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No-balls continue to thwart Pakistan

AAP logoAAP 29/12/2016 Roger Vaughan

Pakistan bowling coach Azhar Mahmood has blasted his charges for their no-ball plague, saying it is unacceptable.

Paceman Wahab Riaz has been the prime offender in the Boxing Day Test, over-stepping the line 12 times already in the Australian first innings - including the crucial non-dismissal of opener David Warner.

Wahab bowled the Australian star when he was on 81, but the umpire's arm was outstretched, Warner going on to make 144.

"He's improved a lot in the last three or four Tests - he's bowling less no-balls," Mahmood said.

"But I've told him, it's not an excuse and it's not acceptable.

"I'm really up for it - this is a challenge for me as well as a bowling coach.

"We need to cut down these no-balls, it's not acceptable."

Mahmood said unlike in Australia, England and New Zealand, young Pakistan players often lacked access to good technical coaching.

That made it harder to correct no-ball problems at first-class level.

"Unfortunately from where we come from, you play cricket on the streets (growing up)," Mahmood said.

"There's not technical coaching staff available in first-class cricket back in Pakistan - that's where you struggle.

"People aren't taking this no-ball issue seriously and I think Wahab needs to take it seriously, because he's missed six or seven Test wickets."

Pakistan have also received plenty of criticism for their tactics in the Australian first innings.

After seizing control with 9 (dec)-443, the tourists lost the initiative with some questionable bowling and field settings.

Australia ended day four on 6-465 and captain Steve Smith, who is 100no, said it felt at times like Pakistan were not trying to dismiss him.

But Mahmood pointed out that Mohammad Amir and Sohail Khan in particular had bowled well at times for no reward.

Amir has been the pick of the Pakistan attack, but has 0-74 from 27 overs.

"We didn't execute our plans very well in this innings and if you (look), we were very unlucky," he said.

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