Pakistan’s head coach and chief selector Misbah-ul-Haq has not ruled out the possibility of playing two spinners in the first Test against England which begins from Wednesday at Old Trafford.
“We have looked at the West Indies series and we have seen that at Manchester and Southampton conditions are different and we are seeing some dry conditions and help for spinners and reverse swing,” Misbah said during a media interaction on Monday.
Misbah also felt that the top order of both teams would play a decisive role in the series as bowling of both teams was top class.
“England’s batting has struggled in these conditions. It will be a match between how the top order of both teams perform. If you can cross 300 in the first innings your chances of winning are around 75 percent.”
Misbah said that not playing at Lord’s and Oval, the two happy hunting grounds for Pakistan on previous tours, would not really matter as the pitches and conditions in Manchester and Southampton could help the visitors.
He conceded that playing the right combination in the Test would be a decisive and important factor in the first match.
“I think I am pretty much satisfied with the preparations, we assembled after three months and started from zero. It has been a wonderful experience, we require such camps before a major series.
“This period was important for team bonding and preparations, creating match scenarios and good thing is the team is in good shape and looking forward to the series.”
Misbah also made it clear that he and batting coach, Younis Khan, expect Babar Azam to play a pivotal role in the series.
“We have high expectations from Babar and then Azhar (Ali) and Asad (Shafiq) as they are senior players and their contributions are very important.”
He said the series could be a ground-breaking one for Babar and other youngsters like Naseem Shah, Shaheen Shah Afridi etc.