Abbas, Yasir in reserves for Australia Tests due to fitness issues

Complaints about fitness and attitude prompted Pakistan selectors to keep fast bowler Mohammad Abbas in the reserves for the Test series against Australia next month.

According to a source, the national team’s physiotherapist Cliffe Deacon complained to the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman Ramiz Raja about Abbas. “Apparently Deacon, who has been with the Pakistan team for a while now, told Ramiz he was not happy with Abbas’s approach to his training and bowling in the nets,” the source said.

He said Deacon had complained that Abbas, 31, was not working hard enough during training, leading to a reduction in his pace. “The board then spoke to Abbas and he assured them that he would soon improve his pace and would also give full time to the fitness schedule and requirements of the team,” the source added.

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After receiving feedback from Deacon, the team management decided to keep Abbas in reserves until he improved his fitness and pace in the nets. “Abbas’s pace has dropped to around 123-125kmph which is not good enough for a new ball bowler in Test cricket,” the source said.

Yasir Shah, the leg-spinner, had also been placed in the reserves because of fitness and other issues.

“Yasir has also been struggling with his fitness and it has affected his bowling. As a result, both he and Abbas have been told to work extra hard on improving their fitness during training in Lahore for the Australia series,” he added.

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