Image courtesy of: Zimbio
Pakistan dominated England in the first Test at Lord’s, but captain Sarfraz Ahmed has warned England that his side are capable of putting up a better performance in the second Test at Headingley.
Pakistan cruised to a nine-wicket win at Lord’s as they completely outplayed England. Should they win the second Test or if it ends as a draw, Pakistan will secure their first Test series win over England since 1996.
With that in mind, Sarfraz has called on his team to be at their very best when the second Test begins on Friday.
“We need to keep improving all the time,” he was quoted as saying by Sport360. “As well as we played at Lord’s, we can still play better than that.
“We made four 50s at Lord’s – and if one of them had gone on to the big hundred that would’ve been even better. (Same with the bowlers) if they take three or four wickets, make it five or six.
“If we do win this, it will be a series we’ll never forget. The last time we won a series in England was in 1996, when Wasim and Waqar were around, and we drew at Leeds then.
“We have to forget Lord’s and move on to this now. If we want to move ahead as a team we have to forget our wins.
“We did well, we enjoyed it for two days, but now we’re here. If we are to move up in the rankings we need to forget our wins and keep moving on.”
Meanwhile, Pakistan have selected uncapped batsman Usman Salahuddin to replace Babar Azam, who fractured his forearm after being struck by a delivery from Ben Stokes in the first Test. Azam has since returned to Pakistan to begin the recovery process, which is expected to take four to six weeks.
There was speculation that Fakhar Zaman, who has become a regular face in Pakistan’s limited overs squads, would take Azam’s spot in the playing XI, but Sarfraz opted to go for Salahuddin.
When asked if it was a tight call between the two, Sarfraz said: “It wasn’t close … we’ve seen Usman as a better option. Usman has been with us for the last three tours. He’s worked very hard and he’s been doing well.
“He played well in the two-day game against Leicestershire. That’s why we recommended him, and that’s why he’s playing tomorrow.”