Waqar Younis Raises Concerns Over Pakistani Bowler’s Pace

Web DeskDecember 24, 2023
Waqar Younis Raises Concerns Over Pakistani Bowler's Pace

Former Pakistani cricketer Waqar Younis has expressed serious apprehensions about Pakistan’s Test bowling attack, particularly highlighting concerns about the lack of pace as they strive to make a comeback in their series against Australia.

In the initial Test, despite causing some discomfort to the Australian batters in the second innings, Pakistan’s fast bowlers – Shaheen Shah Afridi, Khurram Shahzad, Aamer Jamal, and Faheem Ashraf – faced challenges in reaching high speeds, seldom surpassing the 140kph mark.

The significant 360-run defeat suffered by Pakistan, coupled with Shahzad’s injury, has added to their woes. Speaking with ESPN, Waqar underscored the absence of genuine pace in the bowling attack, a departure from Pakistan’s historical reputation for formidable fast bowlers.

He also expressed concern about the current medium-pacers and the absence of genuine speed, a quality that is also lacking in the domestic cricket scene. Waqar emphasized that in previous tours, Pakistan consistently showcased a group of rapid bowlers, a strength that now seems to be lacking, causing him significant concern.

“I’m worried because always when we come to Australia, one thing that excites is the fast bowling, and this time around I’m not seeing that. 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,” Waqar said.

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“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,” he added.

Waqar lamented the absence of Naseem Shah due to injury and Haris Rauf’s decision to prioritize the BBL over the Test series. He emphasized the importance of Shaheen Shah Afridi’s performance, who, despite taking two wickets in Perth, displayed notably reduced pace, prompting concerns about his diminished speed.

“I’m not really sure what’s wrong with him. 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,” he added.

Waqar also emphasized the missed opportunities in the first Test and the critical importance of flawless fielding when facing Australia, as giving their batters chances could prove costly, as witnessed in Perth.

“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.”

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