Fit-again Pakistan leg-spinner Yasir Shah will seek inspiration from former Australian great Shane Warne’s exploits against England when he plays in the second Test starting in Dubai from Thursday, he said.
Shah, 29, was seen as Pakistan’s trump card in the three-match series but was forced to miss last week’s first Test in Abu Dhabi with a back spasm.
Pakistan missed his bowling after narrowly escaping defeat on the fifth and final day as England — chasing 99 for a dramatic win — fell short by 25 runs when umpires called off play due to bad light with eight of the 19 overs still to be bowled.
England, replying to Pakistan’s 523-8 declared, made 598-9 as the Abu Dhabi pitch was unresponsive to bowlers.
Shah said he had watched Warne destroying England.
“I have watched the Ashes when Warne did well against England,” said Shah of the Aussie great who took 195 of the 708 wickets in his career against England.
Warne took 23 wickets in Australia’s 5-0 whitewash of England in 2006-07.
“Then I noticed that they are weak against leg-spin so I have watched those videos and have tried to bowl like that in nets and I am quite hopeful that I will do as per requirements,” said Shah.
He feels England’s frailties against spin could be exploited.
“I think they are weak against the leg-spinners so will strongly try to exploit that,” said Shah, who claims to have started bowling after watching Warne.
“I started bowling by watching Warne in a match on television. I never got to work with him but met him and he told me about weaknesses in my bowling,” said Shah of his meeting with the Australian great earlier this year.
Shah said he had recovered form the injury which kept him out out of the first Test.
“It’s better than before. I am 99 percent fit and I bowled and fielded in practice. I did bowl a few days back and did not feel any pain. When I got injured it was difficult to even walk,” he said.
“I was sad that I unfortunately missed the Test because of the back spasm but I don’t think the break is big. I didn’t bowl for only three days after that mishap so that will not be much. I am looking forward to playing,” said the leg-spinner, who hopes to emulate his good performance against Australia and New Zealand in Dubai last year.
“I did well against New Zealand and Australia so I had planned to do well with good line and length and this pitch has always helped me in the past,” added Shah, who took 24 wickets against Sri Lanka in Pakistan’s last series.