Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo
Former Pakistan captain and chief selector Inzamam-ul-Haq believes the national team should have picked spinner Yasir Shah for the first Test against Sri Lanka.
Yasir was dropped for the match in Rawalpindi, which marked the return of Test cricket to Pakistan after 10 years, and the national team opted to have no specialist spinner.
However, even though Yasir only took four wickets at an average of 100.50 in the recent two-Test series against Australia, Inzamam feels that leaving him out of the playing XI for the first Test against Sri Lanka was a big mistake.
It should also be noted that Yasir was actually Pakistan’s second-highest run-scorer in the Test series against Australia as he accumulated 194 runs, which included his maiden Test century, at an average of 48.50.
“I have some a reservation about the team that has been selected for the first Test. We should have played a [specialist] spinner,” Inzamam was quoted as saying by PakPassion. “The first reason for doing that is that the four-man fast-bowling attack we have has only 21 years of experience between themselves.
“They don’t even have a combined total of 100 wickets between themselves and so they have little experience.
“We have a spinner present in the Pakistan squad who has in the past five years brought us more wins than others. Yasir Shah should not have been excluded from the side because he is a wicket taking option as a right-arm leg-spinner can be dangerous in any place.
“The other reason we play spinners is that the spinner can control things from one end and from the other end, the fast bowler can attack.
“In a way, Sri Lanka did what Pakistan wanted to do, which was to use their four-man pace attack on what should be a pacy wicket, but then we come back to the question of inexperience. If Pakistan had bowlers who had played more Tests and were experienced, they would have made better use of these conditions.
“I would like to say to Misbah (ul-Haq) and Waqar (Younis), as Waqar is bowling coach and an experienced one that in their playing days when we used to have the likes of Wasim (Akram), Waqar, Shoaib (Akhtar) and in such weather, we always used to attack with a spinner.
“There should have been one [specialist] spinner in the team and I don’t understand why a spinner was not included in the side.”