*LONDON: England skipper Joe Root reckoned Pakistan as a strong side who has world class players who could exploit English conditions in the first of two Tests starting at Lord’s on Thursday.*
Root is in second year of his captaincy and has to overcome a tough loss in the Ashes coupled with a 1-0 defeat in New Zealand on their tour of the Tasman.
“I think they are good side,” said Root in his pre-match comments on Wednesday. “There have been quite a lot of changes from the last tour. It looks like the attack they might go with is to try to exploit English conditions. They are very skillful and they have some world-class players.
“We’ve seen quite a lot of Azhar Ali, Asad Shafiq, Sarfraz, and Babar. In the middle-order, there are some really good players. Amir, we’ve come across him in the recent past along with some of their other seamers. We’re expecting a really strong side to play against.”
Root praised new Pakistan leggie Shadab Khan, who replaced a more mature and experienced Yasir Shah ruled out of the tour with a hip injury.
“Yasir had a great tour last time and posed a lot of issues,” said Root of Yasir who took ten wickets in Pakistan’s win at Lord’s in 2016.
“I faced Shadab last summer in the Champions Trophy, he’s had a great couple of years for Pakistan and he’s a good bowler, good skills, googly, brings the stumps in, you have to make sure you do your research, the best idea how they will try to break you down and adjust well. That’s different for every player.”