Saturday January 28, 2023

England should take 'even more risks' in Multan Test: Ben Stokes

England skipper Ben Stokes predicts delayed start and early closure of play in second Test against Pakistan due to morning fog and bad light in Multan

December 08, 2022
England captain Ben Stokes addresses a press conference at the Rawalpindi Cricket Stadium on December 5, 2022. — Twitter/@TheRealPCB
England captain Ben Stokes addresses a press conference at the Rawalpindi Cricket Stadium on December 5, 2022. — Twitter/@TheRealPCB

England Test skipper Ben Stokes believes that his side should take "even more risks" in the second Test against Pakistan in Multan to achieve a favourable result while keeping the likelihood of lesser overs game due to fog and bad light.

Citing the delayed start and early closure of play in the second match due to fog in the morning and bad light in the evening, Stokes said that there is a possibility that only 300-350 overs are bowled in the second Test, which starts December 9.

The visitors took a bold decision to declare their second innings in the Rawalpindi Test to turn the game in their favour as the match was heading for a draw due to flat pitch.

The England skipper also shared changes in the playing XI and said that pacer Mark Wood is fit to play the next game but they still aren't sure about Ben Foakes' inclusion.

The English captain added that having a fast bowler like Mark Wood, who can clock at 150+ kph, is always a bonus.

England's thumping victory in the Rawalpindi Test

The English team pulled off a stunning 74-run victory over Pakistan in the first Test on Monday, claiming the final wicket in rapidly fading light to take a 1-0 lead in the three-match series.

The visitors amassed 657 in their first innings and declared their second on 264-7, setting Pakistan an improbable victory target of 343 on a docile track in Rawalpindi.

Pakistan fought gamely and reached 268 before being dismissed in an absorbing final session, Saud Shakeel top-scoring for the hosts with 76.

Stokes, at the presentation ceremony after the game, said that "It's a great place to be, and I think it's up there with one of England's greatest away Test match wins."

"Jimmy Anderson said he was feeling very emotional trying to keep himself together.

The second Test will be played in Multan from December 9 to December 13 and the third Test will be played in Karachi from December 17 to December 21.

Haris Rauf ruled out

Moreover, fast-bowler Mohammad Abbas is likely to replace pacer Haris Rauf in the Test series against England after he was ruled for the remainder of the matches following a grade-II strain in the right quad.

The right-arm pacer suffered an injury after he rolled over the ball while fielding on the first day of the match on Thursday. He then underwent Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) at the hospital on Friday.

The pacer's unavailability will add to Pakistan's woes in the remaining two matches as star bowler Shaheen Shah Afridi was already ruled out of the series due to fitness issues, leaving the bowling attack vulnerable.