Saqlain Mushtaq to help England counter Yasir Shah

Saqlain Mushtaq to help England counter Yasir Shah

Saqlain Mushtaq
SAQLAIN MUSHTAQ. (Photo by David Munden/Popperfoto/Getty Images)

After losing the first test at Lord’s, England are not willing to an inch to Pakistan in the next Test at Old Trafford. After bolstering their line-up by calling back James Anderson, Ben Stokes and Adil Rashid, they have now called on the inventor of ‘doosra’ and former off-spinner Saqlain Mushtaq to help them cope with leggie Yasir Shah.

Yasir was the most successful bowler for Pakistan during the first Test where he accounted for 10 English batsmen and bagged the man-of-the-match award. He also broke a number of records during his feat. Meanwhile, Saqlain’s short stint with England will also include helping off-spinner Moeen Ali and leggie Adil Rashid tactically and morally.

According to a report published in The Telegraph, Moeen is facing the biggest threat to his place in the England side after he told the media, “I just feel like I can’t bowl at him sometimes,” when asked about Pakistan captain Misbah-ul-Haq.

Saqlain will be with England till the end of the second Test and a successful stint can earn him a contract for winter tours against Bangladesh and India.

Earlier, Moeen was helped by Pakistan off-spinner Saeed Ajmal at Worcestershire to learn the art of bowling a doosra, a delivery which turns away from a right-hand batsman with an off-spin action.

Moeen tried a few doosras in Test matches but it is very difficult to deliver it without bending the arm past the allowed limit and the 29-year-old was aware of the International Cricket Council’s crackdown against illegal actions.

“It is unfair for everyone to judge Moeen as a spinner. He has played all of his life as batsman bowling part-time off-spin. He is doing a very good job but you can’t rely on him to take five or six wickets on turning pitches against good sides because he does not have that mindset. It is too much to expect him to do a job like Yasir, Australian leggie Shane Warne had said during the Lord’s Test. ”

Meanwhile, England coach has accepted the possibility of playing two spinners.

“I’ve always thought of playing two spinners [at home], at some stage,” he said. [Pakistan] have three left-arm pace bowlers, who created rough outside the off stump for Moeen,” the Australian added. “So looking ahead, if we did happen to have two spinners, they could both play an important part for us.”