Danish Parabha Shanker Kaneria Profile
As far as records are concerned, Kaneria may have surpassed the great Abdul Qadir but is he Pakistan’s greatest ever spinner is a question which will remain open to debate.
Kaneria who honed his bowling skills from a young age debuted for Karachi Whites in 1998 and just two years down the line played his first test at Faisalabad against England. However only 20, he failed to adjust to the tempo of the big stage and just two games later lost his place in the side. However Pakistan gave him another chance against a nascent Bangladesh side in 2001 and he couldn’t have scripted a better comeback scalping 25 wickets in just 3 tests against its neighbours. After a brief dip in form in 2002, Kaneria started showing steady improvement and with Saqlain Mushtaq fading into oblivion slowly started cementing his place in the side. He came of age in the 2005 away series against India prizing 19 wickets, an unexpected feat against a country reputed to treat spinners with disdain. A fine run against the West Indies, Kaneria’s stock was growing and in 2007 ended up with 37 wickets in just 8 tests. A rare test win against New Zealand away from home in 2009 was also in large part due to the leg spinner’s efforts.
Unusually tall for a spinner, Kaneria can turn the ball significantly with his well disguised googly along with his ability to generate disconcerting bounce making him a potent wicket taking machine. However despite his variety and fine control, his tactical naiveness has cost him on occasions with his inability to replicate the success in ODIs challenging the notion of him of being Pakistan’s premier spinner. Till now, Kaneria hasn’t been pushed for places in the Test arena but now with the emergence of a world class spinner in Ajmal, he will know that he may well be pushed for places even in the longer format of the game.