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England openers looked like sitting ducks against Shaheen, Abbas: Lloyd

Afridi trapped Burns (4) leg before wicket, before Abbas did likewise to Sibley (8)

PHOTO: Reuters

Former England cricketer David Lloyd believes openers, Rory Burns and Dom Sibley, don’t have the batting technique to counter Pakistan’s pace duo of Mohammad Abbas and Shaheen Shah Afridi.

Afridi trapped Burns (4) leg before wicket, before Abbas did likewise to Sibley (8) during the day two of the ongoing Manchester Test between England and Pakistan.

“England’s openers couldn’t cope with Pakistan’s new-ball attack of Shaheen Afridi and Mohammad Abbas. Both Rory Burns and Dom Sibley looked like sitting ducks – and both were lbw because of technical flaws. Burns’s front pad moves too far to the off side, and Sibley has such an open stance that if Abbas, who gets so tight to the stumps, hits him on the pads, he’s out,” Lloyd wrote in his column for The Daily Mail.

Lloyd was full of praise for Pakistan opener Shan Masood, who scored a third century in as many innings and batted for 319 deliveries to anchor the Pakistan innings before he was trapped leg before wicket by Stuart Broad for 156.

“Shan Masood has shown how a batsman’s game can develop. When he toured England in 2016, he was a walking wicket. He had no idea where his off stump was, and kept nicking off. But he’s worked on what to play at, and what to leave, and his defence now looks immaculate,” he said.

“Conditions haven’t been easy for batting: the lights have been on, and there’s been cloud cover. So to score a hundred in England – something not many visiting openers manage – is quite an achievement,” he added.

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The former England cricketer also appreciated Pakistan’s coaching staff for bringing a positive culture in the dressing room, which seems to be paying dividends.

“You’ve got Misbahul Haq as head coach, supported by his old batting partner Younis Khan, plus two great bowlers in Waqar Younis and Mushtaq Ahmed. All four have got a wonderful attitude, and – importantly – they understand Pakistan culture, and what makes the dressing-room tick. There are real signs that their team are making big strides forward,” he said.