Sydney: Former India bowling coach Joe Dawes doubts whether the defending champions can replicate the devastating impact Pakistan speedster Wahab Riaz had when they play Australia in Thursday's cricket World Cup semi-final.
Pakistani cricketer Wahab Riaz gives Australian batsman Shane Watson some lip service during their World Cup quarter-final clash at the Adelaide Oval on March 20, Pacer Riaz claimed two wickets, but Watson stayed unbeaten on 64 (Pic/AFP). Inset: Joe Dawes
Dawes was India's bowling coach between February 2012 and October 2014. Riaz, 29, is still the talk of the World Cup owing to a memorable spell in Adelaide, reports the Sydney Morning Herald. The left-armer's spell removed opener David Warner and skipper Michael Clarke and had Shane Watson behaving like a cat on a hot tin roof at the Adelaide Oval. Riaz had the home team under pressure during their 214-run chase. But Australia eventually managed to weather the storm and won by six wickets.
Left-armer would've helped
The Indians will note the vulnerability of the Australian batsmen in their quarter-final. But while their pace trio of Umesh Yadav, Mohammed Shami and Mohit Sharma has improved a lot, they don't have a Riaz clone in their line-up, said Dawes.
"Umesh has definitely got the pace to do it, but he's not an overly tall man so that sort of changes the trajectory and the bounce," he said. Dawes feels that even though Duncan Fletcher is a clever coach, India don't have a left-arm pacer to repeat Pakistan's Riaz havoc. "Fletch (Fletcher) is a pretty astute coach. He'll look to try and bring that in somewhere and give it a whirl.
But the left-hander is a big advantage and that's where the Indians don't have anyone with real pace, or any left-hand bowlers here at the moment," opined Dawes.