Akram tips Fakhar to make Test impact


Former Pakistan captain Wasim Akram believes that aggressive opener Fakhar Zaman can make an impact in the longest format of the game.

Fakhar has earned a maiden Test call up for the squads to face Ireland and England in the coming months.

Akram believes the tour will be a tough one from the outset expecting the Malahide pitch to offer Ireland’s medium pacers plenty to work with.

The former skipper said: “Tough tour ahead, Pakistan needs a strong middle order.”

“The Test against Ireland could be tough, the wickets will be soft in early May with rain around and slow medium pacers come into the equation as the ball keeps moving around, England will be tough for sure also.”

“Fakhar Zaman in the Test squad is a big thing. Maybe like Warner and Sehwag, he can put pressure on the opposition. In England, the Dukes ball makes it ideal conditions for the bowlers.”

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Akram does not believe that paceman Wahab Riaz has done enough to earn a recall and backed the decisions made by chief selector Inzamam-ul-Haq.

He said: “Wahab bowled well in PSL but PSL is different from Test cricket. He’s been expensive, though he does get wickets but he isn’t consistent. I think the way Rahat is bowling now means he’ll be a better option, he’s swinging the ball at pace.

“With Inzamam at the helm, I think so far he’s making the right decisions.”

Akram has been impressed by Mickey Arthur’s determination to improve the fitness standards of Pakistan players.

The legendary allrounder also opined that leg-spinner Shadab Khan will have to step up his game if he is to be successful at Test level.

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Akram said: “The present form matters, not senior junior. I know the mentality of the team management. Mickey Arthur wants Pakistan cricket to flourish, not now or tomorrow but in the next 10 years. He’s implementing fitness standards.”

“Yasir Shah bowled well in PSL but he looked a bit overweight. Perhaps because of that he got a fracture, Pakistan will miss him as he was a top bowler in the world. Shadab has to step up his performances, Test cricket is very difficult. You have to get the batsmen out, they don’t get out themselves like in T20s.”

Pakistan’s Test season begins on the 11th of May in Dublin when hosts Ireland play their first ever Test match before a brace of Tests in England.