GamesLatestSports

‘Babar’s runs, Shaheen’s wickets recipe for Pakistan victory against Australia’

“No matter how the wicket is, you always need a proper spinner in the playing team,” former chief selector Mohammad Wasim says

Pakistani cricketers Shaheen Afridi (left) and Babar Azam in action during a match in this undated image. — AFP/File

KARACHI: Former chief selector Mohammad Wasim has stressed the importance of forming the right combination if Pakistan aim to perform well in Test matches against Australia.

Speaking to Geo News in Karachi, the former cricketer highlighted that the performances of Babar Azam, Shan Masood, and Shaheen Afridi will be pivotal for Pakistan in the upcoming Melbourne Test, commencing on 26th December.

He underscored that Pakistan’s struggle in Australia primarily stems from bowling issues.

“We usually say that our batters don’t do well in Australia, but if we go into history, we notice that there are some brilliant performances by our batters but when it comes to taking 20 wickets in a Test, we usually lack,” he said.

“There were some top bowlers in history, who do not have good numbers in Australia,” the former chief selector highlighted.

Former chief selector Mohammad Wasim speaks during an interview with Geo News in Karachi, on December 22, 2023. — Reporter
Former chief selector Mohammad Wasim speaks during an interview with Geo News in Karachi, on December 22, 2023. — Reporter

He highlighted Pakistan’s similar predicament in Perth, where the team erred tactically by omitting a specialised spinner from the playing XI.

He pointed out that it is always important to have a specialist spinner in the final XI.

“No matter how the wicket is, you always need a proper spinner in the playing team. Even if you notice, Salman Agha was getting a bit of spin, so Pakistan missed the trick there,” Wasim said.

He expressed hope that Pakistan would devise a better strategy in Melbourne.

The former chief selector also emphasised the significance of fielding experienced specialists in the final XI rather than incorporating all-rounders.

“There’s no necessity for your batting to appear strong till the 9th position on paper. If your 7 batters can’t perform, the following two won’t contribute either,” he stated.

“Six specialist batters and a wicket-keeper suffice, accompanied by five bowlers. The combination of spinners and fast bowlers can be decided based on the pitch,” he added.

He expressed surprise at prioritising inexperienced all-rounders over seasoned pacers in the Perth Test.

“When you have likes of Hassan Ali and Mir Hamza and then you prefer all-rounders or debutants over them – that’s strange,” he said.

“Also, there’s no need for 18 players in a three-match series; it signifies a lack of clarity. A squad of 15 with a clear direction would have been adequate,” added the former chief selector.

Replying to a question, Wasim mentioned that it’s been a while since Shan has played a substantial innings, and it’s overdue considering his added responsibility as the team’s captain.

He added that a big innings from Babar has been long overdue.

“The wicket in Melbourne will suit Babar Azam and he must score there. I think Babar has the same duty as Shaheen. If Pakistan has to win, Babar will have to score runs, Shaheen will have to take wickets,” he concluded.

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button