Sport360 - 10/12/2018 6:30:00 PM - GMT (+4 )
On a Dubai pitch where other fast bowlers have struggled to get much movement either with the old or new ball, Pakistan seamer Mohammad Abbas has been on top snaring seven wickets across two innings with a promise of more on the fifth and final day of the first Test against Australia.
Australia openers Aaron Finch and Usman Khawaja started well in the second innings, as they did in the first, and it was up to Abbas to break their resistance. Not only did he do that, he picked up three wickets with the scoreboard still on 87 to rock the visitors.
The fast bowler is now on 49 wickets in his ninth Test, on the verge of becoming the fastest Pakistan pace bowler to the mark.
“My effort was to pick 50 wickets by this Test. Yasir Shah did it in nine Tests while Waqar Younis, Shabbir Ahmed and Mohammad Asif took 50 in 10 Tests. I want to become the first (Pakistan) fast bowler to 50 Test wickets in nine Tests. Just one wicket remains,” Abbas said after the day’s play.
The 28-year-old has benefited greatly by playing in English conditions. He enjoyed a great county season with Leicestershire, picking up 50 wickets from 10 matches and was man of the series in the drawn Test clashes against the Englishmen. The Sialkot pacer revealed the slow nature of wickets in Leicester this year helped him prepare for the demanding Dubai pitch.
“My time in county cricket with Leicestershire helped me a lot. It was very hot there and I reversed the ball a bit. The ball stayed low there, just like Sindh and Karachi wickets. I played 10 matches there and took 50 wickets,” the right-arm seamer added.
“You need to know exactly what your strengths are. In such conditions I try to bowl line and length and not give runs. When the ball reverses I start to attack. When it comes to pace, I bowled 138 (kph) as my fastest ball. I am happy with that.
“Whatever the conditions, I mould myself. By the grace of God I was man of the series in England. I see myself as the main fast bowler of my Test team. I have been the best performing fast bowler in every Test series I have played.”
ABBAS THE DANGERMAN
Australia batsman Travis Head stated Abbas’s reverse swing will be one of the main threats as the visitors look to save the match as they start day five on 136-3 chasing 462.
“Abbas is in extremely good form. His reverse was class. The pressure was always there, (he) swung the ball away and in. When he has bowled the ball has stopped a fair bit. The scoreboard shut down and that becomes pressure. He will be someone we will have to get through tomorrow,” Head said.