Wahab Riaz says England middle order is fragile
Pakistani seamer Wahab Riaz has made claims that his team will be looking to exploit and take advantage of England’s ‘fragile’ middle order during the upcoming Test series held in England.
England are likely to promote Joe Root at No.3 with Gary Ballance and James Vince comprising the middle order. James Vince had a rather poor showing against Sri Lanka in his debut series, as he could not muster a single half-century. Ballance makes a comeback to the test team after he was dropped for last year’s Ashes series.
Wahab said: “We know that England is struggling with their middle order.” He added: “Joe Root is one of their best players and he has to take the responsibility, so that's why he is at No.3. But I think the other batting is fragile. If you get Cook and Root quickly, you can really put pressure on them, but you can't take things easy against them.”
The Pakistani left arm seamer looks all set to play against England after looking to have cemented his place in the national team, even though he bowled 10 no-balls against Sussex in Pakistan’s second game for practice. In his second spell though, he picked up two wickets after extracting reverse swing.
The English team are set to come up against a much more potent and dominating attack, as bowlers Wahab Riaz, Yasir Shah and the newly recalled Mohammad Amir look to make a deadly bowling line up, compared to the one that played against Sri Lanka. With newcomer Vince under significant pressure of not scoring a half century, he would really want to make a mark in Test cricket.
Ballance, who is making a comeback to Test cricket after a year since him being axed from the team to play in the Ashes, would also be looking to make a mark on the national team. Lower-middle order batsmen like the in-form Jonny Bairstow, Chris Woakes and Moeen Ali will all look to make some sort of a difference for their nation.
England host Pakistan as the first Test match of the series begins on July 14 at the Lord’s. The last time these two sides played a Test series, Pakistan came out on top as they won the series 2-0, after winning two matches and drawing one. The series was held in UAE, as Pakistan couldn’t host matches at home due to the security concerns that have plagued the country since the 2009 attack on Sri Lankan players.