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AFP
November 22, 2019

Ricky Ponting and Nathan Lyon surprised by Mohammad Abbas’s exclusion

Sports

AFP
November 22, 2019

BRISBANE: Former Australia captain Ricky Ponting and off-spinner Nathan Lyon couldn’t read much into Mohammad Abbas’s omission from Pakistan’s XI for the first Test in Brisbane.

Abbas has bagged 66 wickets at an impressive average of 18.86 from 14 Tests so far, and is currently Pakistan’s best-ranked bowler in the ICC rankings. And so, his exclusion from the playing eleven surprised quite a few.

“I was actually really surprised, personally,” off-spinner Nathan Lyon told told cricket.com.au. “I thought the way he bowled in our series in the UAE was absolutely world class. I think he’s ranked (around) the top 10 so for him to miss out, it must show the quality of the Pakistan bowling.”

Abbas’s returns on the South Africa tour earlier this year, where he could manage only five scalps from four innings at a strike-rate of 88.80 and his recent drop in pace might well have been the reason for the snub.

However, Ponting was surprised with the call despite the 29-year-old’s recent form. “I was surprised when (Abbas) didn’t play… but then talking to Rameez Raja apparently he’s not in the best of form, he’s dropped a couple of yards of pace,” Ponting said.

“But you think about these conditions, it would’ve been perfect for him. There’s probably a couple of the Aussie batsmen who think it’s good that he’s not playing because I think they can probably handle the other two (Imran Khan and Shaheen Afridi) better than they can handle him.”

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