Pakistan vs Australia: Important to take wickets with the new ball, says Wasim Akram

It's important to take wickets with the new ball, says Wasim Akram. File photo.

TAUNTON: Pakistan’s former captain Wasim Akram has said that the team needs a bowler who can take wickets with the new ball, regularly.

Talking to Geo in Taunton ahead of Pakistan’s World Cup game against Australia, the 'Swing ka Sultan' said that it is important for Pakistan to take quick wickets with the new ball in the match against the defending champions and Hasan Ali will have to play a role there.

“It is important for Pakistan to get quick wickets from the new ball. I hope Amir will continue with his form and it's time for Hasan to get some wickets,” Wasim said.

“If Shaheen had to be included then he should’ve played in the first game. I would have played him in the beginning in place of Hasan. We need a wicket-taking bowler with the new ball."

He also emphasised on the need to have at least one big score by the top three batsmen. The former captain also advised Fakhar Zaman to change his game and play the ball on merit instead of attempting to blindly hit every second ball.

“The key in England is to have a good start,” he said.

“Fakhar is now a senior player and he must change his game according to situation. You can’t hit every batsman coming forward. Everyone has seen him how he can be captured. If the ball is coming then it’s okay, but don’t hit blindly. Imam is very good technique-wise, so is Babar. So, it is important that at least one of them scores in 80s."

Australia, in the lead up to the World Cup, defeated Pakistan 5-0 in a bilateral series but were outclassed by India at the Oval on Sunday. Wasim feels that the result of the UAE series won’t have much impact on today's game and Pakistan can exploit the Australian team that’s coming to Taunton after a defeat.

But, he warned Pakistan that Australia can be a dangerous side.

“Australia are coming after losing the game to India and Pakistan must have this thing in mind and try to take maximum advantage but they must be aware of the fact that they can be threatening. You can’t be complacent against Australia, although India outclassed them with proper control,” he said.

“Pakistan were experimenting with different combinations in the bilateral series earlier. It was a bilateral and different series. But this is World Cup and now our senior players are back and the way the team has won the previous game [against England] I am sure they’ll do well."

The former cricketer said that the conditions suggest the toss will be important and the side winning the toss would prefer to bowl first.

“The wickets look a bit green and in the overcast conditions, the pitch wouldn’t have got much rolled as well, there would be moisture on the wicket as well so it is going to help the bowlers,” he said.

“It is important for both the teams to have proper cricket in Taunton. Australia are coming to this match after losing to India and Pakistan have just one win in the World Cup so far, so it is important for both the teams to get these two points. I think it is important for the team management that they don’t get relaxed and think about a proper full game,” he added.