ISLAMABAD, Jan 13 (APP): National pacer Wahab Riaz has challenged New Zealand not to take Pakistan easy as its bowling attack was much tougher than that of Sri Lanka.
“The black caps have been hitting the ball really well. But it is going to be a different bowling challenge against Pakistan as we have much better bowling attack than Sri Lanka,” Riaz said in an audio issued by Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) on Wednesday. “Sri Lanka lacks in experience but Pakistan have experience and some quality bowlers as well. It is not going to be easy for them to score runs against us,” the optimistic pacer added. The home side’s top order – led by Martin Guptill blazing a trail at the top of the innings and backed up by the record-breaking knock of Colin Munro – have been a revelation this summer, but Riaz believed that they will be in for a reality check on Friday night at Eden Park. He backed Amir’s inclusion in the squad and felt like his return would also help boosting his own bowling efforts. “Amir is a great addition to the team. He is a great fast bowler, has
shown his potential in the past and is ready to do that again. With his comeback there will be less pressure on me as a bowler, then Irfan is also there so it will be a good combination,” he underlined ahead of the first training run in the sun in Auckland. The pace attack of the Pakistan side has a formidable look to it with the height and bounce of Mohammed Irfan, Riaz’s own pace at around 145kmh and the swing of Mohammad Amir who returns to international cricket following a five year ban for spot fixing. “We will go for the attack,” said Riaz, adding, “We can’t sit back and watch what they will do,” he mentioned. Riaz said returning to Auckland brought back some good memories of the series win here in 2010 and also their performances at the venue during the ICC Cricket World Cup. He said a tour to New Zealand was something he always looked forward to. “New Zealand is a good cricketing country, the wickets here are nice for the bowlers. The hosts are playing well in all parts in batting, bowling and fielding so it is going to be a tough tour,” the pacer remarked. Riaz, who is consistently bowling at around 145-150 km/h, believed that if his team performed well in New Zealand that would bode well for the World T20 in India in March.