Its Big Thing To See
After Simon Katich, Fawad Ahmed has found more support in his Victorian captain Peter Handscomb, who feels the legspinner can “100 per cent” do the job for Australia should he earn a national recall for the T20I series against Pakistan in UAE.
“He’s been playing T20 comps all around the world and in those comps he’s shown how good he is,” Handscomb told cricket.com.au on Thursday (October 4). “Dominating games, getting man of the matches, just doing all the right things, winning competitions as well. He’s obviously doing something right and the teams he’s been playing in have been winning,” he added.
Fawad emerged as the leading wicket-taker in the Caribbean Premier League 2018, playing for champions Trinbago Knight Riders who are coached by Katich. The former Australia opener had in turn gotten in touch with the current coach, Justin Langer.
After the two-Test series, starting Sunday, Australia are scheduled to play three T20Is, and given Fawad’s impressive display in global T20 leagues, the legspinner could be in contention to make his international comeback after more than five years.
Handscomb feels it’s Fawad’s intelligence that helps him dominate even at the age of 36. “He’s smart, he seems to read the batter well, he’s got unbelievable control on all his deliveries,” Handscomb said. “His stock delivery is fantastic but then all of his change-ups are on the money and generally bowled at the right time as well.”
Initially overlooked by Victoria, Fawad was set to feature in another T20 league – the Afghanistan Premier League starting Saturday in Sharjah – but for a last-minute call-up by Victoria. He returned figures of 2 for 53 in his first game of the season, and feels there’s no reason why he shouldn’t expect the call-up.
“If you’re physically fit, if you tick all the boxes, why not?” Ahmed told cricket.com.au. “I would say if you were 18 or 38, if you’re ticking all the boxes then I think you should play and deserve the chances. If I’m bowling well and I’m physically fit and ticking all the boxes I’d love to play for Australia in any format.
“I just want to keep playing for Victoria, bowling well and hopefully contribute to wins.”
Katich, in his brief to Langer, had mentioned about the batsmen’s inability to read Fawad’s wrong’uns in CPL 2018 but the wrist-spinner feels the key to T20 cricket is remaining unpredictable for the batsmen, rather than throwing a barrage of googlies at them.
“You use your variations a little bit more in T20 cricket than one-day and four-day cricket,” Fawad said. “In four-day cricket, I would bowl only one wrong’un every four or five overs, to let the batsman keep guessing. But in one-day and T20 cricket you’re going to go a little bit harder because you need to be more unpredictable.
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