Decision on Stokes' ability to bowl to be taken on Wednesday, says Root

England will be wary of the fact that it has lost the first Test in eight out of the last 10 series and hasn’t had a series win against Pakistan since 2010.

Ben Stokes

Ben Stokes has been a key player for England for quite some time now.   -  Reuters

After beating the West Indies comfortably 2-1 in the recently concluded series, England captain Joe Root feels his side has an advantage going into the first Test against Pakistan starting at Old Trafford on Wednesday.

“Having played some high-intensity Test cricket will serve us well going into the series and will give us a bit of head start and that should play in our favour slightly. But it is important we don’t take it for granted and are very aware Pakistan is a talented team,” said Root on Tuesday.

Despite the last series win, England will also be wary of the fact that it has lost the first Test in eight out of the last 10 series including against West Indies at Southampton, and hasn’t had a series win against Pakistan at home or away since 2010.

“We have got three games in our belt coming into this and have played really good cricket in the last two. Our guys are up to speed and familiar with the rhythm of Test cricket and there is no excuse going into this week,” the English skipper said.

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When asked about how Pakistan compares to the West Indies, Root pointed out that the experienced leg-spinners, who could turn it away from the right-handers could pose a threat apart from the side's fast bowlers.

“They have a talented bowing group and pose a lot of challenges. There are guys with raw pace, a left-arm angle and some young talent we might have not seen before. Then you have wily campaigners like Mohammed Abbas who has done well here in the past and has county-cricket experience.”

Root also revealed that the inclement weather meant Ben Stokes couldn’t bowl on Tuesday and a call on his ability to bowl will be taken on Wednesday but he could once again just play as a batsman as he did in the last match against West Indies.

England's 14-man squad: Joe Root (c), James Anderson, Jofra Archer, Dominic Bess, Stuart Broad, Rory Burns, Jos Buttler (wk), Zak Crawley, Sam Curran, Ollie Pope, Dom Sibley, Ben Stokes, Chris Woakes, Mark Wood

Pakistan Tour of England will be aired LIVE only on SONY SIX channels from August 5, 2020, 3.30 pm onwards.

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