SOUTHAMPTON, England, Aug 13 – Pakistan captain Azhar Ali won the toss and elected to bat in hot and muggy conditions in the second of three tests against England at the Rose Bowl on Thursday.
The tourists have made one change to their side, lengthening their batting lineup with the inclusion of Fawad Alam, 34, for spinning all-rounder Shadab Khan.
Alam´s inclusion sees him play his first test for almost 11 years, as Azhar confirmed Pakistan will rely more on pace than spin in their bowling attack in the test.
Regarding the toss, he said: “It was a tough decision. The weather is quite hot and we would like to make good use of it and put runs on the board.
“The pitch has much more grass on it (than the first test) and looks dry underneath. There will be a freshness in the pitch but it will get better in the afternoon.”
England have made two changes to their side, with Zak Crawley coming into the team for all-rounder Ben Stokes, who has opted out of the rest of the series for personal reasons.
Left-arm seamer Sam Curran replaces Jofra Archer.
“We want to lengthen the batting and Sam has done brilliantly for us since he made his debut,” England captain Joe Root said. “It feels like it could swing, it´s quite muggy.”
Curran got the nod over fast bowler Mark Wood, who Root indicated could play in the third test.
“I am more than confident in the group we have, we have depth in more positions now,” he said.
England won the first test by three wickets last week, their third victory in a row after consecutive wins over West Indies.
England: Dom Sibley, Rory Burns, Joe Root (captain), Zak Crawley, Ollie Pope, Jos Buttler, Chris Woakes, Dom Bess, Sam Curran, Stuart Broad, James Anderson.
Pakistan: Shan Masood, Abid Ali, Azhar Ali (captain), Babar Azam, Asad Shafiq, Mohammad Rizwan, Fawad Alam, Yasir Shah, Mohammad Abbas, Shaheen Afridi, Naseem Shah. (Reporting by Nick Said; Editing by Ken Ferris)