Wahab Riaz, a left-arm fast bowler, has the pace to trouble the best, but hasn’t always combined it with consistency. He has benefited from Pakistan’s chronic poor luck with fast bowlers: with Shoaib Akhtar and Mohammad Asif missing more than they play and Umar Gul injury-prone, Riaz came into national reckoning earlier than he might have reasonably expected. Since then he has had some good moments in international cricket, but consistency hasn’t been his strongest suit.
On his Test debut, against England at The Oval in 2010, Riaz took 5 for 63, becoming the ninth Pakistan bowler to take five on debut. Among his victims were Andrew Strauss, Jonathan Trott and Kevin Pietersen. However, he had poor tours of New Zealand and West Indies in 2011, and was dropped from the Test side.
As an ODI bowler he has been a wicket-taker but has also leaked plenty of runs. His ODI best came in a big game, when he took 5 for 46 against India in the World Cup semi-final in Mohali – among his wickets were Virender Sehwag, Virat Kohli, Yuvraj Singh and MS Dhoni – but it wasn’t enough to prevent defeat. Since then he has been in the mix in Pakistan’s ODI side, even though his economy rate continues to be a concern.
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