Riaz claims Pakistan will test England


Pakistan fast bowler Wahab Riaz has claimed that Pakistan have the quality to test English batsmen when they touch down in England in July.

Sri Lanka are struggling in their current series in England but Wahab is confident Pakistan will perform better than their Asian compatriots – despite England being firm favourites in the cricket betting odds.

He said on pakpassion.net: “We have a good bowling line up with variety and there is a lot of potential to make the England batsmen work hard.

"But, the most important thing for our bowlers is to adjust to the bowling conditions in England and to get acclimatized as soon as possible. I believe the Pakistani bowlers will test the England batsmen.”

Pakistan will arrive a couple of weeks early to set up an acclimatization camp in Hampshire. England haven’t lost at home since 2014 and will prove tough to beat in conditions that are bound to test the adaptability of the Pakistani players.

Wahab added: “In home conditions, England are a very tough opponent. So, it's going to be a big challenge for us. We are going to have to play our top game to compete with England."

Wahab has isolated England skipper Alistair Cook as a key man: “Cook is a tremendous batsman, he's one of the greats. He's a dedicated and committed cricketer. His wicket will be vital for us, the earlier we get him out the better for us and that will surely create pressure on the other England batsmen.”

The Pakistan quick believes Stuart Broad and James Anderson will test the resolve of their batsmen, adding: “Broad and Anderson are bowlers who are lethal in favorable conditions, especially when overhead conditions are cloudy and they know exactly how to bowl in such conditions.

"Our batsmen need to have their wits about them and concentrate fully against two such high-caliber bowlers. I think it will be a very interesting battle between Broad and Anderson and the Pakistani batsmen."

The tepid capitulation of the Sri Lankan batting lineup in the first Test will serve as a warning to Pakistan but Wahab is hopeful that they will fare better than the Sri Lankans.

Wahab added: “I think it's vital that our batsmen prepare well ahead of the series. Our batsmen have the capability to put up some good scores on the board for the bowlers to work with.”

Pakistan will play four Tests, five ODIs and one T20I in their tour that gets underway in mid-July.