LAHORE: Pakistan opening batsman Shan Masood has said England must not be taken lightly even though they were beaten by the West Indies in the first Test of their current series.
Talking to media through a video-conference, Shan said: “We should not undermine the opposition. It is the same team that beat South Africa recently. We have to prepare ourselves keeping in mind their strengths and weaknesses,” he added.
“We learn by watching others play. England have several players in reserve who have not played yet. We have not seen them. Their captain also did not play. They have great resources,” said the left-handed opener, who has scored three centuries in 20 Tests.
He said Pakistan also had resources to respond to England’s strengths such as bowlers like Yasir Shah and Shadab Khan. He said that the team is now in its second phase of training. “In the first phase, we were training under quarantine. We played scenario-based matches. And having a big squad was also of great advantage in training. So it’s a good start to the tour,” he said.
On the importance of the tour, Shan said: “We should not pre-determine things. We cannot do anything about the conditions. They are beyond our control. The thing is how I prepare myself for the challenge and play with the team, play for the team and play with full responsibility.”
Shan said that presence of Younis Khan as the batting coach made a big difference. “He is removing even our minor flaws and even making the bowlers work on their batting. When he used to play, we learnt a lot from him and now he is in as a coach. We have another three weeks to learn from them (head coach Misbah-ul-Haq and Younis),” he said.
“We have played intra-squad matches. When you play warm-up matches, young players or bench strength is given opportunity but in intra-squad matches, you face international-level cricketers which increase competitiveness as compared to warm up matches,” said Shan.
Talking about England’s bowling attack, he said: “Jofra (Archer) is not the only bowler. England have several other bowlers who can win a match for them. “James Anderson is a world class bowler. As openers we have to see off the new ball and give a good start.”