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Wahab Riaz is yet to prove himself as a spearhead, claims Waqar Younis

Waqar Younis says there's a lot more that Riaz has to do before being deemed the leader of the Pakistani bowling pack.

Pakistan v West Indies - 3rd Test: Day Two : News Photo
Riaz took five wickets in Pakistan’s first innings of the third Test

Wahab Riaz may have proved his critics wrong by taking a five-wicket haul in the first innings of the final Test against the West Indies in Sharjah but he is yet to prove himself as the spearhead of the Pakistani attack, said former Pakistan captain Waqar Younis.

The former coach added that though Wahab has been fiery in his recent performances, he still lacks the ability to pick up wickets at regular intervals.

Riaz’s five wickets for 88 runs on Tuesday is only the second five-wicket haul of his career with the first one coming on his debut back in 2010 against England. "When you are fast and in the team as a strike bowler, you are expected to take more wickets and do that more regularly," Waqar was quoted as saying by Dawn on Wednesday.

Also read: Pakistan call-up Sharjeel Khan for upcoming Test series in New Zealand

Speaking about Riaz’s wickets tally, Waqar said, "Riaz has that ability and he’s that kind of a bowler who can pick up regular wickets. But, given the number of matches he has played, he should have taken at least 80 to 90 Test wickets. He’s a better bowler than a two-three-wicket one."

In the 20 Test matches that he has played so far, the left-arm pacer has picked up 61 wickets at a decent average of 33.36.

Wahab picked up the key wickets of Leon Johnson and Shane Dowrich in the first innings before coming back to wrap up the West Indies tail. However, the Pakistani bowler’s spell wasn't as threatening as his captain would have wanted as he was struggling with his line and bowling a lot of short balls. The West Indian batsman were pretty comfortable in leaving the ball alone.

The Dawn quoted Waqar as saying, "It was a good effort on his part and getting five wickets is no mean feat, but you need to make the batsmen play more. Beating the edge or going close to the stumps is ok but when you have the tail in front of you, being a fast-bowler you need to ensure you wrap things up as soon as possible."

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Waqar also went on to say that some of the modern day Pakistani bowlers were lacking the "killer instinct" which former players had. He went on to add that Wahab should not boast about the famous spell that he bowled to Shane Watson in Adelaide last year.

The Dawn quoted him as saying, "People talk about his effort against Shane Watson in Adelaide or that effort in Abu Dhabi against England last year. He needs to ensure he doesn't sit on those laurels and add more wickets to his tally. Beating the bat isn’t enough. We expect more from him and more regularly as well. "

The West Indies are currently battling out in the third and final Test against Pakistan to overcome a Test series whitewash after getting humiliated in the T20 and ODI series.


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