IND vs ENG 3rd Test: Shoaib Akhtar’s fan, Saqib Mahmood set to be included in England Playing XI at Headingley

IND vs ENG 3rd Test: Shoaib Akhtar’s fan Saqid Mahmood targetting place in England Playing XI, says ‘dream to play test cricket'
IND vs ENG 3rd Test: Shoaib Akhtar’s fan Saqid Mahmood targetting place in England Playing XI, says ‘dream to play test cricket'

IND vs ENG 3rd Test- Saqib Mahmood England Playing XI: Virat Kohli’s Indian team is likely to encounter pace of Saqib Mahmood in 3rd test at Headingley. Mahmood is set to make his Test debut for England in the upcoming test starting August 25 after pacer Mark Wood was ruled out due to a shoulder injury. Saqib was rewarded for his impressive performances in the ODI squad when England named him in the 15-man squad. The 24-year-old Mahmood, who grew up idolising Shoaib Akhtar, has set his intentions clear. He will be looking to work on generating extra pace at Leeds.

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IND vs ENG 3rd Test: Shoaib Akhtar’s fan Saqib Mahmood targetting place in England Playing XI, says ‘dream to play test cricket’

IND vs ENG 3rd Test- Saqib Mahmood England Playing XI: The right-arm quick is familiar with the England set-up, having toured as a reserve during England’s winter Test programs in Sri Lanka and India. In addition, he was part of the extended squads during last summer behind closed doors Test series against West Indies and Pakistan and was called up as a backup in the build-up to the first Test at Lord’s.

‘I am trying to look for that extra bit of pace actually. At this level it’s only adding a couple of additional miles per hour. I bowl 87-88 consistently but the magic number is 90 so if my stock ball was 90mph and my quicker ball was 93 or 94 it could make the world of difference,’ he told Dailymail.

‘A Test cap would mean so much more than anything else. For me, it’s still the pinnacle and if I had to play just one format for England it would be Test cricket. It’s five days of real graft, It would be real dream come true’ he added.

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England Playing XI- Saqib Mahmood: Mahmood is often compared to Pakistan legend Waqar Younis for his pace and reverse-swing and yorkers. As per Cricviz, Mamhood’s average speed in ODIs (86.02 mph) is the fourth highest for England after Jofra Archer, Mark Wood, and Andrew Flintoff.

The youngster has so far represented England in 7 ODIs and 9 T20Is picking up 14 and 7 wickets respectively. He became ‘Player of the Series’ after claiming 9 wickets during England’s 3-0 win against Pakistan in the recently concluded ODI series. Besides this, Mahmood has an impressive List A and First-Class record at Lancashire with 129 wickets in 56 appearances.

Mahmood is big fan of Shoaib Akhtar.

‘I was always a lover of fast bowling and he was the quickest around when I was a kid so whenever he was playing I’d sit in front of the telly, am his big fan’ said Mahmood of Pakistan’s Shoaib Akhtar.

Saqib Mahmood could replace all-rounder Sam Curran who managed just one wicket and 59 runs in the first couple of matches.

England Playing XI- Dawid Malan: Meanwhile, Dawid Malan has been named as a replacement for out-of-form Dominic Sibley. He is likely to make it to the playing XI while Haseeb Hameed is expected to get another go at Headingley.

England Likey playing XI, 3rd Test at Headingley

Rory Burns, Dawid Malan, Haseeb Hameed, Joe Root (c), Jonny Bairstow, Jos Buttler (wk), Moeen Ali, Sam Curran/ Saqib Mahmood, Ollie Robinson, Mark Wood, James Anderson

England Men’s Third Test Squad:

Joe Root Captain, Moeen Ali, James Anderson, Jonathan Bairstow, Rory Burns, Jos Buttler, Sam Curran, Haseeb Hameed, Dan Lawrence, Saqib Mahmood, Dawid Malan, Craig Overton, Ollie Pope, Ollie Robinson, and Mark Wood.

Also Read: IND vs ENG Leeds weather prediction: Dry conditions predicted for 3rd Test – Follow Live updates

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