Australians Nathan Lyon and Ricky Ponting were taken aback by Pakistan’s decision to exclude pacer Mohammad Abbas from the ongoing Brisbane Test.
Australia had a field day with the bat on day two of the series opener as they were 312-1 in reply to Pakistan’s first innings total of 240 all out. None of Pakistan’s three pacers could manage a wicket on day two, with the day’s only scalp going to leg-spinner Yasir Shah.
“I was actually really surprised, personally,” off-spinner Nathan Lyon said in an interview with Cricket Australia. “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.”
Legendary batsman Ponting, who led the side to two World Cup wins, said that he was also surprised that Abbas didn’t make the cut.
“I was surprised when [Abbas] didn’t play … but then talking to [former Pakistan international] Rameez Raja, apparently he’s not in the best of form, he’s dropped a couple of yards of pace – and he’s never been overly quick anyways,” said Ponting. “But you think about these conditions, it would’ve been perfect for him. Even the next Test in Adelaide, it’s going to be great conditions for him there as well.