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Former Pakistan captain Misbah-ul-Haq is not ruling out the chance of the national team causing a major upset in the two-Test series against England, which gets underway on Thursday at Lord’s.
Pakistan have been labelled the underdogs due to their inexperienced squad, but Misbah pointed out that it would be unwise for England to underestimate the tourists.
“The Pakistan team has potential but it’s a young team and it’s not going to be an easy series for Pakistan in the conditions they will encounter in the early stages of the season in England,” he told Sky Sports. “The home team has a very good bowling attack and most importantly it’s an experienced bowling unit against a very inexperienced batting line-up.
“It’s a huge challenge for Pakistan but I still believe in them as they have potential and have some very good young players.”
While Misbah believes that all of Pakistan’s batsmen have to step up and make their presence felt, he singled out Haris Sohail as the man that he expects will score a lot of runs.
“It has to be looked at as a big opportunity for all of the Pakistani batsmen,” he said. “If you can score runs in Test cricket in England at this stage of the season then you can show that you not only have the potential, but you also have the ability to succeed in the tough world of Test cricket.
“I’m looking to Haris Sohail especially as I believe he has the technique to do well in England and the way he plays he has all the skills to become a very good Test player.
“He has a very good technique against pace bowling and he leaves the ball well which is vital in England. I think he can become one of the main performers in the Pakistan Test team in the short term and also in the future.”
The 43-year-old also admitted that Pakistan have taken a massive risk by including so many inexperienced players in their squad for the Test series against England.
“It is, but it is one of those situations where a couple of your senior players are no longer around, so you have no option other than to give the youngsters their opportunity to shine,” he said. “It stands to reason that if there are no experienced players around, then you have to throw in the younger players at the deep end and see how they do.
“You have to go this way, it’s the only way when you don’t have the luxury of having experienced players in the side. It’s more difficult to do this in Test cricket but it’s a great chance for the younger players to step up and show what they are capable of and it could be the making of some of these players.”