ICC Test C’ship sans Pak-India tie makes no sense: Waqar
Former Pakistan pace great Waqar Younis has opined that the ICC World Test Championship without matches between Pakistan and India doesn’t make sense.
The newly conceptualised ICC World Test Championship features nine top-ranked Test teams, who will play six bilateral Test series against mutually chosen opponents with the top two nations with most points at the end of the league clashing in the final in England in June 2021.
“I know it is a difficult situation between Pakistan and India even at government-to-government level but I think the ICC needed to play a more proactive role in this championship,” Waqar said in an interview with YouTube channel Cricket Baaz.
“The ICC should have intervened and done something because to me having a test championship without Pakistan and India Test matches makes no sense,” he said.
Waqar lamented that due to the on and off strained relations with India, he got to play only four Tests against them in an international career spanning 14 years, featuring 87 Tests and 262 ODIs. “It’s always been like this that is why making my test debut against India is something I don’t forget,” he said.
Waqar also praised the wealth of pace talent coming through in India. “If you see India has really worked hard in this area and they are now producing bowlers regularly who bowl in the 140 plus range.
“In the past, it was not like this. But things have changed. (Jasprit) Bumrah, (Mohammed) Shami, Ishant (Sharma) they have taken India to the top. That is why India is doing so well in Test and other formats now,” he said.
Waqar also pointed out that India had a very clearly rotation policy for its pace bowlers. “If you look at their Test side they have more or less a settled combination of pace bowlers for this format but in the white-ball formats they keep on changing and experimenting which is good.”
Waqar said as Pakistan bowling coach he also wanted to experiment with the bowlers in limited-overs cricket, while having a settled group of bowlers for Test cricket who could serve the country for the next 5 to 8 years.
“My policy is to keep on giving chances and experimenting in ODIs and T20 cricket. Give those bowlers a chance who are in form at a time. It is not that I ignore those who have performed consistently well in domestic cricket. Muhammad Abbas, Imran Khan are examples,” he said. The 48-year-old said cricket has changed a lot compared to when he played and fast bowlers lack aggression now.
“Nowadays cricket is different and as a result I feel pace bowlers are more defensive-minded now to counter the changed rules, broader bats and easy pitches. In my days we always believed that aggression and attack was a must for fast bowlers and we got success.”