A confident Pakistan captain Misbah-ul-Haq said his side was ready to counter if England play two spinners in the second Test at Old Trafford staring from Friday.
Upbeat after a hard-fought 75-run win at Lord’s in the first Test at Lord’s to go 1-0 up in the four-match series, Pakistan retained the 12-man squad for the second Test although there were signs England could include both leggie Adil Rasheed and Moeen Ali.
“We will wait to see what sort of bowling attack England play and will then execute our plans. We don’t know what bowling attack they will put out but if they have two spinners we will have to play them in the same way as we did in UAE,” said Misbahon Friday.
Pakistan narrowly escaped defeat in the first Test at Abu Dhabi when Rasheed made his Test debut, going wicket-less in the first innings but fetched five in the second.
“Adil took five wickets against us in UAE so you have to respect them,” said Misbah who treated Ali in an attacking manner during his hundred at Lord’s.
“Mooen was bowling in the same way that he does to everybody but I back my ability to attack the spinner and it paid off in the first innings. I took my chances and it paid off,” said Misbah who was dismissed for nought — caught at long-on boundary off Ali in the second innings.
Misbvah said the best possible eleven will be selected, considering the conditions.
“Obviously there was a lot of debate about our seamers [all three being left-handed], but all England attack are right handers. So, it’s best to select the best bowlers.”
Misbah admitted an injury scare to leg-spinner Yasir Shah was initially concering.
“It was a concern but he is okay,” said Misbah of the left shoulder injury which scanned revealed was not serious. “Yesterday was a wakeup call for Yasir but he is ok and the scan was only precautionary.”
Yasir took a maiden ten wicket haul at Lord’s and is seen as trump card for Pakistan at Old Trafford.
Misbah denied Pakistan’s now viral press-up celebrations were not disrespectful.
“We know that England is a fine team. There is a big challenge for us in coming games. The celebrations were no disrespect to England team. They were simply to recognize and acknowledge those who have helped us [prepare for this rubber back home at Kakul].”
Misbah said Pakistan still needs to work hard.
“We have to work hard. It doesn’t matter which ground you play at. If the bowler is good he will have an effect. We need to bowl as a bowling unit – all four bowlers need to build pressure and get wickets.
“It’s all about how you apply yourself. Every game is a new game and different from the previous one. So you have to adjust to conditions but at the same time we have international quality players who can do that. We are playing in conditions where it is difficult to face the new ball. It is bound to happen that the top order will struggle.”
Misbah announced opener Mohammad Hafeez is ready for bowling action test.
“Hafeez is preparing himself to be tested and looking forward to that as that will give us a big advantage when the opposition have left handers in the batting line up. He needs time to get ready and understands the issues and what is needed.
“Unfortunately he got injured but now he is working on that.”
Hafeez, a reliable off-spinner, was suspended from bowling for 12 months after his action was reported for a second time in a year in July 2015.