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Rediff.com  » Cricket » Pak refugee backed to lead Aus spin for Ashes

Pak refugee backed to lead Aus spin for Ashes

February 28, 2013 15:00 IST

Former South African tweaker Johan Botha believes Pakistan refugee spinner Fawad Ahmed is the missing link in Australia's plot to regain the Ashes and No.1 Test ranking.

However, Botha believes Nathan Lyon should be retained for the second Test against India starting on Sunday in Hyderabad despite legendary Australian skipper Steve Waugh's call for the off-spinner to be rested, News.com.au reports.

Fawad AhmedBotha said Ahmed's leg-spin makes Australia a potent force capable of sending England into a tailspin backed by a formidable pace arsenal led by James Pattinson.

Botha said Ahmed could definitely keep it tight, and is really accurate for a leg-spinner, adding he has a googly but doesn't show it that much.

Ahmed's presence in Australia's Ashes squad with off-spinner Lyon would cover all bases for captain Michael Clarke.

Botha added, Ahmed would definitely fit into Australia's game plan there after the seamers. Botha also agrees with Ahmed's Victorian skipper Cameron White that the Pakistani refugee is the best leggie seen in Australia since Warne and MacGill, as he can take the ball both ways which is a key and when you get to the lower order batsmen, they don't pick them as well.

Immigration officials are considering fast tracking Ahmed's citizenship, which would make the Abbottabad scholar with a degree in international relations eligible to represent Australia immediately, the paper reported.

Photograph: Graham Denholm/Getty Images

Source: ANI