ISLAMABAD           -        Former captain Ramiz Raja has asked the Pakistan Cricket Board’s (PCB) selection committee to focus on a new pack of bowlers for England tour, who have the ability to scalp wickets by consistently bowling at the same place.

Pakistan are likely to visit England to play three Tests and as many T20Is in August and September. The tour will be a tough test for bowlers as ICC has recently confirmed interim changes to its playing regulations, which also include a ban on the use of saliva to shine the ball.

“This (ban on saliva) will have impact upon bowling. Test cricket is an attractive format because in it balance is maintained between the bat and ball. In this format, the bowling side makes a comeback through reverse swing after a flat session. “But now it will be very difficult to get reverse swing as there will be no saliva.

“We will not be able to see this great bowling art (reverse swing) for some time now. The boredom will prevail as nobody will like to see every session for the batsmen,” Ramiz said in a video on his YouTube channel ‘RamizSpeaks’. “So there is a problem for cricket as the bowlers will have to rediscover them and this has become a very tough task for them,” he added.

He said  it would be difficult for the national selection committee to pick up players, particularly bowlers for the England trip. “But as they say: ‘courses for horses’; they will have to decide in accordance with the situation. “If I were in selection committee, I would have selected a new pack of bowlers who can control and win the sessions not through reverse swing or sideway movements [of the ball] but through a command on their line and length. I will go for the bowlers, who have the ability to bowl consistently at the same place,” Ramiz added while laying out his preliminary selection mindset for the Test team.

He said keeping in view the new regulations, he would opt for such bowlers who could prove a great success in one-day and T20 cricket. “If you look at Pakistan circuit (for such bowlers), then your eyes should straightaway go to Dilbar Hussain or Haris Rauf. Both have speed and can bowl upto 146-147 kilometre per hour. They also don’t need saliva in much quantity as they have change of pace, slower balls and yorkers.

“They bowl in different periods. Sometime you find them bowling in the beginning, sometimes in the middle and then sometimes at the end. So, they don’t need a premade ball. Primarily, they depend upon their accuracy and probably the new Test cricket with this new regulation will force you with such kind of selection mindset. “So, pick up bowlers, who bowl at a same place and deceive the batsmen through change of pace. You will not need bowlers, who depend upon sideway movements because without saliva they will not be able to do that anymore.”

He said that the selection committee would have to keep in mind the same criteria while selecting spinners. “You will have to select spinners who are accurate and don’t base their performance much on saliva.” According to Ramiz, Pakistan could face problems on their main leg-spinner Yasir Shah as he also needed a shiny ball while trying to skid it or move it fast. “So, when he will not be able to apply saliva on the ball, the deception weapon will be open.

“I think this increases Mohammad Nawaz’ value as he is an accurate one-day bowler, who does not need saliva. He can bowl tightly and if some work is done on him he can play Indian left-arm spinner Jadeja-like role for Pakistan. “Similarly, leg-spinner Faizan Raja can also be handy as he bowls very well in limited overs cricket. Therefor also keep him in the kitty along with Yasir Shah as he has a bright future ahead,” Ramiz added.