LONDON: Pakistan are confident and looking to capitalize on an England squad coming off two series losses when the two teams meet for the first of a two-match Test series.
“England are a tough side but we are hopeful of beating them. The last few series England played has not been good for them. They lost the Ashes and against New Zealand,” Pakistani skipper Sarfraz Ahmed said during a news conference on Wednesday
“England at the moment lack confidence. I think we have a young talented team and will try our best to perform well.”
The skipper also spoke about Pakistan’s bowling options in the absence of injured leg-spinner Yasir Shah. “Yasir Shah is not here which is why we are playing bowlers like Shahdab Khan and Faheem Ashraf. Yashir Shah has bowled well in England and his absence is a big loss.”
When asked about Imam-ul-Haq, the skipper responded that he was pleased with the opening batsman’s performance and hoped he continues to play well.
Sarfraz told reporters that Hasan Ali has stitches in his hand but he would be bowling during today’s practice session. According to Sarfraz if Hasan Ali did not complain he would bowl again tomorrow following which the team would be announced.
Sarfraz stressed that it was the responsibility of senior players to guide the team in this series. There is a responsibility of Azhar, Asad, myself and Aamir as we have won a test match here. We want to lead from the front so the momentum can be carried by the junior players.”
Pakistan will face England at Lord’s on May 24.
Probable teams for the first Test between England and Pakistan
England: Alastair Cook, Mark Stoneman, Joe Root (captain), Dawid Malan, Jonny Bairstow (wicketkeeper), Ben Stokes, Jos Buttler, Chris Woakes, Dominic Bess, Stuart Broad, James Anderson
Pakistan: Azhar Ali, Imam-ul-Haq, Haris Sohail, Asad Shafiq, Babar Azam, Sarfraz Ahmed (captain/wicketkeeper), Faheem Ashraf, Shadab Khan, Mohammad Amir, Mohammad Abbas, Rahat Ali
Umpires: Rod Tucker (AUS), Paul Reiffel (AUS)
TV umpire: Bruce Oxenford (AUS)
Match referee: Jeff Crowe (NZL)
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