London, July 20 (IANS) England all-rounder Ben Stokes on Wednesday hailed Pakistan’s Yasir Shah as the best leg-spinner in world cricket after Australian legend Shane Warne.
Pakistan won the first Test against England at Lord’s by 75 runs, where Yasir returned with match figures of 10-141 to help his side take a 1-0 lead in the four-match series and cement his place at the top of the International Cricket Council (ICC) Test rankings for bowlers.
Stokes is back to full fitness and in the squad after playing in Durham’s County Championship match against Lancashire and acknowledged that England must learn to handle Yasir if they are to keep the series alive.
“Their seam bowlers have all got very good skills. Wahab Riaz looked to work hard the other day when he got the ball to reverse and obviously Yasir Shah as well. He’s the best leg spinner I reckon since Shane Warne, so they are a very good team,” Stokes was quoted as saying by Sky Sports ahead of the second Test starting on Friday.
“We will come to this Test match and know how he goes about bowling and we should be able to counter-act that. That’s just another thing we may have to try and adapt to. It’s a really big game. To keep the series alive and take confidence into the third Test, we have to win this game.”
Stokes proved his fitness in Durham’s two-wicket victory over Lancashire, bowling 33.4 overs and picking up three wickets, in a match that also saw James Anderson feature for the home side ahead of his return to action in the second Test.
“That’s the first game I have played doing both parts of my game. I had been playing as a batsman two weeks prior to the game just gone against Lancs,” he added.
“It’s something I did need, not only to get used to bowling in match situations because you can never replicate that bowling in the nets, but it’s also a massive confidence boost as well,” Stokes concluded.