Let’s admit it straight away! Pakistan’s batting inspires no confidence at all ahead of their all important tour of England. In the recent past, the English seamers have literally dictated terms to the opposition with their accuracy and unparalleled use of swing bowling. The likes of Stuart Broad, James Anderson and Steven Finn even managed to upstage the mighty South Africans away from home. The recent annihilation of Sri Lanka is just an example of how rampaging the English pacers can be.
On the other hand, we have a side like Pakistan, who last toured England in 2010. Pakistan have barely played test cricket outside Asia and thanks to that, their rankings are pretty inflated. Against the vicious swing of James Anderson, it is improbable to imagine any Pakistani batsman offering resistance. Opener Shan Masood, who has impressed so far, opened up on the challenges to be faced in England.
“There’s no big opportunity like this, especially for openers, because we have 11 possible Test matches in the coming six-seven months, and if we have consistency we can make a name and that’s what I am looking forward to,” said Masood. I have focused on my weaknesses and have worked with coaches. I had nine months since the last Test series against England and I have no excuses now that I can’t do anything. I have to work on weaknesses and take along my strong points.”
Taking inspiration from the likes of Steve Smith, Kane Williamson and Virat Kohli, Masood added that being consistent mattered a lot. “I’ve got a good start and also gave one or two match-winning performances,” Masood said. “But real thing is that if you want to move forward in international cricket, you have to have consistency. If you look at young players around the world, among those some are even captains like Virat Kohli, Kane Williamson, Steven Smith and Joe Root they all have taken responsibility and have consistency.”
“Preparations are in front of everyone, from Pakistan Cup to this camp. In between we did an Army camp in Kakul, where lots of stress was laid on our physical fitness. Here in Lahore, barring weather, we are getting the conditions what we will have there in England. Pitches are being prepared to what we will be getting in England. Duke balls are also there, PCB has taken good initiative and the preparations are on right track,” the opener said, when quizzed about Pakistan’s preparations for the upcoming tour.