Mohammad Abbas is currently the leading wicket-taker among Pakistan pacers in the ongoing series against England and the right-arm pacer has credited his success to the simple formula of sticking to his "strengths".
Although the second Test at the Ageas Bowl was disrupted by persistent and frequent stoppages due to bad light, Abbas made his mark in the final session of the match.
With the sun shining brightly, Abbas still managed to trouble the batsmen with his nagging lines and ability to generate a decent amount of swing.
His brilliant control and attacking lengths resulted in the dismissals of Zak Crawley and Dom Sibley.
“I stick to my strengths and assess the conditions by reading the pitch and the batsman,” Abbas told pcb.com.pk ahead of the third Test at the same venue.
"Though I have had a good run in the UAE, I am enjoying the experience of bowling in England. The weather conditions here are conducive for seam bowling and the pronounced seam of the Dukes ball provides assistance to fast bowlers.”
Abbas' excellent form of late is well complemented by his new-ball partner Shaheen Afridi, who has accounted for the scalp of Rory Burns twice in the first over in this series.
“I am enjoying bowling with Shaheen. He is young and is eager to learn. During the pre-match practice sessions, we discuss about the conditions, our plans and decide who will bowl from which end," Abbas shared.
"We understand that we need to take wickets with the new ball to ensure the opposition does not end up piling runs. When he takes wickets, I also try to do my bit from the other end as it was the case in the first Test,” he added.
Despite Stokes standing well out of his crease to negate seam movement and disturb the line of the bowler, Abbas found the narrowest of opening to sneak the ball through his defences and rattle the stumps.
Abbas commented that instead of being unnerved by Stokes' strategy to walk down the pitch, he was more confident of getting the batsman out.
“Stokes is one of the best all-rounders in the world and he has done well for England. We had a plan for him and I worked on the angles which disturb him. I came around-the-stumps right away when he arrived at the crease," he claimed.
“He had stepped out of the crease to disturb me, but that did not bother me. Whenever a batsman comes down the wicket against me, I take it as a sign that that batsman is getting disturbed by me. I bowled in good areas and got the desired seam movement, which got us his wicket.”