Preview: Pakistani bowlers for England Test Series 2020

ECB’s effort to put the game back into action has paid off with a great contest between the two old Test cricketing nations.

By grabbing the final Wisden Trophy series against West Indies, the British team has once again proved that winning a Test series against this current England team in England is a forlorn hope.

The Englishmen spotted their shortcomings in the first Test and overcame the drawbacks with a bang by thumping the maroon team in the next two matches.

As the Covid-19 has forced the English team to have a tight schedule, they don’t have much time to face another opponent.

This time it is going to be a green team known for their intense passion for the game.

Pakistan did a terrific job last time when they visited England. Both batting and bowling were at the top-notch. Almost every player of the team stepped up in terms of contribution. So the performance of Pakistan in the previous Test series in England has set their image even higher.

The Green team has always taken pride in taking extra care of their bowling department. Pakistan is known for its top-quality bowling. 11 among the 20 men squad announced for the Test series have been bowlers.

So let’s increase the build-up of the England vs Pakistan Test series by looking into the Pakistani bowlers picked for this series.

Naseem Shah

The latest 17 years old sensation Naseem Shah has set a massive expectation over him with his brutal speed in the matches he played so far (especially with his new-ball spell against Australia). Moreover, the Peshawar born teenager will be a nightmare for any batsman when he mixes up the dreadful bouncers in his long spells. Keep your eyes peeled as he will be a great entertainer of this series.

Shaheen Shah Afridi

Shaheen Afridi is deadly dangerous with the extra nip he gets as a credit to his tall frame. Especially the way he gets the ball to nip inwards to the right-handers along with his steaming speed provides more wicket-taking options for Pakistan. So it is interesting to see how his exceptional talent is going to behave in the fast bowling favoured conditions except for the saliva factor.

Mohammad Abbas

Mohammad Abbas is a skilful seam bowler who is lethal with both the way swing. The perfect executor of the upright seam and wobbled seam that can bemuse the batsmen with the abnormal bounces. With his success at Lord’s Test during the last visit in the English soil, he will be a vibrant opponent for every England batsman.

Sohail Khan

Sohail Khan is an absolute speedster, whose specialty is the late swing that comes right when the ball gets to the bat. Fitness is a natural resource for this Pakistan bowler, which helps in bowling long spells effectively. As an adding point, his previous tour to England will make him a better user of the Dukes ball.

Usman Shinwari

‘Right into the blockhole’ is how Usman Shinwari bowls often. The exceptional left-arm fast bowler prefers to angle the ball away from right-handers and right into the lefties. Great seam positioning and stupendous release of the ball gives liberal movement to his deliveries. Undoubtedly a tough contender when the ball gets the support of wind.

Wahab Riaz

The most experienced bowler in this bowling line up. Wahab Riaz never missed contributing his best for the green team whenever Pakistan was placed in a big scene. Speaking of the skills Wahab’s effortless extraction of extra bounce from the pitch and the late swings along with the death-dealing speed makes him a nightmare for the batsmen.

Yasir Shah

The possessor of 10 wicket haul against England at Lord’s will still remain the hoodwinker for English batsmen. For the England batsmen, who never watch the hand of the spinner, but only reacts to the turn of the ball, this man with the magical wrist will be the biggest hurdle to pass through.

Faheem Ashraf

The fast bowling all-rounder never fails to impress with his bat. The player can add more bench strength for the side with his ability to perform in all three departments. In terms of bowling, he has got the upright release of the ball that could bring in sharp seam movement to bewilder the batters.

Imran Khan

With the legend’s name, this right arm fast bowler rages at a scary pace. This Pakistan bowler is even more dangerous with the nip of the seam when he gets to bowl the shorter ones. Exceptional when he angles the ball towards the batsmen.

Shadab Khan

A rare and courageous leg spinner who bowls more loopy deliveries. Other than that, the batsmen fall for the dip and swing Shadab can produce in the air. Like most other leg spinners, googly is a great weapon he can use to purchase wickets. Addedly he can also contribute effectively with the bat.

Kashif Bhatti

Kashif Bhatti, the left-arm spinner, is a bowling all-rounder known for his sharp turn in the spin-friendly pitches. Apart from the fact that English pitches might not help sharp turnings, his arm balls can pose a challenge in shorter formats when the batsmen are in need of run making.

The Wrap up

Out of 11 bowlers in the squad, 8 are fast bowlers, who are exponents in shorter formats. 

When it comes to Test cricket experience, the bowling names like Wahab Riaz, Sohail Khan, Mohammad Abbas, and Yasir Shah have obtained the exposure of English Test cricket.

The other bowlers have played Test cricket mostly in their home conditions, where spinners are used a lot for long spells. 

But England is different. It has to be the fast bowlers who need to step up with long spells to be productive. And this Test series will be a great test of their consistency and temperament in bowling. 

Apart from that and the saliva factor, the Pakistani bowlers will enjoy the conditions that are best suited for them. 

The cold climate won’t be bothering them in bowling long spells. The swing factor of the English conditions would also be the most favourable condition for a fast bowler. Since these terms and conditions are most beneficial for the Pakistan bowlers, it’s time to showcase their stupendous skill sets on the biggest stage of Test cricket. 

With this kind of unique bowling line up, Pakistan is definitely not going to be an easy competitor like West Indies for the host; this one will be real Test cricket. 

So the story goes up to the batting of the Pakistan team. They need to post decent totals on board to make their bowlers get into the action with even more urgency. Last time, the engine room of the team in green was strong enough to register the required numbers on board. 

Likewise, the Pakistani batters of the current squad must make the most of their contribution. Since the current English bowlers are the maestros of seam bowling in their home conditions, it is going to be a great battle between the bat and the ball for sure. 

With Babar Azam in the list of batters, it will be a treat for all the cricket fans to see him negotiating the English seamers in their den. 

If Pakistan bats well, they can be entirely ahead of England in this series. 

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