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Wasim Akram left ‘baffled’ by Pakistan’s non-selection

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Pakistan legend Wasim Akram says he’s baffled by the decision to leave out paceman Mohammad Abbas for the first Test against Australia, despite his previous success against the hosts.

Abbas who has taken 66 wickets at an average of 18.86 in his 14-Test career was a major threat to Australia taking 17 wickets when the two teams met in the UAE last year.

However, a stint in County cricket and a dip in pace saw fellow fast bowler Imran Khan selected for the series opener at the Gabba as Pakistan finished day three on 3/64 and on the verge of defeat.

After being bowled out for 240 on the opening day, the tourists spent almost two days in the field as Australia piled on 580 on the back of centuries to David Warner (154) and Marnus Labuschagne (185).

Akram told The Cricket Show that Pakistan lacks experience in their pace attack to go alongside 16-year-old debutant Naseem Shah and 19-year-old Shaheen Afridi.

“I thought they’d play Mohammad Abbas,” Akram said.

“He’s averaging 18 and has got 66 wickets and I asked Misbah (Ul-Haq) why haven’t you played Mohammad Abbas a guy who troubled the Australian batsmen in Abu Dhabi and Dubai?

“Their answer was that after playing County cricket, his pace has gone down and the guy that played instead of him, Imran who bowls wide of the crease is not express either.

“They need a bit of experience and that didn’t happen.

“Between the three – Naseem is very exciting, fast, 16 and bowls 145-150 km/hr, Shaheen Afridi who’s just over 18 and then Imran who bowls wide of the crease at around 125-130 km/hr.

“So it just baffles me a bit.”

Akram played 104 Tests for Pakistan and his lethal left arm fast bowling capabilities saw him finish with 414 wickets at an average of 23.62 throughout his career, while he also has a highest Test score of 257 not out.

The 53-year-old also played 356 ODIs and took 502 wickets at 23.52.

Play on day four gets underway at 11am AEDT on Sunday.


Click ‘play’ to hear the full interview below.

Patrick Eagar/Popperfoto via Getty Images.