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August 13, 2020

Aaqib wants Sohail in team for his reverse swing ability


August 13, 2020

LAHORE: Lahore Qalandars head coach Aaqib Javed believes Pakistan should replace young fast bowler Naseem Shah with the experienced Sohail Khan in the second Test against England due to the latter’s reverse swing ability.

In an online interaction with media, Aaqib also pleaded for the orgnisation of the remaining matches of the Pakistan Super League 2020.

The second Test between Pakistan and England will be played at Southampton from Thursday (today). Both teams have reached Southhampton and started practice.

England are leading the three match series 1-0, having defeated Pakistan by three wickets in the first Test at Old Trafford.

Naseem and Shaheen Afridi, who are widely regarded as top talents, ended up taking just four wickets between thems in the first Test.

Aaqib said that the ineffectiveness of Pakistani pacers in the opening Test was down to Naseem and Afridi’s inability to reverse swing.

“Pakistan will need Sohail Khan in Southampton. He can replace Naseem Shah in the side. Sohail will have the responsibility to look after the ball for reverse swing like James Anderson does for England. Pakistan lost the Old Trafford Test because they couldn’t look after the ball. When nothing works for you, then reverse swing does,” Aaqib said.

“Sohail should have played at the Old Trafford pitch. Shaheen Afridi is not that mature to know how to look after the ball and how to reverse swing. There needs to be someone who knows how to prepare the ball to extract reverse swing. Naseem is very young and has no idea how to prepare it either.

“On the other hand, Abbas doesn’t depend on reverse swing at all. So the team management made a big mistake by not playing Sohail because he is the best exponent of reverse swing in Pakistan,” the former fast bowler said.

Sohail, 36, was picked for the England tour after remaining out of the national fold for several years. He was arguably the pick of all the Pakistan bowlers in intra-squad matches before the Test series.

The Director Lahore Qalandars said if Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) was planning to hold the remaining matches of Pakistan Super League 5 in November, then it should now announce the dates and venues.

Aqib said that if PCB cannot decide about those four matches now, how it would plan for PSL 6 which is supposed to be held in February next year.

The last few matches of PSL 5 were postponed due to CIVID-19. PCB has announced holding the matches in November but it has not yet announced dates or venues.

If the PCB announces it soon, the international cricketers will be able to inform their teams of their availability, Aaqib said and added that the PCB should open a window between the IPL and the T20 League and hold matches in the UAE as international cricketers will already be there.