Shadab eyes Pakistan’s comeback on day two against England

Young leg-spinner expects bowlers to make most of helpful conditions

Shadab eyes Pakistan’s comeback on day two against England PHOTO: ICC

Pakistan leg-spinner Shadab Khan is hopeful that the Men in Green will take advantage of the overcast conditions on day two to stage a comeback after falling behind the eight ball on the first day of the second Test against England at Leeds.

The visitors, after opting to bat first, were bowled out for just 174 in the first innings, courtesy sublime bowling performances from pacers James Anderson, Stuart Broad and Chris Woakes.

Shadab, who scored a fighting half-century to help Pakistan recover from 79 for seven at one stage, still believes the Green Caps can stage a comeback in the match.

“Forecast for tomorrow predicts overcast conditions which is why we will try to take advantage of that and will try to dismiss England quickly,” said Shadab in a press conference after the close of first day’s play.

Speaking about the contrasting performance of the bowlers from both sides, Shadab said that the conditions were different during the first innings as compared to the second.

“The conditions were slightly difficult when we were batting as the ball was seaming and swinging due to cloudy weather but it eased up with the sun coming out during our bowling,” he said.

Shadab, who has picked seven wickets in three Test matches so far, also felt that he is gradually improving as a bowler.

“It’s difficult to replace a bowler of Yasir Shah's caliber but I'm trying my best to ensure that I can fill the void left because of his absence,” said the young leg­­­-spinner. ”I was satisfied with my bowling performance against Ireland but could have done better at Lord's.”

The 19-year-old also brushed aside the notion that there were any thoughts of promoting him up the order after his recent good performances with the bat.

“There is no such talk in the dressing room about making me bat higher up the order,” said Shadab. “We have experienced and capable batsmen batting in those positions.”

Shadab scored 56 runs off 52 balls in the first innings which made him the second teenager after Umar Akmal to score a fifty in three consecutive Test innings for the Men in Green.

But the Mianwali-born all-rounder reveals that his focus remains on becoming a top-class bowling all-rounder.

“Although Steve Smith is my favorite cricketer but I want to focus on playing as a bowling all-rounder rather than following a path similar to that of Smith’s,” he said. “But every time I go out to bat, I think this is my last ever innings. I also try to play in accordance with situation of the game and pounce on anything lose that comes my way.”