Southampton [UK], Aug 22 (ANI): Pakistan spin bowling coach and team mentor for the England tour Mushtaq Ahmed backed bowlers despite the "tough" first day in the final Test at Ageas Bowl.
Zak Crawley and Jos Buttler's unbeaten 205-run partnership gave England a stunning start after opting to bat first on Friday. The duo stitched the highest-ever partnership in Tests at Southampton.
The hosts ended the day's play at 332/4. Yasir Shah bagged two wickets while Shaheen Shah Afridi and Naseem Shah clinched one wicket each.
"It was quite tough. The weather played a huge role. The pitch was very flat, and the toss was vital on that pitch. And because the wind was there the whole day, it was very difficult for the bowlers to control their line and length consistently. It was tough especially for young bowlers like Naseem [Shah] and Shaheen [Shah Afridi]. They are new to Test cricket but they made a huge effort and they can be proud of it," ESPNcricinfo quoted Ahmed as saying.
"I think we are working on how to deal with being under pressure. When the opposition attacks your young bowlers, it naturally is difficult for them to handle it. But obviously, the credit goes to Crawley and Buttler. They played very well, and this is a flat first-day pitch. The wind made it even tougher, and that's not an excuse, but it's also reality," he added.
Ahmed feels that Pakistan need to bowl out England in the first session on day two under 400.
"We need to try and bowl them out in the first session under 400. That leaves us with over three-and-a-half days and an opportunity to put up a big total ourselves," he said.
Crawley 171* and Buttler 87* will resume England's first innings from 332/4 later in the day. (ANI)