Pakistan win toss, ask England to bat in third test
BIRMINGHAM (92 News) – Pakistan captain Misbah-ul-Haq won the toss and asked England to bat first in overcast conditions in the third test in Birmingham on Wednesday.
The four-match series is level at 1-1. England made one change to their team with fast bowler Steven Finn replacing injured all-rounder Ben Stokes.
Pakistan brought in opening batsman Sami Aslam and fast bowler Sohail Khan in place of Shan Masood and Wahab Riaz.
England leveled the four-match series at 1-1 with a crushing 330-run win in the second Test at Old Trafford – a margin of victory that was testimony to the tourists’ batting woes. It was all a far cry from Pakistan’s 75-run win in the first Test at Lord’s, which featured an inspiring century from captain Misbah-ul-Haq.
England have recalled fast bowler Steven Finn. He is set to replace the injured Ben Stokes. Pakistan’s struggling opener Shan Masood appears set to miss out, with the team either including novice specialist opener Sami Aslam, a 20-year-old who has played just two Tests, at the top of the order or promoting number three Azhar Ali.
“We need to really improve,” said Misbah. “After getting starts — 20s, 30s and 40s — we really need to go big,” the middle-order stalwart added.
Pakistan leg-spinner Yasir Shah took 10 wickets at Lord’s but only managed one at Old Trafford. But while his place looks assured, Pakistan could bring in right-armer Sohail Khan for Wahab Riaz in a bid to add variety to what has been the tourists’ all left-arm pace attack so far this series.
England: Alastair Cook (captain), Alex Hales, Joe Root, James Vince, Gary Ballance, Jonny Bairstow (wicketkeeper), Moeen Ali, Chris Woakes, Stuart Broad, Steven Finn, James Anderson
Pakistan: Mohammad Hafeez, Sami Aslam, Azhar Ali, Younus Khan, Misbah-ul-Haq (captain), Asad Shafiq, Sarfraz Ahmed (wicketkeeper), Yasir Shah, Mohammad Amir, Sohail Khan, Rahat Ali