Pakistan win toss, elect to bat against England

By: News Desk      Published: 02:45 PM, 5 Aug, 2020
Pakistan win toss, elect to bat against England

Pakistan won the toss and decided to bat first in the opening Test match against England in Manchester on Wednesday.

Speaking after winning the toss and deciding to bat, Pakistan captain Azhar Ali said: "We can't control the weather but we are clear in our heads. We are going with two spinners and three seamers, with Shadab as an all-rounder. If you come to England you want to bowl fuller and make the batsmen play. We have bowlers who can hit the seam. We are thankful to ECB for the facilities they have given us and we are ready to go.

"You can't replace Test match cricket with practice games, but we have prepared well and are looking forward to the contest. We love playing in England and we are missing the crowd, we get a lot of support here, but hopefully we can entertain them at home."

England captain Joe Root said: "We've tried to make the most of the practice days, we've come in unchanged, we'd probably have batted first. Ben is not quite 100% fit and it's too big a risk, but his runs have been invaluable and he's a huge part of the dressing room."

"The guys have got to stand up and perform. We're aware of it [first Test record]. We'll do everything we can to get ahead in the series."

England 1 Dom Sibley, 2 Rory Burns, 3 Joe Root (capt), 4 Ben Stokes, 5 Ollie Pope, 6 Jos Buttler (wk), 7 Chris Woakes, 8 Dom Bess, 9 Stuart Broad, 10 Jofra Archer, 11 James Anderson

Pakistan 1 Shan Masood, 2 Abid Ali, 3 Azhar Ali (capt), 4 Babar Azam, 5 Asad Shafiq, 6 Shadab Khan, 7 Mohammad Rizwan (wk), 8 Yasir Shah, 9 Shaheen Afridi, 10 Mohammad Abbas, 11 Naseem Shah

Front-foot no-ball technology

Front-foot no-ball technology that will see the TV umpire alone deciding whether a bowler has over-stepped will be used for the first time on a trial basis in Test cricket during the England-Pakistan series starting Wednesday, the International Cricket Council has said.

Currently, the responsibility for calling no-balls lies with the on-field umpires.

They can, however, call on their colleague in the replay booth for assistance if they feel a wicket may have been taken with an illegal delivery.

But many observers have argued this procedure is unfair to bowlers given that, with on-field officials encouraged to concentrate on the batsman's end, they may not realise they are over-stepping and rectify their delivery stride until it costs them a wicket.

Under the new system, however, the TV umpire will monitor the front foot after each ball and tell his on-field colleagues if an illegal delivery has been bowled.

"Front foot no ball technology to be used in ICC World Test Championship series featuring England and Pakistan, with the support of both teams," the global governing body tweeted Wednesday.

"Performance of the technology in these Tests will be reviewed before any decisions taken on its future use in Test cricket."

The new procedure should also avoid the kind of situation umpire Richard Illingworth, one of the standing officials in the first Test between England and Pakistan at Manchester's Old Trafford, found himself in 2016 when he incorrectly called New Zealand's Doug Bracewell for a no-ball that had bowled Australia's Adam Voges during a Test in Wellington.

There was no way of rectifying Illingworth's mistake and Voges, who was on seven at the time, went on to score a double century that was central to an Australia victory.

The ICC have already trialled the technology during the women's Twenty20 World Cup in Australia earlier this year and it has also been used in men's 50-over international matches.

But the ICC now want to see what benefits it brings to cricket's longest format before deciding whether it becomes a permanent feature across all of the international game.

England face Pakistan in a three-Test series taking place behind closed doors because of the coronavirus.

The second and third matches will both be staged at Southampton.