Pakistan and England to make major changes in their squads ahead of the Leeds Test

Pakistan and England to make major changes in their squads ahead of the Leeds Test

Babar Azam of Pakistan and Mark Stoneman of England will not be playing the Leeds Test.

Babar Azam
Babar Azam of Pakistan bats. (Photo by Gareth Copley/Getty Images)

The first Test at the regal Lord’s showcased some fine cricket on the part of Pakistan while England were decimated rather unceremoniously. With the second and the last Test scheduled to start in a couple of days time, both sides are expected to make one significant change each to their Playing XI.

Babar Azam, who suffered a blow on the wrists in the first innings of the Lord’s Test off Ben Stokes’s bowling, has been ruled out of the series. England, on the other hand, have chosen to bench opener Mark Stoneman following his lacklustre outings in both innings of the first game of the short series. Pakistan had registered a thrilling 9-wicket victory at Lord’s to g0 1-0 up.

Pakistan likely to give chance to debutant, England to include Lancashire opener

According to a tweet by sports anchor and presenter of the Pakistan Super League (PSL), Zainab Abbas, 27-year-old Usman Salahuddin is expected to replace injured Babar Azam in the Pakistan squad. If he plays in the Leeds Test, it’ll mark the international debut for the young right-handed batsman. Salahuddin will have big shoes to fill, considering Azam played a crucial knock worth 68 runs in Pakistan’s first innings at Lord’s before being retired hurt.

Here is Zainab Abbas’ tweet:

England, on the other hand, have their own share of woes to battle. In spite of having the home advantage, the Joe Root-led side was found in shambles with the bat in both innings. Although there were some gritty knocks from Alastair Cook, Jos Buttler, Stokes and debutante Dominic Bess, the English batting unit lacked cohesion in front of the blazing Pakistan pacers. As reported by BBC Sport, Lancashire opener Keaton Jennings will replace opener Stoneman ahead of the Test at Headingley.

Stoneman was disappointing with his efforts in the first Test as he could accrue only 13 runs in two innings at Lord’s. Speaking about the replacement, national selector for England Ed Smith said, “Keaton Jennings showed a strong temperament in scoring a hundred on his Test match debut against India in December 2016. Keaton has found good form in county cricket this season, including three centuries in his past seven innings. Mark Stoneman misses out at Headingley. Mark has experienced a disappointing start to the 2018 season and had a difficult Test match at Lord’s.”