Umar Gul 'steps up'

With the vast majority of Pakistan's strike bowlers banned and the remainder out of favour, it was essential that someone 'step up' during the Test series against West Indies. Umar Gul took 5-65 today as West Indies were bowled out for just 206.

'Stepping up' is a brand of 'putting your hand up', we're led to believe. Essentially it involves 'performing well'. It usually involves making an extra special effort because somebody else isn't playing. Players rarely 'step up' when they're not needed, for some reason. You can only 'step up' when circumstances permit.

Umar Gul was sort of solid during the tour of England this summer. He's been around a while, but he was very much third-choice seamer, at best. In order to get his chance as the Pakistan attack's focal point, he needed a break. Fortunately for him Shoaib Akhtar and Mohammad Asif 'stepped up' while Mohammad Sami and Rana Naved-ul-Hasan 'stepped down'.

Shahid Nazir also 'stepped up', taking 3-42, but he didn't 'step up' quite as high as Umar Gul. Maybe he can put in an extra step during West Indies' second innings.

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Thursday, May 17, 2012

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