Pakistan's current Test series against Australia has exposed a weakness in the team. While the batting has been good, the bowlers have been a disappointment.
Further inspection will reveal that there is a lack of quality spinners that is hurting their bowling department in particular. Nauman Ali seems to be the only player who has done well of sorts in the spin department for Pakistan.
Ranging from T20 to Tests, Pakistan have failed to identify a wicket-taking spinner. Saeed Ajmal was at the top of the bowling charts during his time but the bowler was then suspended due to illegal bowling action. He was replaced by Yasir Shah, who despite making an initial impact has faded out since.
Shadab and Imad wore out
Shadab Khan and Imad Wasim made their respective breakthroughs under the captaincy of former wicket-keeper batsman Sarfaraz Ahmed. Shadab was the Emerging Player of PSL in 2017 and it earned him a ticket to the Champions Trophy later that year. Along with Hasan Ali, Khan ensured Pakistan's historic win at the ICC tournament in England.
Imad made his debut against West Indies in 2017. Both spinners are good with variations but their form has dwindled since the 2018 Asia Cup. Pakistan failed to reach the final of that tournament.
Misbah ul-Haq did not perform well as Pakistan's head coach. One of the reasons behind his failure was the dearth of quality spinners. The only spin bowler to come through the ranks under Misbah was Usman Qadir, who played grade cricket in Australia in 2019.
The depletion of quality spin bowlers contributed heavily to Pakistan's downfall under ul-Haq. In his final year in charge as head coach, Misbah roped in Saajid Khan and Nauman Ali.
Pakistan's spinners lack quality
The majority of the damage has been done by the pacers in the Pakistan bowling unit. Saajid Khan has barely made any impact since making his Test debut, while Nauman Ali, despite being better, is not a fearsome bowler.
Ali is better suited at slowing down the run-rate and decreasing the run flow to create pressure. However, Pakistan still lack quality spinners who can spin out opposition in spin-friendly wickets.