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Pakistan England series: The good & bad

Nigah Muhammad

The writer is a reporter and journalist.

International cricket is once again back on track after months of coronavirus-enforced lockdown. Yesterday, the host England beat West Indies dominantly and claimed the first Test match series, since the coronavirus restrictions. England will almost immediately go into another three-match Test series against Pakistan.
We have now witnessed the strengths and a little weaknesses of the current England cricket team. Now, it’s time to point out the strengths and weaknesses of the Pakistan cricket team. Pakistan has always faced troubles in England’s circumstances. But thanks to the coronavirus policy, Pakistan had reached England on June 29 and had started practicing for the series.
Pakistan had played two intra-squad practice matches in England and should have now acclimatized to the English conditions and the weather. Apparently, this practice session was a great exercise and benefit for the Pakistan cricket team.
On the other hand, it should now be easy for the think tank to pick the right batsman and bowler for the first Test. The think tank should easily speculate which combination of bowlers and batsmen will be useful and which players have adjusted with the conditions. It is a plus point.
Another biggest strength and advantage of the cricket team would be its well-experienced coaching staff. Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) had made a wonderful decision to send Younis Khan as batting coach and Mushtaq Ahmed as the spin bowling coach. Whenever the players will face any difficulties the coaching staff will be there.
Pakistan’s middle border is also one of the strengths, which can help the team to get huge scores on board. Azhar Ali, Babar Azam, and Asad Shafiq are the experienced and well-set batsmen. All of these batsmen have to perform if they want to subdue England.
The young bowling side of Pakistan, which the whole world praises, will be the biggest strength of their team. Shaheen Shah Afridi, the young-gun Naseem Shah, Muhammad Abbas, and the in-form Sohail Khan could benefit Pakistan.
If we talk about the weaknesses, the first thing that came into our mind is the inexperience. Our opening stand is the biggest weakness and inexperience. If Pakistan wants a big score, the opening batsmen should have to perform. Otherwise, the pressure will build on the middle order and it will also collapse. The England pace attack is one of the greatest in the world currently, which can create more pressure on the opening batsmen.
The second weakness is that Pakistan’s lack of depth in the spin department. One of the Test matches will be held at Old Trafford. The condition of that pitch is a little bit different and the role of the spinners there will be crucial. And Pakistan has only one serious option, which is Yasir Shah.
Separately, Pakistan has a long time off from competitive cricket because of the coronavirus restrictions. This will be a major effect on the Pakistan cricket team. And if Pakistan fails to win the first match, the chances of winning the series will decrease.
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