Abbas wants to reach 50 wickets in a hurry
Dubai: Pakistan pacer Mohammad Abbas, who rattled the Australians with his reverse swing so far in the first Test match, wants to emulate compatriot Yasir Shah’s landmark of 50 Test wickets on the final day on Thursday.
A triple strike by him in the second innings helped Pakistan take a firm grip on the match on the fourth day at the Dubai International Stadium, with Tim Payne’s men finishing the day at 136 for three while chasing an improbable target of 462 runs.
Playing in only his ninth Test, Abbas is in line to become the fastest Pakistan fast bowler to reach the 50 Test wickets mark as he is just one more wicket away.
“I want to tell you that Yasir Shah bhai [brother] is the fastest Pakistan bowler to reach 50 wickets and my aim before the start of this match was to break that record. I now need one more wicket. I will try my best to do that tomorrow.”
When asked whether Abbas feels he is on rhythm like in the first innings, he said: “I did bowl on the right areas and that is the key factor of my bowling.”
Bowling at around 136km/h, Abbas made Australia struggle though opener Usman Khawaja and Travis Head had put on 49 runs for the fourth wicket in 18.2 overs. Abbas feels a speed of around 130 is enough to get wickets.
‘Know your own strength’
“Actually, you should know your own strength. I want to try to take wickets with the new ball. But in these conditions, I focus on my line and length and not to give away too many runs.
“When the ball starts to reverse, I try to attack then. I have been successful so far. If you talk about pace, my fastest ball here was 138.1km/h and my average speed is 130. I am happy with my speed. But I want to keep on working on my fitness to become a better bowler.”
Abbas’ biggest advantage is his ability to bowl according to the situation even on slow wickets.
“I was the Man of the Series in England and Man of the Match once as well. I am the main pace bowler of the Pakistan Test team now. I keep trying to improve my performance after every match and to win matches.”
Abbas thinks playing county cricket has helped him.
“There was a heatwave in England when I played and that helped me get reverse swing. On the Leicestershire wicket, the ball keeps low on the fourth day. It’s almost like wickets in Pakistan. That helped me a lot as I got 50 wickets from 10 matches. I took 10 wickets in my last match, so my aim here was to continue the same form.”
Abbas wants Australia to lose the rest of the seven wickets quickly. “We will try to get them as quickly as we can, but it’s the Australian team. We have to bowl with patience. We will try to get them out by lunch. The target is very big for them, and they don’t have many wickets in hand.”
Pakistan started the fourth day at 45 for three with a lead of 325. Harris Sohail and Imam-Ul-Haq played smoothly, picking only the right balls to hit. The first aggressive shot of the day was a six from Sohail when he hit Jon Holland over long on.
Imam too bravely stepped out to hit Nathan Lyon over the extra cover for a boundary. Sohail hit Holland for another six over long on by stepping out and taking the ball on the middle of his bat. The pair put on 65 runs in 22.3 overs when Holland struck by getting Imam out with a ball that bounced more than expected and the batsmen playing it back into the hands of the bowler. Imam’s 48 off 104 balls had four boundaries.
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