Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 6 December 2019

Yasir Shah's send-off fires up Steve Smith as Pakistan consider Mohammad Abbas for Adelaide Test

Star Australia batsman was dismissed for seventh time in Tests by the leg-spinner in Brisbane

Pakistan spinner Yasir Shah's, centre, send-off to Steve Smith in Brisbane has been noted by the Australian camp. AP
Pakistan spinner Yasir Shah's, centre, send-off to Steve Smith in Brisbane has been noted by the Australian camp. AP

Pakistan have been forced to consider at least two changes for the second Test against Australia in Adelaide, with experienced seamer Mohammad Abbas likely to feature in the pink-ball Test that begins on Friday.

Pakistan lost the first Test by an innings and five runs after David Warner and Marnus Labuschagne hit tons and pace bowlers Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazlewood picked up four-wicket hauls in Brisbane.

Babar Azam scored a ton in the second innings but it wasn’t enough to avoid an innings defeat.

Pakistan’s main issues, however, were in the bowling department as their pace stars were brutally exposed on a supposedly favourable pitch. Young quicks Shaheen Afridi and Naseem Shah didn’t live up to the hype and it was left to leg-spinner Yasir Shah to do the bulk of the bowling.

Shah picked up four wickets from his 48.4 overs but went for 205 runs in the process.

Not only did Pakistan’s bowlers fall well short of the mark, they might just have invited unwanted trouble in the second Test.

Smith send-off

Australia piled on 580 in Brisbane despite star batsman Steve Smith scoring just four. He was dismissed by Shah, falling to the leg-spinner for the seventh time in Test cricket. The Pakistan leg-spinner made sure to point out the seven dismissals as part of his wicket celebrations, something which has been duly noted by Smith and the Australian camp.

“I am motivated, particularly after he put his fingers up ... that he got me seven times,” Smith said in Adelaide. “A couple of the boys were in the shed just after that and said ‘he’s just woken up the beast’ or something like that. We’re in for a battle. I’m not going to be giving away my wicket very easily this time.”

Abbas in?

The absence of experienced seamer Abbas in the first Test raised many eyebrows. However, Pakistan bowling coach Waqar Younis said it was only a case of the team management waiting for Abbas to reach his best rhythm. Abbas suffered a shoulder injury against New Zealand last year and apparently has not been at his best since.

But the pink-ball match is likely to offer Abbas the maximum possible assistance and the team management will be eager to bring him in the place of Imran Khan. For the record, Abbas took 17 wickets at an average of 10.58 in two Tests against the Aussies in the UAE last October.

The other change that Pakistan will consider is picking left-hand batsman Imam-ul-Haq in place of the misfiring Haris Sohail.

Updated: November 27, 2019 04:17 PM

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