Saqlain Mushtaq set for a second stint as the bowling consultant for England

Saqlain Mushtaq in Cricket All Stars
Saqlain Mushtaq. (Photo Source: Twitter)

After working with the England team ahead of the recent second Test against Pakistan at Old Trafford, Pakistan off-spin great Saqlain Mushtaq is set for another spell as an England coaching consultant.

Coach Trevor Bayliss feels that someone like the 39-year-old can make a very good impact on his team even in a part-time role.

“He was here for this Test match. We’ll probably look at something else further down the line as well.

“Both Mo (Ali) and Rash (Rashid), who was here in the lead-up to the Test, enjoyed working with him very much. By the sound of it, it was very positive and we’ll look to use him again.”

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“It wasn’t necessarily a lot technically, it was more tactical. That’s where we think both Rash and Mo need to make improvements, to go ahead in the international game…More field-settings and how to bowl to different players.

“It’s good to have someone like Saqlain come in, Mahela Jayawardene come in, people that have been top of their field in the past and are able to pass on their knowledge. (But) those greats of the game very rarely get involved full-time, so you do have to bring them in series by series.”

One concern for Bayliss ahead of next week’s third Test at Edgbaston is Ali’s habit of bowling ‘moonballs’ or beamers, that see him no-balled for a dangerous delivery. Two such beamers could see him getting pulled out of the attack by the umpires.

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“Four or five times in the last couple of Tests, and one or two at practice as well,” said Bayliss.

Bayliss was uncertain whether Ali was trying to bowl the ‘doosra’ or not. But, the coach feels that the off spinner puts himself under a bit more pressure.

“I’m not sure if he’s trying to bowl anything different or not, but he has put himself under a little bit of pressure, I think.

“When you do that, it’s difficult to bowl at this level and especially against opposition that are brought up playing against spinners.

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“He (Ali) bowls wicket-taking balls. For me, he’s got to work on his consistency to get the ball to bounce in the one spot a lot more often. He’s certainly working hard at it, so hopefully that starts to come together.”