Ben Stokes will play no further part in England's Test series against Pakistan for family reasons. 

Stokes, who captained the team in Joe Root's absence for the opener against West Indies in July, has featured in all four Tests played on home soil so far this year.

However, the 29-year-old – who has been struggling with an injury which restricted him to just four overs of bowling in the victory over Pakistan in Manchester – will not be available for the next two matches, which take place at the Rose Bowl. 

The all-rounder will instead be heading to New Zealand to spend time with his family, the England and Wales Cricket Board announced in a statement on a Sunday.

In December, Stokes' father, Ged, fell ill while attending England's tour of South Africa. 

While his father recovered in hospital after undergoing three operations, Stokes continued to play on for England, helping clinch a 3-1 series triumph over the Proteas. 

However, England - who went 1-0 up against Pakistan on Saturday - will now be without their vice-captain in Southampton. 

Jos Buttler and Chris Woakes were the heroes as the hosts chased down a target of 277 to secure a three-wicket triumph at Old Trafford.

Joe Root revealed how Ben Stokes' Ashes heroics at Headingley had England always thinking they could defy the odds and beat Pakistan in a thrilling first Test.

The hosts claimed the series opener in Manchester as they chased down a target of 277 on a gripping fourth day's play, despite at one stage slipping to 117-5 in their second innings.

Jos Buttler and Chris Woakes combined to put on a pivotal stand of 139 for the sixth wicket, making 75 and 84 not out respectively as England squeezed home with three wickets to spare.

Stokes contributed just nine on this occasion but his stunning knock against Australia in 2019, when he made 135 not out in a famous one-wicket win, always offers inspiration to his team-mates, according to Root.

"We knew it was going to take something special," England's captain told Sky Sports in the post-match presentation ceremony.

"I think, after last summer, it's very hard to stop believing. We know that anything is possible. 

"One thing you can never doubt about our dressing room is the character, the way that we always continue to keep believing and never give up. That's a real strong trait of ours. 

"I'm really proud and please that it has shone through today and the guys have gone on to get us 1-0 up."

England's victory puts them 1-0 up in the three-match series, a rare situation for Root and his players.

They have made a habit of losing the opener in recent history, including against West Indies on home soil earlier this year, but now have a lead to defend as the teams head to Southampton.

"I think the most important thing is we back it up again now. It's been frustrating in many ways [losing the opening game], but ultimately we've got to keep looking forward – and keep learning," Root said.

"There are definitely things we can take from this game and improve on. But I couldn't be more proud of the character we've shown, the way we approached the day and the clarity in which the way the guys played.

"On a very tough surface, to score that many runs, shows the ability of the group."

He added: "I couldn't be more proud of the lads. I thought that the way we approached the day was outstanding, and that partnership between Woaksey and Jos was magnificent.

"They were very clever about how they went about it, the way they constructed it."

Chris Woakes and Jos Buttler played starring roles as England chased down 277 to win an absorbing first Test of the series against Pakistan.  

The sixth-wicket pairing combined in a match-winning stand worth 139 to help Joe Root's side triumph against the odds in Manchester. 

Pakistan appeared on course to prevail when they reduced their opponents from 86-1 to 117-5, while there was a further twist in a see-saw game when Buttler departed for 75 with 21 still required. 

Stuart Broad also perished for seven following a promotion up the order, but the outstanding Woakes finished up on 84 not out to see England home with three wickets to spare.

The hosts had fought their way back into the contest with a clatter of wickets in the final session of the previous day's play, though still had work to do with the ball on Saturday morning. 

Resuming on 137-8, Pakistan's final two wickets added 32 in just 16 deliveries, Yasir Shah increasing the lead as he smacked 33 in a hurry. 

The flurry of boundaries – not all through conventional shots - hurt England, whose task became even harder when Rory Burns (10) fell early, trapped in front by the metronomic Mohammad Abbas.  

Dom Sibley (36) and captain Root (42) combined to put on 64, only for a post-lunch collapse to put Pakistan firmly in control. 

Sibley and Ben Stokes (9) both fell to leg-spinner Yasir Shah, Root edged behind off Naseem Shah and Ollie Pope (7) could do little with a brute of a delivery from Shaheen Afridi that climbed off a length, thumped into the batsman's glove and looped to gully.   

Yet Buttler and Woakes responded to the precarious situation by going on the offensive, their attacking intent paying off as Pakistan pushed fielders back to stem the sudden flow of runs. 

While Yasir Shah struck twice to create a little more tension late in the day, Woakes duly edged Shaheen to the third man boundary to get England over the line.

Chris Woakes believes England can pull off a stunning Old Trafford victory over Pakistan after a stirring bowling performance on the third day.

Paceman Woakes took 2-11 in five overs, with Stuart Broad (2-23) and Ben Stokes (2-11) also doing damage with the ball as Pakistan crumbled to 137-8 in their second innings.

