vernon Philander and Morne Morkel, Shafiq and Younis combined for a 219-run partnership. It wasnt enough to win the match but it did give Shafiq the confidence that he has the skills to survive and score in any conditions, although he has yet to categorically prove that against England in this series.There are certainly fewer opportunities to rack up big scores when primarily batting with the tail. But rather than being frustrated at the limitations it places on his batting, Shafiq relishes the responsibility of shepherding his team-mates in the lower order.That was the team requirement, so whatever the team wants me to do, whatever role they want me to play, I really take it as a responsibility, Shafiq says. I want to do more with my batting at No. 6. It was difficult in the beginning because Id never batted with the tail. Its very difficult, you have to give confidence to the tail, to the bowler who cannot bat like a batsman. You have to give them the belief that they can bat, that they can contribute because these contributions are the most hurtful to the opposition. They think theyve got all the batsmen out and after that, if the partnership builds between me and a tailender, thats the most frustrating thing for the opposition.With Misbah and Younis in the latter phase of their careers, when one - or both - of them eventually retires it will be a natural progression for Shafiq to move up the order. But while he has ambitions to bat higher, he is as patient for a promotion as he is at the crease.His attitude is born of a deep respect for Misbah, which is hardly surprising. Shafiq made his debut in late 2010, the end of an annus horribilis that left Pakistan crickets reputation in tatters. Shafiq was a key member of Generation Restoration.It was a difficult time but I would like to give credit to Misbah for that, he says. He really took on the responsibility and showed the correct way and put his belief in every player. Whatever had gone on had gone. We had to move forward, we had to forget all the things we left behind. We needed to look forward every time and show the world that we were good cricketers who could play in any conditions and beat any team in the world. So thats the belief we carried from there and each and every day it got better and better. After that we rebuilt our reputation. Every player was good after that.When you go on any tour with the star on your chest, then it is your responsibility to take all of the things that belong to your country and thats my belief: I shouldnt do anything that would hurt my people back home, that would reflect anything negative on my country. Thats a personal thing.Shafiqs approach to batting is generally a conservative one; to be patient in spending time at the crease, to leave confidently and defend neatly while summing up the conditions. He was impressive in Pakistans win at Lords, with diligent scores of 73 and 49, but his dismissals at Old Trafford were frustrating: tempted into a loose drive to the man at backward point in the first innings he was then the last recognised batsman to fall as Pakistan tried to dig in defensively second time around, missing a straight delivery from James Anderson to be given out lbw on review.Perhaps one answer for Shafiq and his team-mates can be found in push-ups; not the ones performed in celebration on the Lords outfield but in the 300-400 they ground out every day of their boot camp in Abbottabad. Such resilience and stamina were missing from their batting in Manchester.With the series levelled after a bruising defeat, Pakistan must now regroup and rebuild before Edgbaston. For a team whose top order is proving brittle, a record-breaking century from their No. 6 - a command performance from Mr Cellophane - would be most timely. Wholesale Astros Jerseys . Miller reached right to deflect Mikhail Grabovskis attempt with just over 2 minutes remaining in regulation, and then made two more saves in the shootout Sunday to give the Sabres a 2-1 win over the Washington Capitals. Cheap Astros Jerseys . Perez, 35, posted a 1-2 record with a 3.69 earned-run average in 19 relief appearances last season. His season ended Aug. 9 due to a torn ligament in his left elbow. Perez joins infielder Andy LaRoche and catcher Mike Nickeas with minor-league agreements for 2014 that include invitations to attend spring training. http://www.cheapastrosjerseys.com/?tag=cheap-josh-reddick-jersey . It was the second consecutive win for the Pacers (2-5), who lost their first five preseason games. Jeff Teague led the Hawks (1-5) with 17 points and eight assists and Al Horford had 12 points and seven rebounds. Mike Scott scored 15 of his 17 points in the second half. Cheap Yuli Gurriel Jersey . -- Catcher Brett Hayes has agreed to a $630,000, one-year contract with the Kansas City Royals, avoiding salary arbitration. Cheap Houston Astros Jerseys . Self was acquired from the Buffalo Bandits in a trade for Alex Hill midway through last season, and made his debut in Rochester on March 16, 2013. Mark Sutton talks ESPN through his favourite shots from the dramatic Brazilian Grand Prix.Collision courseCamera - Nikon D5 body | Lens - Nikkor 200-400mm F4 ?| Shutter speed - 1/1000th of a second | Aperture - F5.6 | ISO - 1600I was at Turn 10, the hairpin, but I kept seeing people crash and thought Im in the wrong place here. So I moved up the circuit and its honestly mindblowing how quick they are going in the rain, pulling out of the spray of other cars. I was just photographing the photographers standing trackside and then saw Massa have a moment at the top of the corner. He clipped the barrier and I just kept shooting -- I had the 400 on so it was a bit tight. When he hit the barrier it was more frontal, so it was a bit of the front wing came off. I didnt really see what happened after that -- I just knew I had to get the wide angle on for the next shots of him getting out of the car.Massas final farewellCamera - Nikon D5 body | Lens - 70-200mm F2.8 | Shutter speed - 1/500th of a second | Aperture - F5.6 | ISO - 1600This was a walk of emotion, coming out of the car and waving to the crowd over the barrier. Then one of the marshals gave him a flag and I thought well, thats the shot, as he walked away. I couldnt get any closer because that was the track, he actually shouldnt have been where he was but it created a great picture. I could see the flag was floating above his head so I was waiting for a shot of when I could see his face. When I first sent these back at the media centre I was in such a rush I dont think I sent the best shot from this sequence, I sent one where you cant see his face.I was changinng lenses in the rain and it was a rush, to be honest.dddddddddddd Youre waiting for those moments to happen and when they do you have a smile on your face in the background, you just go with it. There was still the rest of the race to finish so you have to focus on your job. nRain delayCamera - Nikon D5 body | Lens - Nikkor 70-200 F2.8 | Shutter speed - 1/320th of a second | Aperture - F11 | ISO - 1600The rain delay made for a chaotic afternoon. The race was on-again off-again several times and it made it chaotic. One good shot to come from it was the train of cars behind the safety car. Its not often you get this sort of shot in a race -- theres obviously the formation lap, but this had the added benefit of the spray, creating a good picture.Because of the chaos of the race I missed Marcus Ericssons crash as I had been positioned elsewhere on the circuit.20 down, one to goCamera - Nikon D5 body | Lens - Nikkor 200-400mm F4 | Shutter Speed - 1/640th of a second | Aperture - F6.3 | ISO - 1000This was a good shot between Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg on the podium. Often in these last few years we havent seen much between them in the last few seasons when theyve been up there, its often tense and they sometimes act like the other one isnt there. This has been the story of the season, theyve been fighting all year. I think whoever wins they will hug each other and shake hands and say the best man one. I think theres more respect evident between them this year than in previous years. 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