Dubai good for Test cricket says Waqar


Pakistan’s head coach Waqar Younis Tuesday argued Dubai Test was a good advertisement for Test cricket, stressing there were no fears for the longer format of the game.

Pakistan pulled off an exciting last minute win over England by 178 runs in the second Test in Dubai on Monday, with just 6.3 overs left in the game.

England’s ninth wicket pair of Adil Rashid (61) and Mark Wood (29) batted for 29.2 overs to put up a resolute 55-run stand and had almost denied Pakistan a victory.

Contrastingly, Pakistan narrowly escaped a defeat in the first Test in Abu Dhabi when bad light denied England of a dramatic win on the final day, with just 25 needed in the last eight overs when the match was finished.

Waqar believed the Dubai Test served as good promotion of Test cricket, often criticised for boring draws, and which is under threat with the advent of more thrilling Twenty20 matches.

“Yes, the last day of the Test match was a good advert for the game, may be not for us,” said Waqar. “I think a Test match going to full distance is an outstanding thing for the game. I think the game of Test cricket won on Monday.”

But Waqar disagreed Test cricket was in any danger.

“I don’t think Test cricket’s future is bleak in any way,” said Waqar, himself a paceman of great standing. “Test cricket is the actual cricket and the way Test cricket is going on I think we should appreciate it and there are no dangers to it.”

The Pakistan handler did concede however his charges were now playing less Test matches.

“That’s an issue that we play less Test cricket,” said Waqar. “It has been discussed with the officials as well.

“If you look world-wide all top teams play 15-18 Tests every year and we play six to eight, maximum we play ten, so I think that needs to be improved.”

Waqar credited both Pakistan and England for the tremendous fight in the Dubai Test.

“Credit to the boys the way they played the Test, bowlers gave their best and credit must also be given to England, the way they showed resistance and made the overall cricket very good,” said Waqar.

It was nice to be 1-0 up in the three-match series, Waqar said after the first Test had ended in a draw.

“We have to make it 2-0 in Sharjah,” he added before warning England would fight back on Saturday.