Pakistan opener Shan Masood wary of 'experienced' England

Despite England's loss to West Indies in Southampton, Pakistan opener Shan Masood remains wary of England's fast-bowling depth ahead of his side's three-Test series next month.

Shan Masood plays a shot. (File Photo)   -  GETTY IMAGES

Pakistan opener Shan Masood does not want to read too much into England’s four-wicket defeat against the West Indies in the first Test, saying losing just a match does not make it a weak side.

England lost the opening Test by four wickets on Sunday at an empty Rose Bowl in Southampton. “This is the first competitive match for both teams after nearly three months and I think the rustiness was evident in the home side. But I think they (England) have a lot of strong reserves to draw up from,” Masood said.

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Depth and experience

“When Joe Root returns to the side as captain, the batting will also be more stable,” he said on Tuesday.

Pakistan is currently in England to play a three-match Test series starting on August 5. The 30-year-old Masood said it would be a mistake to think that England is a weak side since it lost to the West Indies.  “England have a lot of experience and strength in their squad who are yet to play. And their top batting is also not brittle as some people believe. Don’t forget these same batsmen scored runs in South Africa when England won the Test series.

“England have a great reserve of pace bowlers. (Jofra) Archer is not the only one to worry about as a opener but the remaining bowlers will also pose serious challenges in their own English conditions,” he said.

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Right intent

Masood was in prolific form in Pakistan's last three-match Test series against Australia, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh, even scoring back to back hundreds against the subcontinent this year.

The left-handed batsman also felt that even though bowlers cannot apply saliva to the ball , batting would remain a test in English conditions.

“So many factors come into play, the overhead weather, the pitches, the duke ball etc. In England, the role of openers is very important but in these conditions as a batsman, you need to ensure you punish the bad balls.

“You are always likely to get that one good ball which will get you out no matter how long you bat for. So it is imperative to play with an intent to score runs, not just defend.”

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Welcome addition

Masood also welcomed former Test captain and record-breaking batsman Younis Khan's appointment as batting coach. He said the strong management team of head coach Misbah ul-Haq, Younis, bowling coach Waqar Younis and spin bowling coach Mushtaq Ahmed were working with individual players.

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