Pakistan manager Initkhab Alam has declared Yasir Shah fit to bowl but said his team could throw in a surprise inclusion for the second Test to thwart England’s plans.
Pakistan’s bowling attack has looked toothless without the services of leg spinner Yasir, and were made to toil hard in the field by England captain Alastair Cook, who scored his third double century to take his side beyond the hosts’ first innings total of 523.
Pakistan’s spin-bowling coach, Mushtaq Ahmed, on Thursday admitted his side missed their strike bowler.
“Yasir, as you know, has played a key role in the last two, three series,” said Ahmed of the leg-spinner ruled out of the match with a back problem.
“Definitely we missed Yasir because he was suitable to this pitch but we did not expect this behaviour of the pitch, it has played slowly.”
According to Alam, though, Yasir was raring to go after missing the series opener.
“He is fit and will be match fit by the second Test,” Alam told an international news website.
“We no more require Zafar as he was only named replacement for the first Test but he didn’t make it, so we have plenty of time ahead of the next game to decide,” he added.
Alam, however, hinted Pakistan could throw in a surprise inclusion.
“We don’t want to reveal anything at the moment but we have some plans.”
While Alam remains tight-lipped about Pakistan’s secret weapon, here are few possible candidates for that spot: Saeed Ajmal (off-spin), Usama Mir (leg break), Bilal Asif (off-spin)