England cricket team are scheduled to play three-match Test series against hosts Pakistan. The first Test between the two teams will start from December 01, Thursday. It will be the first Test match for England who are the newly crowned world champions in T20Is. For both nations, the series is an opportunity to strengthen their position in a bid to qualify for the World Test Championship(WTC) final.

However, Pakistan have suffered a big blow to their preparations as superstar bowler, Shaheen Shah Afridi is out of the series due to injury. England head coach Brendon McCullum appeared in a press conference ahead of the first Test at Rawalpindi Cricket Stadium. He was asked “You know Shaheen is out due to injury, so how do you rate the Pakistani bowling attack in this Test series?”

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“Yeah, it’s obviously a big loss. Shaheen Shah Afridi, I know pretty well, I have played many years in the PSL with Shaheen as well. He is a wonderful bowler and he has turned into a fine leader as well amongst Pakistani cricket. So he’s a big loss, no doubt,” said McCullum.

“But one thing when you play against Pakistan and you look at their team sheet and you see talent. And you see, some of it may be not necessarily developed talent as such but it’s talent and you need to respect that and you need to find a way to be able to be well researched, well planned about what’s gonna come at you. But also find out a way that there is an opportunity there to put that talent under pressure and see how it responds. So look, it’s a very good Pakistan squad, it’s well-rounded, it’s got some experience and some youth with both batting and bowling and they’ll be a tough challenge. We know we’ll have to play well if we’re going to be successful. I guess that’s all in front of us,” he added.

The upcoming Test Series against Pakistan is England’s last series which will be counted for selection to the WTC final. Ben Stokes led England are currently placed seventh on the qualification table for the WTC 2021 – 2023.



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