A fully fit and determined Yasir Shah promised to take wickets with a mystery delivery, his improved googly to help his team win the series against Australia with the first Test starting in Dubai from Sunday.
The 32-year-old is seen as Pakistan’s main weapon to replicate the 2014 2-0 series win over Aussies, also in UAE. Then Yasir took 12 wickets while Zulfiqar Babar took 14 to anchor Pakistan’s win.
“My googly was a bit weak so I’ve been working on that. I think I’m 70-80% there with the googly and that’s going to come in handy here,” said Yasir ahead the of the Test.
Yasir missed the UK leg of Pakistan’s Test tour in May-June with a back injury and admitted its tough to stage a comeback after a lay-off.
“It is difficult, especially if you get injured,” Yasir said. “It takes time to come back from those injuries and to get back that rhythm you have when you’re playing day in, day out.
“I played in Zimbabwe [two ODIs on Pakistan’s recent tour), so I’ve got some practice and my form was pretty good there. And whatever days I’ve spent here, I’ve been bowling well trying to get that rhythm back.”
He hoped the first class matches back home will help him get into the rhythm needed for a Test.
“I played a couple of FC games in Pakistan and was ok in those. But I missed that England tour so it’s not easy.” I am fully fit – “was fit before the Zimbabwe tour. Have worked really hard for this.”
Yasir admitted Australia without banned duo of Steven Smith and David Warner will be weakened, but Pakistan will still not take them lightly.
“Australia was breakthrough four years ago: “in 2014 they had their full side, Warner and Smith were there. That was a good batting side,”said Yasir. “Now they are a younger side with 3-4 making their debuts.”
“I’ve played against some of them when I played for Brisbane heat last year so ive got an idea of their strengths and weaknesses.
“Yeah you can’t say they are weak. Inexperienced maybe. They’re always a strong side. That series was my first and so I’m going to try to replicate that performance.”
Yasir hoped fellow spinner Shadab Khan will also come of age.
“He is a good leggie and would’ve been good support. But Bilal and Hafeez are around and they are both good so the support will be solid,” said Yasir.
Shadab will miss the first Test after being ruled out with a groin injury.