The Pakistan players got down to a full training session in a Manchester on Monday ahead of the three-match Test series against England starting August 5. Pakistan spin bowling coach Mushtaq Ahmed was seen having a chat with Shadab Khan, Yasir Shah and Kashif Bhatti. Pakistan struggled in its most recent visit to Old Trafford, on the 2016 tour, losing the Test by 330 runs. Yasir will hope to make amends for his performance, which saw him claim just one wicket for 266 in 63 overs.
Pakistan has announced a 20-man squad which sees fast bowler Wahab Riaz and wicketkeeper-batsman Sarfaraz Ahmed return to the Test set up. Sarfaraz, who was sacked from Test and T20I captaincy in October last year, is the second choice wicketkeeper, behind Mohammad Rizwan. Meanwhile, Wahab, whose last Test appearance was in October 2018, decided last year he was taking an indefinite break from the format.
Given the team is prone to inexplicable batting collapses, Pakistan roped in former captain Younis to help its batsmen for the three Tests. “We’re here to win the series. For that we need a fighting tail, which is the hallmark of all top teams. It’s not just the top six-seven batsmen. The tailenders must also perform with the bat,” he said, citing the contribution of England’s lower order in their 2-1 series victory against West Indies," Younis had said earlier. Younis has been working with the pace trio of Shaheen Afridi, Naseem Shah and Mohammad Abbas, who have single digit batting averages. That said, skipper Azhar Ali and batting mainstay Babar Azam will have to share bulk of the scoring duty against an England team fresh from its win against West Indies.
Pakistan is scheduled to play three Tests and three Twenty20 Internationals in August-September in a bio-secure environment. Pakistan's last Test was against Bangladesh in Rawalpindi in February this year.
Pakistan squad: Azhar Ali (c), Babar Azam, Abid Ali, Asad Shafiq, Faheem Ashraf, Fawad Alam, Imam-ul-Haq, Imran Khan Sr, Kashif Bhatti, Mohammad Abbas, Mohammad Rizwan (wk), Naseem Shah, Sarfaraz Ahmed (wk), Shadab Khan, Shaheen Afridi, Shan Masood, Sohail Khan, Usman Shinwari, Wahab Riaz, Yasir Shah
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