Wahab can’t dwell on Watson spell: Wasim Akram

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DUBAI: Wahab Riaz earned a special place in the hearts of cricket fans around the world after his fiery spell to Australia’s Shane Watson in the 2015 World Cup quarter final.

But former pace great Wasim Akram has urged Wahab to move on from that ‘one over’ if he is to be considered a leader of Pakistan’s fast bowling attack.

In the recently concluded New Zealand series, Wahab took five wickets in three T20s at an economy rate of 9.72. In two ODIs, he picked up two wickets at a rate of 6.32 and he was easily upstaged by Mohammad Amir in his comeback series.

“Wahab Riaz has got speed but he is short of swing,” said Wasim while talking to Khaleej Times.

“He should keep in mind that he can’t dwell on one good over at the 2015 World Cup. He needs to sort out problems if he harbours any hopes to be among first choices for Pakistan,” added the former great.

While Wasim was full of suggestions for Wahab, he was satisfied with the way Amir fared in New Zealand.

“Mohammed Amir has bowled well but he needs some time to get into his groove. I am sure he will be back to his best after having some international matches under his belt since he is quite young (only 24),” said the World Cup winner.

Pakistan to be stronger at World T20

Wasim said despite Pakistan’s dismal show in New Zealand, Shahid Afridi’s team along with India and Sri Lanka would be favourites at the World T20.

“Everybody asks me who is the favourite to lift the trophy but it is very difficult to predict in this form of cricket. One over or one catch can change the complexion of the game,” he said.

“In my opinion, a team from subcontinent should be favourite to go all the way,” added Wasim.

According to the former captain, Pakistan would also benefit from the Pakistan Super League (PSL) experience right before the World T20

The ‘Sultan of Swing’ also took a jibe the on-going Masters Champions League (MCL), of which Wasim was a part of initially.

He said the MCL looked a ‘bit odd’ and believed it would pose no threat to the PSL.

“Now I am 50 and it is not my time to play cricket. T20 is the youngsters’ game and let them entertain the crowd,” said Wasim.

“One or two exhibition matches might be OK for retired players but to play a whole series like the MCL is too taxing. They have passed their prime and sometimes it looks a bit odd,” he added.