Wahab Riaz received a surprise call-up to the World Cup squad after Junaid Khan and Faheem Ashraf struggled in the series against England. To many Pakistan fans, it was an undeserved call-up, but others feel that his extra pace and ability to bowl well in English conditions will be an asset for Pakistan at the World Cup.
Wahab divides opinion amongst Pakistani fans and media, he is an enigma at times, a bowler who you expect much more from, a bowler, who on his day when things are going well, can be a match-winner. However, the good days have been few and far between in his 133-match international career. A bowling average of 34.50 in Tests and 34.34 in ODIs do not do justice to his talents.
He has the ability to trouble any batsman on any surface, but his lack of control and rhythm have meant that he has not always delivered for Pakistan. He is a wicket-taking bowler, someone who can blow away any top order and clean up the tail quickly if the ball is reversing. Mickey Arthur and Inzamam-ul-Haq feel that Wahab gives them something different, provides them with pace and the ability to score a few runs down the order.
Many would say picking Wahab is a risk, but Arthur and the rest of the Pakistan think-tank will be hoping that it's a risk that pays-off. The World Cup gives Wahab Riaz another opportunity to silence his many critics, it remains to be seen if he can produce the goods and wickets that Pakistan so desperately need.
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