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Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 20 November 2018

Pakistan v Australia winners and losers: Mohammed Abbas 'world-class' but Shaun Marsh's Test career in trouble?

Following Pakistan's 1-0 Test series victory over Australia in UAE, Paul Radley assesses which individuals won and lost

Mohammed Abbas was among the wickets for Pakistan in the just-concluded Test series against Australia. AFP
Mohammed Abbas was among the wickets for Pakistan in the just-concluded Test series against Australia. AFP

THREE UP

Mohammed Abbas

The biggest factor in Pakistan winning the series, according to captain Sarfraz Ahmed. World-class, according to Tim Paine, the defeated Australian captain.

And they were just the ones playing. Abbas won praise from all over the world, from Shahid Afridi (“he’s a gem”), to Paul Collingwood (“unplayable”), to Dale Steyn, who tipped him to be the No 1 Test bowler soon.

Usman Khawaja

“He was the shining light on this tour,” Paine said of Khawaja, who now faces a lay-off with a knee injury.

“He had some question marks over his ability in these conditions, but the way he played in the first Test was outstanding. We hope he doesn’t miss too much time because he is in such a good place with his batting.”

Fakhar Zaman

Not universally expected to excel on debut, given his method is widely thought to favour limited-overs cricket rather than the long form.

Two half-centuries in Abu Dhabi suggest he does have what it takes to thrive in the Test game, too, though.

One of Australia's more experienced batsman, Shaun Marsh flopped in the series. Getty Images
One of Australia's more experienced batsman, Shaun Marsh flopped in the series. Getty Images

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Read more:

Test series takeaways: Pressure eases on Sarfraz but Paine still looking for answers

Tim Paine: Australia have made one step forward but taken two back with series loss

Australia's Peter Siddle hopes for Dubai Test encore against Pakistan in Abu Dhabi

The Azhar Ali incident in Abu Dhabi not the only one: Five bizarre run-outs in cricket

Fakhar cautiously optimistic after Pakistan take big lead over Australia in Abu Dhabi

Paul Radley: Abu Dhabi to host the UAE against Australia in one-off Twenty20 match

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THREE DOWN

Shaun Marsh

Across the two Tests, the older Marsh brother posted scores of 7, 0, 3 and 4. Neither did he manage a catch or a run out. There is no way to dress up that series positively.

The 35-year-old left-hander must be fearing his days as a Test cricketer are now numbered.

Wahab Riaz

“He has not won us a game in two years,” Mickey Arthur said of Wahab back in April, explaining the decision to drop him from the national team.

He looked no nearer doing so on his return to the side in Dubai, and made way for debutant Mir Hamza in the capital.

Jon Holland

This was an odd series for the tourists. A batsman – Marnus Labuschagne – finished top of the bowling averages, while Shaun Marsh, their senior batsman, finished below all the bowlers in the batting averages.

Worryingly, their second spinner, Holland, was similarly way off in the bowling charts. His four wickets cost 75 apiece.

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