‘I’m really worried’ – Waqar questions where Pakistan’s pace has gone

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Waqar Younis has voiced his alarm at the lack of pace in Pakistan’s Test attack as they search for a way back into their Test series against Australia.

Pakistan were comprehensively beaten by 360 runs, bowled out for 89 in their second innings, and to compound their woes have lost Shahzad, who impressed on debut, to a series-ending rib injury. It will mean an enforced change at the MCG with either Hasan Ali, Mohammad Wasim Jr or Mir Hamza coming into the attack, but Waqar remains unconvinced.

“Another thing that I’m worried about is that always when we come to Australia, one thing that excites is the fast bowling and this time around I’m not seeing that,” he said on ESPN’s Around The Wicket show. “I’m seeing medium-pacers or slow-medium-pacers, allrounders, there’s no real pace. People used to come and watch Pakistan pace bowlers really running in hard and bowling 150 clicks [kph], and that’s what I’m not seeing there.

“That’s my worry and issue because I have not seen it at the domestic level also. There are a few injured, I can understand, but in the past you would always see a battery of fast bowlers that they could always bring on, but unfortunately that is not there and I’m really worried about that.”

Naseem Shah, who was also ruled out of the World Cup with injury, was a big loss while Haris Rauf opted to play the BBL for Melbourne Stars instead of the Test series. Pakistan will need much more from Afridi, who claimed 2 for 172 in Perth, if they are to challenge Australia but Waqar had particular concerns about his loss of pace.

“I’m not really sure what’s wrong with him,” he said. “If he’s not fit, if he’s got some issues, he needs to go away from the game and fix that because if you are going to carry on like that you are going to become a medium-pacer. He used to bowl 145-150kph and used to swing that ball. What I’m seeing now, yes there’s a little bit of swing but his pace is way down… and that is not going to get him wickets.

“Watching the first Test match was painful. We had moments, we had opportunities where we could have pulled the game back a bit but we didn’t take the opportunities. When Pakistan come to Australia they have to make sure their fielding is spotless… because Australia batsmen, if you give them opportunities, they’ll take it with both hands and make it big and that’s what we saw in Perth.”



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