After winning a fairly close contested match against Ireland, Pakistan are all set for the real test to play two-match Test series against England. Ireland played its maiden Test match against Pakistan and it was expected that seasoned Test playing nation will smoothly bag the one-match Test series. But it was not the case as while chasing target of 160 Pakistan were left at 14/3 at one point when debutant Imam ul Haq and youngster Babar Azam came for the rescue and played match winning innings.
Though Pakistan won the series against Ireland, but certainly promising opponent were successful to expose few weaknesses of team Pakistan. In match against Ireland Pakistani players dropped number of catches, experienced player and opener Azhar Ali remained awfully out of form and failed in both the innings and fast bowler Rahat Ali seemed having less practice to come and play red ball cricket.
After Ireland match Pakistan had over a week time to overcome the weaknesses and be ready to face one of the toughest Test teams in world cricket. Cricket fans around the world know that it is very hard to beat England in their own backyard. Pakistan too must be aware that they have to grab all the possible chances while fielding and not to give chances to established English players. Fielding in slip cordon is a worrying sigh as few crucial catches were dropped there against Ireland.
Two years before Pakistani team lead by veteran batsman Misbah ul Haq leveled the series in England, but this time, team will play without him and experienced batsman Younis Khan as both have retired from international cricket. It is indeed a great opportunity for the upcoming players to perform, shine and fulfill the vacuum created by retirement of two veteran batsmen. Azhar Ali and Asad shafique being two most experienced batsmen, in comparatively a young team, have to take responsibility to make bulk of the runs.
Bowling department is also young, but bowlers seem in good form to pose challenge to experienced England team. Shadab Khan in absence of quality leg spinner Yasir Shah did well in Ireland, and it is expected that he will perform well with the ball and while batting too. Muhammad Amir took five wickets in the last match and seemed to be in form and to lead the bowling attack along with very promising Muhammad Abbas, Faheem Asfhraf and Hassan Ali if he replaces Rahat Ali.
We hope that young Pakistani team will perform as per best of their skills and abilities to win the two-match Test series against England.