Mohammad Asif believes that the current Pakistan team don’t have very talented pacers and there is not anything special talent about them.
After a five-year ban from cricket because of his involvement in spot-fixing in 2010, the fast bowler recently made his comeback to competitive cricket in Pakistan’s domestic tournament – Quaid-i-Azam Trophy.
The pacer said that there is nothing special about Pakistani fast bowlers. Asif told the Dawn, “We talk about talent…but this is all the talent that we have. I don’t think there is anything special about our pacers. It is an average sort of attack. To develop something special, you must work hard. And of course, some have abilities which are God-gifted. I’ve played a full season now but I didn’t see anything special, be it Rahat [Ali] or Imran Khan or Sohail Khan.”
Mohammad said that playing regular cricket on UAE pitches damaged Pakistan cricket’s standard. He said, “We get wickets in the UAE that favor our spinners. Yes we have won matches there and that has improved our rankings, but the truth is that playing constantly on the UAE pitches has deteriorated the standard of our cricket. Even Sri Lanka has better pitches compared to UAE.”
Asif gave the example of his national side’s poor performance in the recently-concluded series in New Zealand to make his point. The fast bowler added, “A little more bounce and swing made batting a different ball game for our players there. These things must be noted by the experts and the coaches as well as the PCB.”
He said, “We could face a similar situation in Australia as well, though pitches there will be relatively better. Our pacers bowled short of length in New Zealand which was a wrong strategy. An out-of-form Ross Taylor managed to score a hundred as he was bowled loose deliveries by our pacers and he was allowed to cut and pull at will. None of our pacemen could force him to drive straight which is his weak area.”
Currently, the Pakistani fast bowler playing for Wapda and has grabbed 15 wickets in just three matches of the Pakistan’s domestic cricket so far. Although he is looking forward to making a statement by proving his form and fitness. The International Cricket Council (ICC) to disrupt his comeback to the international cricket, which claimed Asif.
The 33-year old cricketer said, “Some information to this effect recently reached me that the PCB has been asked by the ICC not to consider me for the national team selection. I don’t know how authentic is the info. On my part, I am playing regularly in the [domestic] season. So I definitely intend to ask the ICC if they have any reservations about me.”
The pacer added, “It is fine if PCB chairman Shaharyar Khan has left it to the selectors to decide when to induce Salman Butt and me, but the selectors have to be fair and should pick those who have been performing well. We should have been invited to the camp to show our performance but we were ignored.” Asif said about the dip in his pace, “Others are not bowling from a canon… I at least bowl like them too.”