AUSTRALIA has used the leg-spin bowling of a Pakistani asylum seeker in their first net session ahead of the first Test against South Africa starting in Brisbane on Friday.
Fawad Ahmed, who is still awaiting a decision from the federal government about his refugee protection claim, bowled in the nets against Australia’s best as a preparation for South African spinner Imran Tahir.
The Melbourne club cricketer, who has bowled in nets sessions to Australia’s batsmen previously, was flown to Brisbane due to the similarities in his action with that of Pakistan-born Tahir.
Despite a temptation to play a four-man pace attack on what is expected to be a bouncy Gabba wicket, the tourists are expected to to play Tahir, who has played 10 Tests for the Proteas.
All of Australia’s players took part in Tuesday’s first training session at the Gabba, including Rob Quiney – who is set make his Test debut on Friday.
The Victorian top-order batsman begun with some solid work during a fielding session before padding up and facing a testing session against Australia’s four frontline fast bowlers in James Pattinson, Peter Siddle, Ben Hilfenhaus and Mitchell Starc.
The pitch for the first Test has a healthy grass cover at this stage but is already showing the shine and colour to suggest it will be a pretty dry and hard wicket for a Brisbane match.
South Africa will train in the afternoon in what will be their first look at the Gabba since arriving in Brisbane on Monday.