Azhar Ali says Pakistan have England’s ‘fragile top order’ in their sights

Pakistan will target England's "fragile top order" when the impending Test series between the two countries begin in August.

England have failed to find a stable opening lineup since the departure of Alastair Cook in 2018. While his bowling attack appears equally “spectacular”, as conceded by Pakistan Test captain Azhar Ali, England are still looking for answers for their opening.

Since Cook’s final appearance in September 2018, England have played six different opening pairs in 18 Test matches, none of which have opened more than nine times. And ahead of the West Indies Test, which will start in Manchester from 8 July, England have only one reliable option at the top of the batting lineup – Rory Burns. Three others – Dom Sibley, Joe Denley, and Zuck Crowley – will look to bag two other spots. However, England are expecting a clearer outlook after the Windies competition.

Azhar said before leaving for England, “His bowling attack is fantastic under his circumstances and there is no doubt about it.” “Apart from Jofra Archer we have faced them all – Broad, Anderson, Vox, Stokes and even Wood, but we still won against him. Looking at his batting, his top order was Alastair Cook Has been fragile for some time. Retired. They have tried a lot of combinations lately and might be settling down a bit more, but they are not really convinced with it. So for us to see something in it is. ”

Pakistan has topped all other major Test playing countries in terms of record wins in England since 2016. In their last two visits, Pakistan have won as many as two draw Test series – 2–2 (in 2016) and 1–1 (2018). Within the same period, Australia won twice and India, South Africa and West Indies won one each.

However, Pakistan will be a bit worried about their bowling lineup. Youngsters Nasim Shah and Shaheen Shah Afridi will test their debut in England. Of his two legendary bowlers – Yasir Shah will join the competition after a poor 2019, Pakistan will be heavily reliant on Mohammad Abbas as the only option. The latter was part of the 2018 series in England and the county has experience with Leicestershire.

“In terms of number of games, of course England have a lot of experience in their bowling,” Azhar said. “But we have the skills: they [our bowlers] Are young and have many more. They can give trouble to any team in the world. In a very short time, they have achieved a lot and this is a good sign.

“You can’t buy experience right away, and for that you obviously have to play more, but then we have a very experienced coaching staff with Waqar Younis and Mushtaq Ahmed. Their expertise and knowledge can be harnessed and they Will help them. ” I believe, when this combo of experience and skill is brought together, we can achieve a great result. I am confident about this.

“Regarding the spinners, we’re not really sure about the conditions at the time of the Test series. The weather is great right now, but it changes often and suddenly. We don’t know how it will end this summer. We’ll bring . Our game plan according to the circumstances. We have a large pool of players and our tour team has a lot of flexible options. ”

Pakistan left for Manchester on Sunday with 20 players and 11 support staff personnel. Of the remaining 10, six returned negative in their second COVID-19 test and will have their third next week while the other four have tested positive in their rest and have been kept under observation.

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