Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Ahmed Hopes to Put Ashes Rivals in a Spin

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Ahmed Hopes to Put Ashes Rivals in a Spin

Article excerpt

PAKISTAN-BORN bowler Fawad Ahmed has been tipped to give England a stern examination this summer after being called into Australia's Ashes squad yesterday. The 33-year-old, who sought asylum in Australia in 2010 before securing residency two years later, is one of 17 players selected for both the five-Test series and a preceding tour of the West Indies.

Ahmed (below) took 48 wickets during Victoria's triumphant Shef-field Shield campaign, catching the eye of national selector Rod Marsh, who feels the spinner can make life difficult for England's batsmen when the Ashes series starts in July.

"Him being a leg-spinner as opposed to a finger spinner gave him a slight advantage," Marsh said at a press conference organised to announce the squad.

"Believe it or not, Australia is always looking for leg-spinners. We've had a proud history of legspinning in this country and we want that to continue.

"(Ahmed) doesn't bowl too much rubbish and he creates a lot of pressure. He has men around the bat in most instances and he keeps asking the batsmen questions, which is what good spinners do.

"He maintains good economy and asks questions of both left and right-handers, bearing in mind that England may have up to seven lefthanders."

There was no place for all-rounder Glenn Maxwell despite his World Cup heroics, but Adam Voges, the scorer of 1,358 runs in Shield cricket last season, will be on the plane departing for the West Indies on May 19.

One-day specialist Maxwell, named in the International Cricket Council's team of the tournament following Sunday's triumph over New Zealand in Melbourne, made only 41 runs and failed to take a wicket against Pakistan in his last Test appearance for the Baggy Green back in October.

Marsh said of Voges: "I looked at him on four or more occasions and I thought 'I don't know how anyone will get this bloke out', he was that dominant.

"It wasn't just the 1,300-odd runs, it was the way he made them.

"It was as good a Sheffield Shield batting as I have ever seen. Pure weight of runs, the way in which he got those runs, you could see Test player written all over him. …

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