Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Mohammad Abbas' Test Average - Best in over a Century

Mohammad Abbas did not quite get to 50 test wickets in his 9th test match, which means that he will only equal, and not beat, the record created by Waqar Younis, Mohammad Asif, and Shabbir Ahmed - 50 test wickets in 10 matches, which is the quickest for Pakistani pacers.

Despite not achieving the record, Abbas has remarkable figures in a short test career.

He has 49 wickets in 9 tests at an average under 17, which is something no pacer has achieved in the last 100 years of test cricket.

In fact, Abbas is the only bowler, with at least 45 test wickets, to average under 17, since Sydney Barnes, who hung up his boots in 1914!

So what Abbas has achieved till now is something done by only 2 bowlers since the start of the 20th Century!

Remarkable is a gross understatement.

I reckon he would have got his 50th test wicket in the first test against Australia had Sarfraz gone to him immediately on the 5th morning. Instead, Abbas did not get the ball till after the 15th over of day 5.

Such a bad decision.

Anyhow, back to Abbas, and it is not only his average that is outstanding, but even his strike rate.

His strike rate of 42.1, just a bit more than 7 overs is bettered by only Dale Steyn, Kagiso Rabada, and Shane Bond from the modern era.

Right now he is striking faster than Waqar Younis did for Pakistan, which will be quite some feat if he manages to continue with the same vigor.

The result of the first test between Pakistan and Australia might have been different had Abbas been given the ball at the start of day 5, but what is done is done and now it is time to look ahead to the second test.

Abbas will be key for Pakistan if they are to win this test series and Sarfraz must use him better than he did in the first test.

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