Head said it had been tough going for Australia's batsmen with Abbas generating significant reverse-swing and Pakistan's spinners capitalising on a deteriorating pitch.
Justin Langer with Usman Khawaja, Shaun Marsh, Matt Renshaw and Travis Head.
Speaking on Fox Sports during the first Test in Dubai - where Australia is staring down the barrel of a crushing defeat - Waugh weighed in on the some of the selection decisions, while also offering a damning indictment on the quality of batsmen Australia now has.
DUBAI: Hard-working fast bowler Mohammad Abbas took three wickets in seven balls to bring Pakistan closer to victory in the first Test against Australia in Dubai on Wednesday.
"We've seen when the roller has been on the wicket guys have been able to get themselves in and build partnerships", Head said.
By lunch Australia were well-placed at 137 without loss with Usman Khawaja (85) and debutant Aaron Finch (62), but the slump followed shortly after as the Baggy Greens lost all 10 wickets for just 60 runs.
Asif finished with an impressive 6-36, while seamer Mohammad Abbas grabbed 4-29.
At stumps, opener Usman Khawaja was batting on a fighting 50 and Travis Head on 34 as the pair had added an invaluable 49 for the unbroken fourth wicket stand to prolong Australia´s resistance on a tired and spinning Dubai stadium pitch.
Before Asif's brilliance Abbas had forced Finch to drive straight into the hands of Asad Shafiq at short mid-on.
Finch, who took an unsuccessful review, hit five boundaries in his knock.
Imam, meanwhile, used his feet well against the spinners and smashed four boundaries and a mighty six over deep mid-wicket off Holland in the 20th over.
Yasir went wicketless after 28 probing overs.
"There's only a certain pool of players that are good enough to play Test cricket".
The second match of the two-Test series will be played in Abu Dhabi (October 16-20).
Calls for his inclusion in the Test team started as early as day two as the Australian line-up wilted under the hot Dubai sun.