Leg-side fields at MCG was 'my mistake', says Yasir Shah

Yasir Shah leaps into his delivery stride Getty Images

Pakistan legspinner Yasir Shah, who conceded over 200 runs at over five to the over in the Boxing Day Test, has said he had bowled the wrong length at the MCG. He also said that the six-three leg-side field the team employed, which drew criticism from the outside, was his idea and a "wrong decision" in hindsight.

"I think I bowled too many full tosses and short balls," Yasir told Fox Sports. "I'm working in the nets to bowl in one channel and improve my action. At the MCG because of the rain, there were no dry patches and not enough rough to work with."

Of the field settings, he said: "It was my mistake. As a bowler I take responsibility in setting my fields. In hindsight it was a wrong decision."

Yasir, who became the first legspinner to top the ICC Test rankings in 11 years in mid-2016 and later went on to become the joint second quickest to 100 wickets, said he was in touch with Australia's Shane Warne about bowling in the country. "He always tells me how to stay calm as a legspinner and be patient in taking wickets. He spoke about my pace and how I should be bowling slower [in Australia] than I bowl in the UAE, around the 83-84 kph mark.

"He also suggested that giving some loop will help me get more purchase in the wicket. Warne has asked me to develop my googly using the same action, saying if you change your action then there are more chances of losing control over your bowling."

Given the tracks at the Sydney Cricket Ground, where the next Test will begin on January 3, have traditionally been relatively helpful to spinners, Pakistan might consider playing two slow men in the match. 18-year-old left-arm spinner Mohammad Asghar could be in line for a debut. Speaking on him, Yasir said: "I think he is a very good spinner, I was impressed by his bowling at the Pakistan Super League [the domestic T20 league]. He bowled with a lot of courage and the batsmen who have played him rate him highly."