Saturday May 23, 2020
South Africa’s fast bowling great Shaun Pollock and New Zealand’s Simon Doull have shed light on the career of Pakistan’s underrated seamer Mohammad Abbas, wondering why the Sialkot-born is not rated among the world’s best despite mind-boggling stats albeit a short career span.
Pollock believes that Abbas’ demeanour could be the reason why he he flies under the radar.“At 125-130 [kph] he has shown great control. Maybe just the fear factor is not quite there as compared to some of the other top performers. Perhaps that is why he has not got the accolades he deserves,” Pollock said in the latest episode of Cricket Inside Out.
“But after 40 Test matches, if he still averaging the same, people would start recognizing him,” he added.
Abbas was a part of Pakistan side that toured South Africa in early 2019 but was able to pick just five wickets in two matches, although he wasn’t at his best physically – much to Pollock’s dismay.
“When he came to South Africa I was very excited because he had 36 wickets in just 5 Tests. Unfortunately he was injured and did not really hit his straps as well as he could but you can’t argue with the facts and figures although you do have to sustain it over a period of time,” he said.
Doull, meanwhile, believes that Abbas’ lack of a reliable new ball partner means that the damage he does on his own is deserving of even more credit.
“I also think he lacks support from the other end which makes his record even better. If he had someone like Wasim Akram and Waqar Younis bowling with him, it would have been such a great combination,” the Kiwi said.
Doull draw a comparison between Abbas and South Africa’s Vernon Philander, saying their styles make them perfect for sub-continent conditions.
“He [Abbas] is a terrific bowler. It’s a very short career so far which it is hard to put him in the top echelon of fast-bowlers. He is a bit like Vernon Philander when you look at the line and the length and just nibbles the ball around both ways,” he said.
“Especially on the sub-continent wickets, which are flat and slow, those sort of bowlers are gold,” he added.