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Pakistan batsman Asad Shafiq has revealed that his side’s pace attack is superior to that of England’s and will play a pivotal role during the upcoming two-Test series, which begins on May 24 at Lord’s.
Shafiq specifically noted that Mohammad Amir and Hasan Ali have been in spectacular form as of late, and will no doubt be looking to maintain their momentum in England.
However, Shafiq admitted that Pakistan are also working on their batting and fielding in order to boost their chances of victory.
“We are working on our bowling, batting and fielding. We do possess the quality to win the series. Conditions in England are bowling friendly but as a batting unit we will try to give our bowlers enough space to get the hosts out,” he was quoted as saying by The Express Tribune. “Our fast-bowling has the capacity [to dismiss England twice]. Amir and Hasan are bowling well in the nets too.
“The condition in England will be favourable for bowlers. I think we have an edge over England as a fast-bowling unit. But as a batting unit we will have to follow up after our bowlers have done their job.”
The 32-year-old added that spinner Yasir Shah, who was ruled out of the series with a hip bone stress fracture, will be sorely missed.
“Yasir is not a conditions-assisted bowler. He can get any team out on any pitch. His absence will be felt. However, we definitely have quality spinners who can create a difference for Pakistan,” he said.
Meanwhile, Shafiq has also expressed his desire to be promoted up the batting order as he admitted it is tough to make big scores when coming in at No. 6.
“I’ve played most of my Test cricket at number six. Most of the times I don’t get to play in the second innings,” he said. “Also, after I come in and settle, I have to bat with the tail-enders and the team gets out. Chances of scoring big are comparatively higher on the first four batting positions.”
With Pakistan captain Sarfraz Ahmed revealing that Azhar Ali is likely to open the batting, Shafiq is optimistic that it will provide him with an opportunity to be shifted into the top four.
“There is a strong possibility that I will play up in the batting order in England this time,” he said. “This is for the management and the captain to decide, however. But my main goal is only to improve day by day and not a certain number of runs.”