Pakistan captain Azhar Ali believes that his team can defeat England in their own backyard in the upcoming three-match Test series if the batting unit clicks to post 300-plus totals.
The first Test begins at Lord’s on July 30, and the team leaves for the tour on Sunday with 20 players and 11 support staff, even as six out of the 10 coronavirus-infected cricketers returned negative when they were tested the second time.
“I think that if our batting can put together totals around 300 or more we have the potential to beat England. On recent tours we have made strong comebacks and done well there,” Ali said at a media interaction a day before the team’s departure on a chartered flight to the UK.
Ali, a veteran of 78 Tests and 53 ODIs, dismissed concerns about the team’s young pace attack.
“I believe we have a pace-cum-spin attack which can give England a run for their money. Youngsters like Shaheen Shah Afridi, Naseem Shah or Muhammad Hasnain have immense potential to succeed in English conditions while we have plenty of experience as well in our bowling,” he added.
The 35-year-old Ali said he did not believe that his bowlers would face problems in England due to the new ICC Standard Operating Procedures for bowlers because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I don’t think not being able to use saliva to shine the ball is a big problem. Pace bowlers usually sweat a lot and plus the Duke ball has a lot of wax coating so the shine remains for a long time and it can be polished with sweat.
“Bowlers get natural movement with the Duke ball in English conditions and not being able to use saliva means our bowlers can also try to reverse swing it more,” he said.