Leg-spinner Yasir Shah is apparently targeting a return to the Pakistan team for the 2nd Test against England in Dubai. NDTV reported the 29-year-old, who had suffered a back spasm ahead of the series opener in Abu Dhabi, is setting his sights on being fit to play in the final two matches against the English team.
Yasir’s injury dented Pakistan’s chances in the thrilling encounter as an England team led by Alastair Cook came excruciatingly close to a famous victory. Needing just 25 more runs to script a win, England were thwarted by the deteriorating light and the subsequent reluctance of the umpires to finish the contest.
Deprived of his services, Pakistan skipper Misbah ul Haq was forced to field a 3-man pace attack and Zulfiqar Babar as the sole specialist spinner. Batting all-rounder Shoaib Malik had to fulfill the role of a 2nd spinner. The unsuitable bowling combination ensured that the England batsmen made merry on a docile surface and racked up 598 in their 1st innings.
Elaborating on his absence, Yasir said, “I had worked very hard for the first Test. After seeing the pitch in Abu Dhabi, it was disappointing to miss out. It was a slow track, but it had something for the leg-spinners. I was prepared to push the ball through and focus on line and length for long spells in the test.”
The wrist-spinner who hails from the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, which borders Afghanistan, has already established himself as one of the leading spinners in the world. With figures of 61 wickets from 10 Tests at an average of 24.81, Yasir has impressed the likes of Shane Warne and Geoffrey Boycott.
Not content with his exploits, he is also working on developing a lethal googly. Explaining the need to enhance his repertoire, Yasir mused, “The googly is one delivery on which I have yet to get full mastery and I am working hard on it since it is a wicket taking delivery on such slow pitches.”
Legendary leg-spinner Abdul Qadir echoed his thoughts on the importance of refining his googly. Qadir felt, “He bowls the flipper well, but he needs to also gain control over the googly which is a must for all great leg-spin bowlers.”
Praising Adil Rashid’s spirited debut, the 60-year old believed that Yasir Shah could have caused a significant impact on the 1st Test. He stated, “He is a very confident bowler that is his strength and he is not afraid of getting hit. That is the hallmark of a good leg-spinner.”