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Pakistan needs to rely on specialized cricketers in the next T20 CWC: Wahab Riaz

ISLAMABAD: Pakistani pacer Wahab Riaz believes Pakistan would need to rely on specialized cricketers instead of all-rounders in the next Twenty20 Cricket World Cup to be played in Australia.

“In Australia, Pakistan will need specialized batsmen and specialized bowlers. When it comes to all-rounders, you have to be good enough like Jacques Kallis who used to bat at 2-3 position and bowl at 145kph and complete his four overs,” quoted Wahab as saying.

Recalling Pakistan’s run to the semifinals in the 2021 T20 Cricket World Cup, Wahab said Pakistan seemed destined to win the tournament but it was an unfortunate knockout game against Australia. “Unfortunately, Hasan Ali’s catch should have been the match-winning catch but this happens in cricket.

I don’t think we lost the match because of it. If we had 9-10 runs in the last over, we still would have had a chance,” Wahab said. Speaking about the clean sweep by Pakistan against Bangladesh, Wahab praised the Pakistan team.

“Bangladesh beat Australia and New Zealand, they are a difficult opposition to face in their conditions and I think Pakistan managed to grind out important results,” he said. To a question, he said, “Skipper Babar Azam has been performing extremely well for the last couple of years and this was a blip and something quite unlike him, which is okay and it happens in the game of cricket but he will easily manage,” Wahab said.

The 35-year-old was still seeking a comeback opportunity to play for Pakistan after also not being selected for the T20 World Cup, where the Pakistan team was primarily led by pacers Hasan Ali, Haris Rauf, Shaheen Afridi.

“I still want to play cricket for Pakistan and I am playing leagues all over the world and performing in them to ensure that my comeback happens soon. When it comes to becoming an analyst or a commentator, it is a conversation to be had 3-5 years down the line,” Wahab said.

Wahab Riaz has returned to the cricketing field as he leads Deccan Gladiators in the ongoing T10 league being held in Abu Dhabi. “The T10 league is extremely fast-paced and as a bowler, you learn more about your bowling. Since the margin of error is so low, your methods improve and so does your execution; which helps in T20 and one-day formats,” he said.

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