Southampton [UK], August 21 (ANI): Ahead of the third and final Test against England, Pakistan pacer Mohammad Abbas opens up about his strategy for all-rounder Ben Stokes in the first Test of the series.
Abbas bagged in-form Stokes on a duck in the first innings at Old Trafford. Stokes stood out of the crease to counter the lateral movement, but a wobbled seam delivery, from around-the-wicket, beat him all ends up to rattle his off-stump.
However, Stokes had to pull out of the series after the first Test due to family reasons.
"Ben Stokes is a big name in cricket right now. He is one of the world's best allrounders, and he's performed several times for his country. Before the game, we watched videos and analysed how best to disrupt him. So we went round the wicket straightaway. I tried to bowl in the right areas, and he kept moving forward to try and disturb me. But my view is when a batsman comes forward, I am not disturbed by that. I feel I am disturbing the batsman by forcing him to move around the crease," Abbas told Pakistan Cricket Board.
"There is a bit of regret we didn't get over the line at Old Trafford. We played brilliant cricket for three and a half days, and England then took the game away from us by playing better cricket for two hours. We're excited, but we need a lot of hard work, and we'll leave no stone unturned in trying to level the series," he added.
Shaheen Shah Afridi and Abbas have troubled England openers over the course of the three innings in the Test series. Shaheen has succeeded in removing opener Rory Burns twice in the first over (1-4 in the first innings at Old Trafford and 1-0 at the Ageas Bowl), while the hosts' best opening partnership has stretched 11.1 overs when Burns and Dom Sibley added 22 runs in the second innings at Old Trafford before Abbas sent Burns packing.
Speaking about his partnership with Shaheen, Abbas said: "I am enjoying bowling with Shaheen. He is young and is eager to learn. During the pre-match practice sessions, we discuss the conditions, our plans and decide who will bowl from which end. We understand that we need to take wickets with the new ball to ensure the opposition does not end up piling runs. When he takes wickets, I also try to do my bit from the other end as it was the case in the first Test."
The third Test between England and Pakistan will be played later in the day at Ageas Bowl. The hosts are leading the series 1-0 after winning the first match by three wickets. (ANI)