England’s top order has been quite fragile for a while: Azhar Ali


Azhar Ali has acknowledged he's banking on his young pacers - Naseem Shah and Shaheen Afridi - to challenge the "still settling" England batting line-up. Pakistan have done fairly well in England in the last four years - winning the series in 2016 and drawing the one in 2018. 

"Their top order has been quite fragile for a while since Alastair Cook retired. They've tried a few combinations and only now it's just settling down; they weren't very confident of their top order. Their Test team is in the process of settling down still," he said on Saturday (June 27). "In our team, the way that our fast bowlers have improved (is commendable) ... how Shaheen has bowled, any team will look up to him. Naseem Shah has bowled with great pace. Abbas's experience... we have youngsters too who have done well, so we have bowling options. But these three, in particular, can cause any batting line-up trouble." 

Pakistan's biggest threat, though, is going to be facing Jofra Archer. "England has a great bowling line-up no doubt, and in their conditions, they perform very well. But if you take out Jofra Archer from that attack, it's the same attack that we have faced in the past and won Tests there. Stuart Broad, James Anderson, Woakes, Stokes and even Wood was there then. We won facing them then," he pointed out, stressing the batting line-up is capable of handling the pressure.