No Need to Put Myself Under Extra Pressure: Shan Masood

Masood also said veteran England pacer James Anderson will be a threat during the Test series.

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Pakistan opener Shan Masood is not willing to put himself under too much pressure ahead of the three-match Test series against England in August.

England lost the opening Test of the ongoing three-match series against the West Indies by four wickets at the Rose Bowl Stadium in Southampton, the first international cricket match after the coronavirus outbreak.

“We have had a fantastic opportunity to prepare. We spent 14 days in Worcester and are going to spend another three weeks in Derby.

“There’s no need to put myself under extra pressure to say I need to prove this thing or the other. Practice is going well and I understand my game. The outcome isn’t controllable, but I can put in my best effort and keep my attitude positive,” Masood was quoted as saying by ESPNcricinfo.

“But while coming here early has allowed us to acclimatise, there is no substitute for match time. In that sense, England has an advantage. But the basics don’t change; we have to figure out how to get 20 wickets, and how to score 300-400 runs in an innings. So our primary focus has to be on our preparations. We have a few advantages too, in that we can analyse their performances and work on their weaknesses. These things balance each other out.”

Masood also said veteran England pacer James Anderson will be a threat during the Test series.

“Jimmy Anderson is a world-class bowler,” Masood said during the video conference.

“By achievements, he’s perhaps the No. 1 fast bowler in the world right now. He carries a threat, of course, and several other England bowlers carry a threat. England’s resource depth is very good. They had few very good bowlers sitting on the bench (during the opening Test), particularly pacers.”

Masood did caution against slipping into thinking England weren’t quite as strong as was believed before the first Test against West Indies.

“We shouldn’t undermine England,” he warned. “This was the same top four that went to South Africa and won a series there. They’re playing at home and they’ll have experience of playing there regardless of whether or not they’ve played international cricket.

“But we have our own strengths, too. If you’re talking about our spinners, we have a world-class spinner in Yasir Shah. Alongside him, we have an all-rounder and an able backup in Shadab Khan. So we have more than enough resources if the situation comes down to needing a spinner to lead.”

The first Test between the two teams will be played at the Old Trafford starting August 5 while the final two Tests are scheduled to be played the Ageas Bowl from August 13 and August 21 respectively.

(With agency inputs)

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