Pakistan recall Abbas for second Test after Gabba horror show as Oz unchanged - GulfToday

Pakistan recall Abbas for second Test after Gabba horror show as Oz unchanged

Pakistan recall  Abbas for second  Test after Gabba  horror show as Oz unchanged

Pakistan player Azhar Ali bats during a training session on the eve of the second cricket Test match against Australia. Reuters

Pakistan recalled pacer Mohammad Abbas to sharpen their attack in the second Test against Australia after an embarrassing loss in the series opener last week.

The second Test between Pakistan and Australia will get under way at Adelaide Oval on Friday, with the hosts already having taken a 1-0 lead following their victory in the first Test.

Skipper Azhar Ali will drop down to bring more stability into the middle-order as Imam-ul-Haq is likely to be asked to open the innings alongside Shan Masood and Haris Sohail dropped.

Abbas has taken 66 wickets at in 14 Tests  but was omitted from the squad on a pacer-friendly pitch where Pakistan lost the match by an innings.

“Definitely there will be some changes,” Azhar said of the team line-up, which will be announced on Friday. Asked if Abbas would be one of those changes, he replied: “Yes.” “He’s (Abbas) done well in Test matches, he can definitely bring a lot of control and he has worked a lot since the last Test match on his rhythm and he is feeling better,” he said.

“Obviously a bowler of his class, you feel he has something to offer.” Azhar would not say who Abbas would replace, but Imran Khan is a candidate after failing to fire in Brisbane. Naseem Shah, 16, could also be rested with Pakistan keen to manage the workload of the teenager, whose mother died recently.

Pakistan desperately need their bowlers to perform in Adelaide, having lost 13 consecutive Tests in Australia.

They will be facing an Australian team that has won all five of its pink-ball matches and with David Warner, Joe Burns and Marnus Labuschagne in fine form after big scores at the Gabba.

Azhar acknowledged Pakistan have long laboured in Australia, with their inability to bowl the opposition out twice their biggest problem.

“A lot of our tours to Australia we have struggled to pick up wickets. We have to control the rate, bowl in good areas for a long time,” he said.

“Wickets in Australia, a lot of people say it is bounce, it is pace. But equally it is good for batting as well, so if you can’t bowl well for a long period of time, you can’t put teams under pressure.”

He added: “If we want to pick up 20 wickets we have to execute our plan perfectly.” Pakistan have played one pink-ball fixture in Australia -- three years ago in Brisbane, when they lost by 39 runs.

Meanwhile, Australia named an unchanged team for the day-night second Test against Pakistan after trouncing them in Brisbane, but took a risk by releasing concussion substitute Cameron Bancroft.

The home side easily won the first Test by an innings and five runs inside four days, but selectors resisted the urge to rest one of their strike bowlers or add a fourth to help share the load at Adelaide Oval.

That means swing bowler Michael Neser will be 12th man when the Test starts on Friday, with paceman James Pattinson and batsman Bancroft released to play domestic cricket.

“We’re unchanged,” said skipper Tim Paine.

“Obviously we thought we played a pretty good game of cricket last week (in Brisbane).

“Our attack is all feeling good and fresh and they have all got great pink-ball records so no need to change.”

Bancroft’s departure to play for Western Australia in Perth means there will be no immediate batting substitute in case of a concussion.

Paine joked that “we’ll just get someone out the crowd”, before adding: “’Bangers’ is a couple of hours away on a plane so if anything does happen, we will be able to get him back pretty quickly.”


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