Islamabad: Opening batsman Imam-ul-Haq believes leg-spinner Yasir Shah would play a key role for Pakistan in the second Test against Australia, beginning at the Adelaide Oval from Friday.
“Yasir can prove vital for Pakistan as the wicket at Adelaide was easy as compared to Brisbane and the ball comes slow to the bat here,” he said in a Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) video message. Australia defeated Pakistan by an innings and five runs in the first Test at Brisbane.
Imam lauded the pace attack of Pakistan, saying the bowlers were bowling 140kph plus in the first Test match and their momentum remained constant. “Pakistan has a young bowling attack and the body language of the bowlers didn’t drop in the longer format of the game and they were coming strong each time,” he said.
Imam, who had scored 1,568, runs in 34 ODIs, said the team was very positive and would try their level best to put up a good show in the second Test. “I have been practicing hard and I am hopeful to score good runs in the second Test,” he said.
He said Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan’s outstanding batting performances in the first Test gave a big boost to the morale of the whole team. Babar and Rizwan had added a 132-run partnership with the former showing the class in his superb 173-ball innings, hitting 13 fours for 104 runs, while Rizwan made 95 off 145 balls with 10 fours.
Speaking about the pink ball to be used in the second Pakistan-Australia Test at Adelaide, Imam, who had scored 483 runs in 10 Tests, said it was a very good initiative for the revival of Test cricket. “I am very excited for the pink ball and the crowd would love it,” he said.
Pace bowler Mohammad Abbas could be the second change being considered by Pakistan for the day-night Test. Abbas, who did not play in the first Test, took 17 wickets at an average of 10.58 the last time he played against Australia in the UAE.
Australia captain Tim Paine said he was surprised when Abbas was left out, but Pakistan said his recent lack of pace was the reason. “Mohammad Abbas is always a very tough competitor and he’s a class act,” Imam said on Wednesday.
Australia coach Justin Langer, meanwhile, said it’s unlikely there’ll be any change to his side.
“The boys all played well [in Brisbane], they had a day off having finished in four days,” Langer said on Wednesday. “We haven’t had a look at the wicket yet … but my gut feel is we’ll probably go with the same XI.”