Spinners give Pakistan the edge - Kaneria
Legspinner Danish Kaneria has said Pakistan have a distinct advantage against Australia during the upcoming Tests because the hosts do not have a wristspinner in their squad. Kaneria was successful during the Test series in New Zealand, taking 13 wickets in two matches, including a seven-wicket haul, at 20.69. He will be backed up by offspinner Saeed Ajmal, who was impressive in the first Test in Dunedin and has been a regular fixture in the ODI team.
"I think there is a distinct advantage," Kaneria told AAP. "There is a big gap in the Australian leg-spin department. They have finger spinners like [Jason] Krejza and now Nathan Hauritz, the main problem for Australia in my opinion is they are lacking a wristspinner."
Kaneria said a wristspinner was an important part of any attack in Tests and could be expected to be effective on any kind of track. "Wickets around the world are being prepared so on the third day, the fourth, the fifth day, the spinners can do their part," he said. "A wrist spinner will get the bounce from any sort of wicket, no matter if it's green or it's a flat track. A wrist spinner will get the turn on any track."
New South Wales allrounder Steven Smith, who bowls leg spin, was drafted in as cover for Nathan Hauritz for the third Test against West Indies, but since the departure of Shane Warne and Stuart Macgill, and the experiment with Beau Casson, Cameron White and Bryce McGain, Australia have lacked a frontline wristspinner.
Pakistan take on Tasmania in Hobart in their first warm-up game of the tour, and the hosts will welcome the services of fast bowler Brett Geeves, who has been released from the Australia squad for the ongoing Perth Test. Geeves had earlier said he'd be rested for the tour game but injury concerns in the Australian line-up, the absence of Peter Siddle topping the list, had prompted a change in thinking.
"It's good for me ahead of the next Test," Geeves said. "I'm 12th man at the moment which means I'm currently next in line and if I'm able to take some wickets who knows, anything is possible. But I certainly don't have my hopes up and I just want to represent Tasmania as best I can."
Geeves said South Australia's Peter George and Dan Christian, and NSW's Burt Cockley, were also competing with him for a Test place. "But I guess the positive for me is that I'm playing against Pakistan in a tour game and the Aussies play them in a week's time," he said.
Tasmania squad: George Bailey (capt), Ed Cowan, Brendan Drew, Alex Doolan, Brett Geeves, Wade Irvine, Jason Krejza, Tim Macdonald, Adam Maher, Dan Marsh, Tim Paine (wk), John Rogers, Jonathan Wells.
Pakistan squad: Mohammad Yousuf (capt), Mohammad Aamer, Saeed Ajmal, Kamran Akmal (wk), Umar Akmal, Mohammad Asif, Fawad Alam, Salman Butt, Imran Farhat, Faisal Iqbal, Danish Kaneria, Umar Gul, Shoaib Malik, Khurram Manzoor, Misbah-ul-Haq, Abdul Rauf, Mohammad Sami.