KARACHI: Former Pakistan chief selector Sallahuddin Sallu believes Yasir, who took 16 wickets in Pakistan’s last two-match Test series against Sri Lanka last year, will be missed in English and Irish conditions.
“Yasir did really well in Pakistan’s last series and will be missed in the conditions of England and Ireland,” said Sallu, while speaking to The Express Tribune. “The players there don’t have much experience playing wrist spinners and often struggle against them.”
Sallu discussed the reason why the UK doesn’t produce many wrist spinners. “The conditions there make the ball wet, which causes it to slip from a spinner’s hand. That’s why there are mostly finger spinners in those countries as it is easy to maintain your line and length as a finger spinner as compared to as a wrist spinner.”
Yasir, ranked 16th in the world, has been Pakistan’s go-to wicket-taking option in Tests ever since his debut in 2014. However, Sallu has backed the young Shadab to fill his considerable boots. “They aren’t used to facing wrist spinners so Yasir would have been a key bowler but Shadab is also a good bowler and he can fill the gap,” he said.
“This is a major setback for Pakistan but Shadab has done well in recent limited-over series and he can be an effective bowler,” he said. “He needs to be utilised properly and I am sure that skipper Sarfraz Ahmed, who has been leading the team really well, will use him in the perfect manner to trouble the opposition batsmen.”
Sallu also highlighted the problems Pakistan’s batsmen are likely to face in what are likely to be swinging conditions considering that the Men in Green go there in the early part of the English cricket season. “The batsmen will have to be cautious as the conditions there will be a concern for them,” he said. “Pakistan need a couple of specialist openers so the management should look at domestic performers and decide on the right personnel. All three venues will have different conditions and they will have to gear themselves up accordingly. The bowlers will also have to focus on the weak areas of the opposition and need to do their homework beforehand to figure out how to use the conditions to their advantage against different bowlers.”