Yasir Ali the nemesis of Sri Lanka. (AFP pic by Lakruwan Wanniarachchi)

Sa’adi Thawfeeq reporting from Pallekele

PALLEKELE: Pakistan’s spin bowling coach Mushtaq Ahmed heaped praise on leg-spinner Yasir Shah after he had once again caused havoc among the Sri Lankan batting ranks on the opening day of the third Test played at the Pallekele International Stadium.

“It’s a great start for a leg-spinner he’s already bowled against Sri Lanka a team which is best against spin,” said Mushtaq of Yasir.

“A leg-spinner is always a match-winner as long as he is not bowling the bad balls, He’s proved us right. It’s a great honour for me to work with such a wonderful bowler. He’s got great work ethics and he is a good listener.

“He’s got 21 wickets so far and it’s important for him to be consistent. If he manages to play with the same attitude for another five years he can easily go and play ten years from here,” Mushtaq, a leg-spinner himself who played 52 Tests for Pakistan said.

Mushtaq said that it was too early to say that Yasir is amongst the best in the world.

“At the moment he is performing well and with the sort of confidence he has he should be able to carry the momentum in his career. He has to bowl in different conditions and pitches around the world to get him listed amongst the best.

“If he continues to perform like this, believe me it will help Pakistan a lot towards reaching the top in their rankings. It’s really tough to play him in the fourth innings and we are lucky to have such a bowler who is a genuine match-winner.”

Mushtaq said that Pakistan did not use the new ball very well and that they were able to recover because the way Yasir bowled.

He said that Pakistan’s first priority tomorrow would be to take the two remaining Sri Lankan wickets and then focus on their strength – batting.

“I have full belief in our batting, as the pitch has started to play very well now I don’t see any reason why we can’t score big runs here.”