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'It’s not easy to stop Smith once he gets going' - Wahab Riaz 
Can Pakistan stop Steve Smith?

'It’s not easy to stop Smith once he gets going' - Wahab Riaz 

Wahab Riaz went for plenty in the second T20I and failed to make inroads but he is confident his side can stage a roaring comeback in the last game of the three-match T20I series

There might be a familiar backlash in the cricketing circles if no youngster is given a go in the last tussle. Usman Qadir has played on the shores of Australia and was in line to represent his second home at one stage but he has been on the fringes so for in the series despite relevant experience in his resume.

"I don’t know about any changes in the team," said Wahab.

Pakistan were short of valiant efforts in the fielding, lacked the discipline in bowling as a unit and apart from Iftikhar Ahmed's surge and Babar Azam's responsible knock, nobody else went berserk with the bat. 

"We were 15-20 runs short and we couldn’t get early wickets. We did get David Warner and Aaron Finch wickets early and if we had dismissed Steve Smith earlier, the complexion of the match would have been different," Wahab opined.

Steve Smith seldom fails to startle fans as he played a blinder the other night and entertained the crowd royally. Australia mean business as they have emphatically launched their quest to win the ICC T20 World Cup 2020 and they have got an exciting bunch to deflate the opposition on any surface. 

Wahab knows the importance of former Australia captain's wicket and hopes to outsmart the big fish when he is still warming up to the task. 

"See, we know that he [Steve Smith] is one of the best players in the world. We do have our plans to [confine him] and we will have to execute our plans well [tomorrow]. It’s not easy to stop him once he gets going but we will try to get him early in the piece. [Optus Stadium] Perth is beautiful, it is good for the fast bowlers, the pitch offers pace and bounce," Wahab explained.

The top three batsmen from the hosts haven't bothered the lower middle order to do the laborious work which offers Pakistan an opportunity to get through the top order and then they could smell blood once the likes of Ashton Turner, Ben McDermott and Alex Carey take guard.

"Warner and Smith are world-class batsmen and we know they are very destructive as well, same goes for Finch and we definitely know Australia team is [relying] on the three batsmen, and if we manage to get them out early we can get through the tail-enders quickly," Wahab beamed.

Babar Azam after getting the captain's armband hasn't disappointed as far as his own performances are concerned but with the series in jeopardy, he will be focused on upping the ante amidst a dramatic turnaround in the leadership last month.

"Babar Azam has been leading from the front and he has looked very confident. He is scoring runs and he will get better with time," Wahab remarked.

Regarding selectors' decision to show the door to Sarfaraz Ahmed who managed the impressive feat of pulling 11 straight series wins after stumbling against second-string Sri Lanka, Wahab was of the view that he was dropped due to unimpressive form.

"As a captain, Sarfaraz has done well for Pakistan. He is a very good player but he was not in the best of the form. We have brought Rizwan up here and we are giving equal chances to him.

The deck-hitting enforcer is in the twilight of his career and has enough experience of playing in Australia conditions. He shared his insights with the press on how to stymie the run flow on the seething decks. 

"You have to keep lengths right within the stumps, obviously, we know that Australia players are good hook and puller of the ball and they play the cut shot really well, pitching the ball up is effective [on these pitches]," he added.