Image courtesy of: Zimbio
Pakistan pace bowler Mohammad Abbas has revealed that whenever he represents his country, he is determined to remove the opposition’s captain and best batsmen.
Abbas starred in Pakistan’s victory over England at Lord’s as he was named Man of the Match for taking eight wickets.
Abbas took four wickets in each innings and some of the high-profile players he dismissed were England skipper Joe Root, opener Alastair Cook, all-rounder Ben Stokes and batsman Jos Buttler.
“I aim to get wickets of the opposition’s main batsmen, especially their captains,” he told Cricbuzz. “[Joe] Root faced me for only one ball in the first innings before getting out. Had he batted for a longer period, I would’ve tried to get his wicket in the first innings as well.
“In the second innings, I had taken two wickets [before picking up Root] and both of them were crucial wickets.”
Abbas also admitted that he was gutted to miss out on a five-wicket haul in both innings. Had the 28-year-old accomplished the feat, he would have had his name added to the Lord’s honours board.
“Had my team not won the match, it would have grieved me [to not make it to the honours board]. But, my performances helped my side in winning the match which is delightful,” he said.
Abbas made history in the first Test as he holds the record for the most wickets by a Pakistani bowler after seven Tests with 40.
With left-arm seamer Mohammad Amir having been inconsistent at times as of late, Abbas has taken over as the leader of the pace attack.
When asked about this, the Sialkot native said: “I am extremely happy [on being the leader] and I will try my best to continue to put up such performances.
“I thank the Almighty that I performed well in the West Indies and was a top bowler from both sides. Then against Sri Lanka as well, I was the best among the fast-bowlers. During the matches against Ireland and England, I took 17 wickets. And, I have bagged 40 wickets in the first seven matches, which is unprecedented for a Pakistani bowler.”
Since Abbas can move the ball both ways, he has often been compared to Mohammad Asif. Upon being questioned about this, Abbas said: “It is not like that. Asif bhai has performed a lot for Pakistan and it is only because of that that I am compared with him.
“The performances are mine after all. He is my senior and we have played together for Sialkot. Whenever I play with a senior I try to learn from them. I discussed about line and length bowling from Asif and I have implemented those learnings in my career.”
Going into the second Test on Friday, Pakistan have a chance of winning their first Test series in England since 1996, which is a prospect that excites Abbas.
“It has been quite a long since Pakistan has won a series [in England],” he said. “We have practiced indoors because it was raining outside. But, we have had a good session. Hopefully, we will try to win the series.”