Pakistan skipper Misbah-ul-Haq heaped praise on Alastair Cook and Joe Root for handling Yasir Shah well in the  second Test at Old Trafford, which England won by a massive 330 runs. At the same time, Misbah admitted that their players were below par.

The leg-spinner wreaked havoc on the English batsmen in the first Test at Lord’s to help Pakistan defeat England by 75 runs. Shah took 10 wickets in the match and was adjudged the man of the match for his performance. However, he failed to replicate that form in the second Test and could take only 1 wicket in the match.

“Cricket could just turn around like that. Full credit to England, they won a good toss. We were below average and need to improve in every department. We could not really build the pressure and we let them score a massive total in the first innings,” he said.

“When he (Yasir Shah) used to bowl on the second and the third day, their seamers created rough and he could utilise that. Credit to Root and Cook for the way they played him. They were good in attack and defence. It’s totally a different ball game when there are runs on the board, it creates pressure on the opposition against a world class spinner,” Misbah said.

English captain Alastair Cook to heaped praise on Root for his monumental innings of 254 in the first innings.

“Joe’s was an extraordinary innings but everyone batted well. It’s about the individual how they want to play it,” he said. “Yasir got a lot of LBW’s and bowled at Lord’s so we wanted to play him straighter. It’s logical to get your best batsman to bat at three. That’s as good an innings as I have seen.”

England’s victory turned sour when their star all-rounder Ben Stokes, who was making a comeback in this match, had to leave the field after suffering a calf injury.

The four-match Test series is now locked at 1-1. The third match of the series will be played from August 3 at Edgbaston.

    An avid sports lover, i always wanted to pursue a career in football. But just like the millions out there i did not put in the hard work needed to achieve my dream and now i have become a fan instead of the player. Anyway, writing for sports has kept me closer to this field. One more thing, yours sincerely is a die-hard Liverpool fan. You will never walk alone.

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