Bowling at right areas was the key for me: Mohammad Abbas

Pakistan sense victory after Abbas strikes

DUBAI: Pakistan’s fast-rising and wicket-taking bowler Mohammad Abbas is a conventional pacer, who bowls wicket to wicket at a gentle pace, his simple formula earns him rewards.

On the fourth day of the ongoing Test, Abbas kept it simple to derail Australia from 87 without loss to 136-3 at close on the fourth day after Pakistan’s set a daunting 462-run target by Pakistan in the first Test.

Abbas had figures of 3-26 in 11 overs as Pakistan need another seven wickets to take a 1-0 lead in the two-match series.

“I bowled in the right areas. I thought that was the key of my bowling,” said Abbas, who took 4-29 in the first innings.

He told that reverse swing also helped him hunting Aussie batsmen in the second inning.

“I bowled simple and wicket to wicket. Actually, it doesn’t reverse much in the first innings in conditions like this. But as the match progresses and you get rough patches on the pitch, then you manage to get the reverse swing. That’s why probably we have been more successful.”

Abbas believes reverse swing is the secret of success for fast bowlers here, moreover, Pakistan have a couple of good spinners in the lineup.

“We get some advantage with reverse swing here. We also have got good spinners. It reverses early here because of the weather conditions. I think that’s the key to our success here,” he said.

He revealed his plan as drying up runs in the first few overs as bowlers do not get much help from the wicket in Dubai with the new ball, reversing old ball is essential.

“Actually you should know your own strength. That’s what I want to do. I want to try to take wickets with the new ball. But in these conditions, I focus on my line and length and not to give away too many runs. When the ball starts to reverse, I tried to attack, That’s why I have been successful so far,” he added.

Abbas is not concerned about his pace, he is much focused on working on his fitness to become a better bowler.

“If you talk about pace, there are about three-four pacer bowlers in this match. My fastest ball here was 138.1 kmph and my average is 130. I am happy with my speed. But I want to keep on working on my fitness to become a better bowler.”

Abbas said he considers himself as the main fast bowler in Pakistan’s Test team and his ability to read the situation and bowl accordingly makes him effective.

“I try to bowl according to the situation, keeping in mind the conditions. Thanks to Allah, I was the man of the series in England, I was man of the match as well. I think I am the main pace bowler of the Pakistan Test team now. I keep trying to improve my performance after every match and I keep trying to win matches for my country.”

Asked when Aussie batsmen were playing from outside the crease in the second inning, how did he adjust, he replied: ” I felt that they were under pressure, not me. That’s why they were having a new plan against me. That’s showed I have been able to put them under pressure. In the first innings, they were 142/1. Then in the second innings they lost their first innings at 87.

“I was not under pressure. I was just bowling line and length. That’s why eventually I was successful.”

Abbas admitted a county stint with Leicestershire has helped him as the weather was extremely hot their and the playing conditions there were similar to Pakistan’s.

“It really helped because there was a heat wave in England when I played county cricket. That helped me get reverse swing. On the Leicestershire wicket, the ball keeps low on the fourth day. It’s almost like wickets in Pakistan. So that helped me a lot as I got 50 wickets from 10 matches. I was in great form.

“I took 10 wickets in my last match. So my aim here was to continue the same form and help my country win.

Abbas hoped the pitch will not change on the final day. Moreover, he is aiming to become the fastest fast bowler to reach 50 test wickets.

“I don’t think the pitch will change too much. Our focus will be on our performance. And I want to tell you that Yasir Bhai is the fastest Pakistani bowler to 50 wickets. He took nine matches to reach there. Among the fast bowlers, Waqar Bhai, Asif Bhai were the fastest. So my aim before the start this match was to break that record. I need one more wicket. I will try my best to do that tomorrow,” he said.