Former Australian fast bowler Damien Fleming stated that Pakistan side is lacking the variety in bowling and further seems livid with the choice to include three left-arm fast bowlers – Mohammad Amir, Wahab Riaz and Rahat Ali in the first day-night Test at the Brisbane.
“I don’t like three left-arm quicks. I think you need variation. There was a wicket that Mitchell Starc took coming off a great partnership from Bird and Hazlewood, then all of a sudden you bring the left-armer on and there’s a nick,” Fleming told Optus Sport’s ‘Stumps’ show, quoted as saying by Cricket Australia’s website while questioning the bowling line-up of Pakistan.
The right-arm bowlers Sohail Khan and Imran Khan, who are warming the bench, were overlooked for the opener of the 3-match Test Series at Gabba.
Sohail had bagged 24 wickets and Imran picked 26 in eight Tests respectively so far.
“If that’s the same line from a right-hander he probably would have played it. That’s worked perfectly for Australia but there’s not enough natural variation for Pakistan,” Fleming said.
Before going down to 2-0 against New Zealand, in the second Test at Hamilton, Pakistan played with four seamers including two left-armers Mohammad Amir, Wahab Riaz and two right-armer in the form of Sohail Khan and Imran Khan which didn’t prove that effective for the side.
“I did notice how much taller Hazlewood and Starc are than the Pakistan quicks so they must be bouncing the ball 20-30cm higher and the nicks are getting higher, backed up by some good slips fielding,” Fleming added.
Series after series in the longer format of cricket, Pakistan has been struggling with the bat during their Australia tour, the side is still in search to win their maiden Test series in Australia. The No. 4 side won their last Test match in 1995 at Sydney.
Wahab Riaz, who has bagged 69 wickets in 22 matches, is remembered well for his hostile bowling spell against Australia in One-day international game in the 2015 World Cup at Adelaide Oval.
Confident Riaz, who has been often criticised for his wayward bowling, before the first Test match against Australia, reiterated that Pakistan fast-bowling has plenty of variety at the disposal and ability to deliver at the crunch time for the team.
“All the fast bowlers in this squad, they have their own speciality. Amir bowls that inswinger really well, Rahat moves it both ways, I come with the pace, Sohail Khan has a tendency to have a good outswinger, with Imran Khan as well, so everybody is really good and working hard,” Riaz said.
The 46-year-old cricketer also praised Riaz’s game plan against Australian gloveman Matthew Wade for keeping him in check with the pink ball.
“I tell you one set-up that I did like – from Wahab Riaz to Matty Wade. The way that he bowled full, brought him forward, brought him forward and when he took him across the crease, it was shorter, it was quicker and (Wade had) been trained to get his weight forward and, guess what, his feet were nowhere so that was a bit of bowlology gold from the Pakistan quick,” Fleming concludes, who took 75 wickets in his 20 Tests.
Pakistan will be playing the second Test in Melbourne between December 26-30 and third in Sydney from January 3-7.