Wahab Riaz's spell from hell in 2015 World Cup quarter-final almost had Australia on their knees    Getty Images
Wahab Riaz’s spell from hell in 2015 World Cup quarter-final almost had Australia on their knees Getty Images

Karachi: Ahead of the three-match Test series against Australia, Pakistan fast bowler Wahab Riaz has warned the Steven Smith-led side to be prepared for the same hostile fast bowling which they faced during the ICC 2015 World Cup. The 31-year-old stole limelight during the quarter-final stage of prestigious 50-over tournament when he bowled one of the most memorable ferocious spells to Australian all-rounder Shane Watson despite the fact it didn’t produce a wicket. Obviously, I have to do what I do really well. I can’t change myself because if I do that it’s not going to work for me. I am going to bowl aggressively; I will bowl short as well. It’s part of the plan. But it will all be according to the situations and what the situation demands, how I have to react like that, ESPNcricinfo quoted Riaz as saying.

Wahab’s four overs during the tournament elevated his reputation in Australia and made him one of the most recognizable bowlers in the Pakistan squad, who have not played a Test match here in almost seven years. Insisting that it was one of the best matches he had ever played, Riaz said he is looking forward to replicate the same performance in the upcoming Test series beginning on December 15 at The Gabba.

“That was one of my best matches I have ever played. It was really exciting. I would love to repeat that performance from the World Cup, I want to bowl like that on this tour but I want to be amongst the wickets – I was lacking some wickets in that spell. So this is what I’m looking for, he pointed out.

Arriving on the back of a 0-2 series loss against New Zealand, Pakistan have traditionally struggled Down Under, having managed to clinch only four wins from 29 Tests. In spite of winning only four Tests in Australia, the 31-year-old insisted that his side are neither fazed by history nor The Gabba’s intimidating record for the visitors.

“This is what we’re looking for as well records are meant to be broken and this might be the chance for Pakistan to break that record. Obviously it’s not going to be easy, we have to do a lot of hard work. We have to take 20 wickets, and obviously we are looking for that – we know even no Asian country has won a series here in Australia. So looking for that and that should really give us a good boost and give us something to go for, Riaz said.

Admitting that Australia are really good team in home conditions, Riaz called on his side to take the challenge and counterattack the opposition in order to be on a winning side. “We have to take the challenge. We know Australia is good in their home conditions. It’s one of the best teams. To compete with them we have to counterattack them, we have to have that confidence. We’ve got the skills and everyone is prepared for these Test matches, he added. The Gabba Test will be followed by games at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (December 26-30) and the Sydney Cricket Ground (January 3-7, 2017).