Fast bowling legend Waqar Younis has said that the ICC World Test Championship is incomplete in the absence of India-Pakistan matches. Due to the heightened diplomatic tensions, the bilateral cricketing ties between the two neighbouring countries have been suspended.

While India and Pakistan haven’t engaged in bilateral series in years, they do square off in global ICC or continental tournaments. The Inaugural ICC World Test Championships involves top-ranked nine teams playing six bilateral series against mutually chosen opponents.

Waqar, the current Pakistan bowling coach, reckons ICC should have pushed for the matches between the two nations. “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.

He added, “The ICC should have intervened and done something because to me having a test championship without Pakistan and India Test matches makes no sense.”

The checkered diplomatic history between India and Pakistan has affected the cricketing ties between them as well. Waqar, who made his Test debut against India, only played four of his 87 Tests against India during his international career of 14 years.

“It’s always been like this that is why making my test debut against India is something I don’t forget,” he said.

The current crop of Indian fast bowlers has drawn widespread praise and the 48-year-old feels their pace battery is the reason why the team has been at the top of Test rankings.

“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.

“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,” he said while praising India’s rotation policy.

He hopes to implement the same in Pakistan cricket. “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.

International cricket, Waqar reckons, has changed highly in favour of batsmen which has forced pacers to employ a defensive mindset. “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,” he said.