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England v Pakistan

Aaqib Javed explains why Sohail Khan should replace Naseem Shah for second Test v England

by Wisden Staff 3-minute read

Aaqib Javed, the former Pakistan bowler, believes Sohail Khan should replace Naseem Shah in the Pakistan XI for the second Test of the three-match series against England, which starts on Thursday in Southampton.

Naseem, 17, showed glimpses of his enormous talent in the Manchester Test but could only pick a wicket in each innings. Sohail, on the other hand, played two Tests on Pakistan’s tour of England in 2016 and bagged a five-for in both the matches, claiming a total of 13 wickets at 25.

Javed, while in conversation with Cricket Pakistan, said that the 36-year-old Sohail should replace the teenager as he can reverse swing the ball, “like James Anderson does for England”.


“Pakistan will need Sohail Khan in Southampton,” Javed said. “He can replace Naseem Shah in the side. Sohail will have the responsibility to look after the ball for reverse swing like James Anderson does for England. Pakistan lost the Old Trafford Test because they couldn’t look after the ball. When nothing works for you, then only reverse swing does.”

He further added that Sohail should have played in the Manchester Test as Pakistan need someone “to prepare the ball to extract reverse swing”.

“Sohail should have played at the Old Trafford pitch,” he said. “Shaheen Afridi is not that mature to know how to look after the ball and how to reverse it. There needs to be someone who knows how to prepare the ball to extract reverse swing. Naseem is very young and has no idea how to prepare it either.

“On the other hand, Abbas doesn’t depend on reverse swing at all. So team management made a big mistake by not playing Sohail Khan, because he is the best exponent of reverse swing in Pakistan.”

Javed also wants Pakistan to retain all-rounder Shadab Khan for the second Test. “Shadab didn’t bowl a lot with the red ball last season,” he explained. “He is himself not focused towards the longer format. However, now since Pakistan have played him, he needs to be given confidence as they don’t have any other option.

“I don’t consider Faheem Ashraf ready for Test cricket, as he doesn’t have the ability to be in your top seven batsmen or top four bowlers.”

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