Uncapped Curran called in as England look to draw series

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Leeds, May 31 (IANS) Uncapped left-arm medium pacer Sam Curran has been called up as cover for all-rounder Ben Stokes as England prepare to square the two-match series when they face Pakistan in the second Test at the Headingley Cricket ground from Friday.

Stokes had a tight hamstring during England’s practice session on Wednesday. Although he hasn’t been ruled out of the second and final Test, further scans later in the day will reveal the extent of the injury.

England shockingly lost the opening Test at Lord’s by nine wickets to a young Pakistan team, who dismissed the hosts for 184 and 242.

It was Pakistan’s second win in a row on tour – they saw off Ireland earlier in May – and they have all the confidence heading into the second Test.

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England, meanwhile, have had to take a long, hard look at themselves. Their batsmen stepped up in patches.

Alastair Cook scored a half-century in the first innings, while all of skipper Joe Root, Jos Buttler and Dom Bess, the debutant, scored fifty in the second.

However, for the most part, the Pakistan pacemen troubled them, with Mohammad Amir and Mohammad Abbas claiming 13 wickets between them in the match.

The England pace duo of Stuart Broad and James Anderson managed just five wickets between them, and the latter found himself having to defend their performance.

Adding to England’s worries is the fact that Stokes has injury worries.

While England look to block out all the scrutiny, the atmosphere in the Pakistan camp couldn’t be more different.

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Their young side have shown themselves more than capable at the highest level, and Amir said it had buoyed the side to do more in the second.

The fractured forearm suffered by Babar Azam which ruled him out of the tour means one of Fakhar Zaman, Usman Salahuddin and Sami Aslam is likely to step in. Apart from that, Pakistan have no real worry in the series.

Squads

England: Joe Root (Captain), Mark Stoneman, Alastair Cook, Dawid Malan, Ben Stokes, Jos Buttler, Jonny Bairstow (WK), Chris Woakes, Stuart Broad, James Anderson, Dom Bess, Mark Wood, Sam Curran.

Pakistan: Sarfraz Ahmed (Captain/WK), Azhar Ali, Imam-ul-Haq, Sami Aslam, Haris Sohail, Fakhar Zaman, Saad Ali, Asad Shafiq, Usman Salahuddin, Shadab Khan, Mohammad Amir, Mohammad Abbas, Hasan Ali, Rahat Ali, Faheem Ashraf.

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–IANS

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