Chris Woakes, ahead of the encounter at Old Trafford, took stock of the visiting Pakistan team who he hailed as being ‘competitive’ and ‘dangerous.’ He also admitted that whilst the hosts were underprepared against West Indies post cricket's return, they are up and ready to welcome Pakistan at home.
Pakistan cricket team’s gritty nature and talented pace attack has always been a threatening force in English conditions despite being away from home. The last time these two sides faced each other in a Test series was in 2018, where the series ended in a 1-1 draw. The 2018 series was heavily dominated by the bowling unit from both the sides, as batsmen rarely got the opportunity to showcase themselves.
In the first Test, it was a one-sided show as England walked away with an innings and 55 runs victory. However, Pakistan bounced back in the second with a nine-wicket victory to leave the hosts trembling. English all-rounder Chris Woakes, who was part of the squad last time around welcomed the Pakistani team by admitting that they are always ‘competitive’ and ‘dangerous’ in any conditions. Pakistan’s pace attack was bolstered by Mohammad Abbas last time, who ended up picking more wickets than Stuart Broad and James Anderson in English conditions.
“We want to win every series we can — more so at home. I remember being part of the 2016 series and I feel we missed an opportunity there. I think that just shows how competitive Pakistan can be anywhere in the world. They've always fought the good fight. We're going to have a good series and hopefully we can be a challenge to them and come out on top,” the bowling all-rounder said, reported Sportstar.
Whilst England are coming into the contest on the back of a 2-1 series win over West Indies, Pakistan are just fresh off their three-match intrasquad practise in the country. While Woakes admitted that the hosts were a bit under-prepared against the Windies, he added that they will be looking to be on the money from the very first ball.
“Pakistan are always competitive. They've got good experience, some exciting new players and fast bowlers as well. So we know that they're going to be a tough challenge particularly in our home conditions,” he added.
“We felt at the beginning of the West Indies series that we were probably a little bit under-prepared. Now hopefully, having had that series will stand us in good stead. But Pakistan are dangerous and we'll have to be on the money from ball one,”he said.
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