Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo
Australia spinner Nathan Lyon described pace bowler Mohammad Abbas as “world-class” and admitted that he was “really surprised” Pakistan dropped him for the first Test.
Abbas, who is currently ranked 12th on the Test bowler rankings, was left out of the playing XI in favour of fellow seamer Imran Khan.
Abbas has enjoyed a superb start to his Test career so far as he has taken 66 wickets in 14 Tests at an average of 18.86.
Furthermore, in October last year, Abbas tormented the Australian batsmen in a two-Test series in the United Arab Emirates as he took 17 wickets at an incredible average of 10.58.
Imran, on the other hand, last played Test cricket in January 2017. In the nine Tests he has played to date, he has taken 28 wickets at an average of 30.14.
However, he did take a five-wicket haul on the second day of Pakistan’s practice match against Australia A.
Despite this, Lyon thought Abbas would have surely been part of Pakistan’s squad for the first Test.
“I was actually really surprised, personally,” the off-spinner told cricket.com.au. “I thought the way he bowled in our series in the UAE was absolutely world-class.
“I think he’s ranked (around) the top 10 so for him to miss out, it must show the quality of the Pakistan bowling.
“So we’re not going to take them lightly, that’s for sure – they’ve got some world-class bowlers there – but yeah, very surprised that Mohammad wasn’t a part of their side.”