Pakistan v Australia winners and losers: Mohammed Abbas 'world-class' but Shaun Marsh's Test career in trouble?

Following Pakistan's 1-0 Test series victory over Australia in UAE, Paul Radley assesses which individuals won and lost

Pakistan batsman Mohammad Abbas (R) celebrates after dismissing Australian cricketer Aaron Finch during day four of the second Test match between Australia and Pakistan at Sheikh Zayed stadium in Abu Dhabi on October 19, 2018. / AFP / KARIM SAHIB
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Mohammed Abbas

The biggest factor in Pakistan winning the series, according to captain Sarfraz Ahmed. World-class, according to Tim Paine, the defeated Australian captain.

And they were just the ones playing. Abbas won praise from all over the world, from Shahid Afridi (“he’s a gem”), to Paul Collingwood (“unplayable”), to Dale Steyn, who tipped him to be the No 1 Test bowler soon.

Usman Khawaja

“He was the shining light on this tour,” Paine said of Khawaja, who now faces a lay-off with a knee injury.

“He had some question marks over his ability in these conditions, but the way he played in the first Test was outstanding. We hope he doesn’t miss too much time because he is in such a good place with his batting.”

Fakhar Zaman

Not universally expected to excel on debut, given his method is widely thought to favour limited-overs cricket rather than the long form.

Two half-centuries in Abu Dhabi suggest he does have what it takes to thrive in the Test game, too, though.

ABU DHABI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES - OCTOBER 17:  Shaun Marsh leaves the field after being dismissed by Mohammad Abbas of Pakistan during day two of the Second Test match between Australia and Pakistan at Sheikh Zayed stadium on October 17, 2018 in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.  (Photo by Francois Nel/Getty Images)
One of Australia's more experienced batsman, Shaun Marsh flopped in the series. Getty Images


Read more:

Test series takeaways: Pressure eases on Sarfraz but Paine still looking for answers

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Shaun Marsh

Across the two Tests, the older Marsh brother posted scores of 7, 0, 3 and 4. Neither did he manage a catch or a run out. There is no way to dress up that series positively.

The 35-year-old left-hander must be fearing his days as a Test cricketer are now numbered.

Wahab Riaz

“He has not won us a game in two years,” Mickey Arthur said of Wahab back in April, explaining the decision to drop him from the national team.

He looked no nearer doing so on his return to the side in Dubai, and made way for debutant Mir Hamza in the capital.

Jon Holland

This was an odd series for the tourists. A batsman – Marnus Labuschagne – finished top of the bowling averages, while Shaun Marsh, their senior batsman, finished below all the bowlers in the batting averages.

Worryingly, their second spinner, Holland, was similarly way off in the bowling charts. His four wickets cost 75 apiece.


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