Tuesday February 27, 2024

Haris’ wait for Test debut likely to continue

November 28, 2022

ISLAMABAD: The desperate wait for Haris Rauf to make a Test debut may continue if the host nation (Pakistan) pursued the policy of preparing low and slow spinning tracks against the touring England side during the three-match Test series starting with the opening Test at the Pindi Stadium from December 1.

Haris during his recent media interaction here at a local hotel declared that he was ready to make a Test debut for which he had been waiting for past two years.

“So far it has been all about limited-overs cricket. Playing T20I and One-Day cricket regularly for the country is all I have done until now. I am pleased that I have justified my selection with the performance I have put in limited-overs cricket. Though I have been part of the Test squads recently, I have yet to flex my muscles in the longer version.”

When ‘The News’ questioned whether he was looking forward to earning a Test cap during the forthcoming series, especially in the absence of Shaheen Shah Afridi, he said it was all up to the team management and captain Babar Azam.

“I am not sure whether I would be making a Test debut or not. It all depends on the team management as to whom they want to play. As far as my preparations are concerned, I am ready in all definitions of the game to play Test cricket. I have proved my worth in one-day and T20 cricket and am looking forward to making my Test debut now,” the 29-year-old pacer from Hazara told media.

In the 57 T20 international matches since making his international debut two years back, Haris has picked 72 wickets while in 15 ODIs, he has succeeded in claiming 29 wickets.

Pindi Stadium’s track is famous for its lively pace but early indications are that Pakistan may opt for a slow and low-spinning track to counter the attacking trend of the English batting lineup.

“Though it is too early to predict the nature of Pindi Stadium pitch, chances are there that low and slow spinning track may well be prepared for the opening Test,” a curator, when approached, said.

Haris’ chances of making a debut for the country may diminish if the low and slow pitch at Pindi Stadium is the ultimate choice for the local Board.

Pakistan’s first-choice pace bowler Shaheen Shah Afridi is already out with an injury. In his absence, Naseem Shah is to lead the attack. In case of the low and slow wicket, Pakistan are likely to go with all-rounder Faheem Ashraf as the second seamer ahead of the Haris. Wrist-spinner Abrar Ahmed and Mohammad Nawaz, Nauman Ali may be picked as spinners. England could be seen giving teenage leg-spinner Rehan a Test cap in case of host country decides to opt for a spinning track at the Pindi Stadium.