Five Important Pakistani Players who will be under an eye during the three test matches series against England.
Pakistan starts its three-game test series against England on Wednesday with the first game in Manchester.
After two intense warm-up games within the squad, Pakistan appears ready to grab the bull by the horns when it comes to England, which basks in a 2-1 win in the test series against the West Indies. The touring team has some strong, formally strong players in the squad. Here we take a look at five key players from the visitor side to watch out for this series.
“When you score a big goal, play longer innings, and talk to older players, you gradually get an idea of how you can play test cricket,” Babar told The National earlier this year.
Given its current form, it’s an understatement to say that Babar “has an idea of how to play test cricket.” By the time of his first hundred tests in November 2018, Babar Azam had scored an average of 30.44 points in 16 tests.
Since then, Babar Azam has averaged 73.42 with five test hundreds. In fact, Babar has exceeded all 60 at one time in his last seven test innings and made four hundred in these games.
Pakistan have played six Tests in their last two tours of England.— ICC (@ICC) August 4, 2020
Which way will this series go? pic.twitter.com/ilYj4Usj5h
“We will be keeping an eye on the pitch and weather conditions today and tomorrow before deciding whether to play two nuts or not,” Misbah-ul-Haq said in a video conference before the first test against England.
Shadab Khan, who last played a friendly in January 2019, is about to return to the starting lineup when Pakistan decides to start the first friendly with two spinners. The leg spinner, which doubles as a fairly decent punch option – it averages 34.28 in tests – could add depth to the bowling attack without making too many compromises on the punch front.
Shadab had completed half a century in three consecutive tests (one against Ireland) on Pakistan’s last tour of England and Ireland in 2018. When he plays, Shadab’s performances with the ball are closely monitored. In five Tests, he has 12 gates at 38.33 and will strive to improve these numbers.
Pakistan Test squad training and practice session underway at Old Trafford, Manchester pic.twitter.com/fndUSZNOFL— Pakistan Cricket (@TheRealPCB) August 2, 2020
“He immediately impressed not only with his pace, but also with his skills, temperament and knowledge of his own bowling. He reads batsmen very quickly. Not many players can reach this standard so early,” said Azhar Ali Naseem Shah last year.
Naseem Shah, a teenage child prodigy, caught the attention of the cricket world in Australia with a few quick spells. In his last friendly in Rawalpindi against Bangladesh, Naseem was the player of the game for his second innings of 4/26, which included a hat trick.
He started his tour of England positively and scored a five-wicket move in his first innings here for Pakistan Green in the intra-squad warm-up game. Naseem is an unknown factor for the English batsmen and could pose a major challenge with his slow pace.
“The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) communicated with me to play test cricket (in England) when needed and to play for Pakistan is always a priority, so I said yes without thinking about it,” said Wahab Riaz in a video conference before the series.
Wahab Riaz had taken an “indefinite break” from Test Cricket in 2019, but has returned to the squad for the upcoming tests against England, despite having no central contract.
As an older bowler at 34, Riaz could become a key member of the attack, particularly because his angle to the left arm makes a crucial difference. His ability to make an unsettling jump could also tempt Pakistan’s selectors to choose him, despite having only completed four tests since early 2017.
After a lot of thinking and discussions with my family and board, I have decided to take a break from red-ball cricket and maintain my fitness and focus on the shorter format for my country. It was a tough decision and I appreciate my Board’s support and guidance during this time— Wahab Riaz (@WahabViki) September 12, 2019
“You can play Rizwan as a batsman,” commented Shane Warne after seeing Mohammad Rizwan on the test series in Australia.
The 28-year-old batsman from the Wicket Keeper was able to assert himself against the Australian speed attack down under. In the first innings he scored a 37th counterattack and in the second innings in Brisbane a career best of 95.
Warne’s comments certainly seem to be well placed after Rizwan started his England tour with a bang and in the first warm-up game within squad 54 * and 100 * for Pakistan White. Its shape could be crucial for Pakistan, especially if they want to play a fifth bowling option.
Pakistan shortlist 20-player squad for England Tests:— PCB Media (@TheRealPCBMedia) July 27, 2020
Azhar A (c), Babar A, Abid A, Asad S, Faheem A, Fawad A, Imam-ul-Haq, Imran Khan Sr, Kashif B, M Abbas, M Rizwan (wk), Naseem S, Sarfaraz A (wk), Shadab K, Shaheen A, Shan M, Sohail K, Usman S, Wahab R and Yasir S#ENGvPAK