Pakistan’s three-test series against England shot-off to a flying start on 13th October in Abu Dhabi. Cricket fans are looking forward to a replay of 2012, when Pakistan whitewashed the English side with a thrilling 3-0 victory, with England’s batsmen struggling against the slow, spin-friendly pitches. The hot, sultry weather and inexperience against spin became England’s undoing. The stage may be set for a replay.
Since 2010, Pakistan have remained unbeaten in the 7 series they have played in the UAE, and Misbah’s boys are confident of another victory to notch up on the board. All eyes are on Lionel Messi lookalike Yasir Shah, whose bowling action is very similar to his inspiration, Shane Warne. The team is hoping he recovers fast from a back spasm he suffered in training. Skipper Misbah says the exclusion of Yasir could be ‘a big blow’ to the team, as he is a key player.
Left arm spinner Zafar Gohar, who took a combined five wickets in the two warm-up matches, has been called as the cover. 48 wickets out of 60 fell to spinners in the last series in UAE, and they are again going to be the game-changers.
England’s captain Alastair Cook confirmed that he would be the opener, partnered by Moeen Ali, who, he says,’has an amazing ability to contribute’. This is the English skipper’s seventh partnership change since 2012. Moeen Ali usually bats at number six, but Cook is confident he will be better up the batting order. England won the Ashes against Australia this summer, and the captain thinks that if they can beat the ‘ roasting temperatures’, they have a chance to beat the greenshirts too.