That meant they led by 244, having outperformed England - all out for 219 earlier in the day - with the bat first time round, setting the stage for a run chase that the home side will hope begins early on Saturday.

Woakes told Sky Sports: "We'd have liked to have got close to them in the first innings, but we are where we are in the game, and we had an opportunity to go out there and bowl them out and thankfully we've got them eight down."

Pakistan have a fine pace attack but England could face a stiff test against the turning ball, on a pitch that has already offered plenty to leg-spinners Yasir Shah and Shadab Khan.

Asked if the wicket was likely to deteriorate, Woakes said: "Potentially, yeah. When you lose the toss on a surface like this, you're always going to be up against it, especially if there's a first-innings deficit.

"But at the same time we've given ourselves a chance. We feel we can get them. But we've still got to pick up two [wickets] in the morning."

When England bat, they cannot afford to take a cautious approach, according to Woakes.

"We've got to come out and try to be positive," he said. "If you look to sit in on this wicket, particularly against the spin I suppose, there's one with probably your name on it.

"I feel if we start well in a chase like that you've always got a chance."

Ben Stokes provided the spark as England stayed in the hunt for victory in a gripping first Test against Pakistan.

Picked just as a batsman for this match due to a niggling thigh injury, Stokes made a frustrating duck in England's first innings, but he stepped out of the slips to take the ball and pick up two prized Pakistan wickets.

Day three at Old Trafford ended with Pakistan on 137-8 in their second innings, 244 runs ahead of England.

However many more runs Pakistan add on Saturday morning, England will face a tough task to chase down their target, but they still have hope.

The home side had hope at the start of this day too, and they also had Ollie Pope, but England's new middle-order star added just 16 to his overnight score to be out for 62.

From a precarious 92-4 at the start of play, England were dismissed for an underwhelming 219, thankful again to Stuart Broad (29 not out) for some lusty lower-order hitting as the tail was soon exposed.

Pope fell to a scorching delivery from Naseem Shah, the ball leaping up off the pitch and catching the splice of the bat, arrowing low to Shadab Khan at gully.

Leg-spinner Yasir Shah removed home captain Joe Root on day two and began to make his presence felt again, bowling Jos Buttler (38) and Chris Woakes (19) either side of having Dom Bess snaffled at slip by a leaping Asad Shafiq.

Fellow leg-spinner Shadab Khan had Jofra Archer caught behind off the glove, before pinning last man James Anderson lbw.

Armed with a 107-run first-innings lead, Pakistan found England's pace attack troubling, with Shan Masood following his first-innings 156 with a duck, nibbling at a ball slanting across him and down the leg side from Broad, clipping through to Buttler.

Bess had Abid Ali caught in the deep by Woakes, who then made a key impact himself by having Babar Azam taken at slip by Stokes and Azhar Ali trapped leg before.

Dom Sibley got rid of Asad Shafiq (29) with a smart run out, but Pakistan were beginning to stabilise when Stokes entered the attack.

He claimed a wicket with his eighth delivery when he got Mohammad Rizwan (27) out lbw, then Broad had Shadab Khan in the same manner.

And shortly after 19:00 local time (18:00 GMT) Stokes struck again, a short ball accounting for Shaheen Afridi, the batsman lobbing one up for Rory Burns to take a safe catch.

He is full of guile, as devious as any of the old masters in giving the ball a tweak. Yet, much of his bowling remains flat and quick, with the spinner getting much of his success with subtle variations of pace. Those variations, despite how quick he is, often beat the batsman in the air. He is an off-spinner who captures more than half his wickets with the ball that holds its line or that curious controversial variety called the doosra which breaks the other way — but he can also turn one back. Despite a late entry to cricket, making his debut at 32, he continued to play all formats, including the instant variety and went on to be a hero of Pakistan’s World Twenty20 triumph in 2010.

 

Career Statistics (2005-2017)

Full name: Saeed Ajmal

Born: October 14, 1977 (42), Faisalabad, Punjab

Major teams: Pakistan, Antigua Hawksbills, Dhaka Gladiators, Faisalabad, Faisalabad Wolves, Islamabad Cricket Association, Islamabad United, Khan Research Labs, Water and Power Development Authority, Worcestershire, Zarai Taraqiati Bank Limited

Playing role: Bowler

Batting style: Right-hand bat

Bowling style: Right-arm off-break

 

T20I Career – Pakistan

Mat   Inns   Balls    Runs    Wkts    BBI     BBM    Ave     Econ     SR     4w    5w    10w

64       63     1430    1516      85       4/19   4/19     17.83   6.36     16.8     4      0         0

T20 Career

Mat   Inns   Balls    Runs    Wkts    BBI     BBM     Ave     Econ     SR      4w    5w    10w

195     193   4338     4706     271      4/14    4/14    17.36    6.50     16.0      8      0         0

 

Career Highlights

  • 6th all-time T20I wicket-taker, 85 in 63 matches at 17.83
  • 3rd most wickets in T20 WC, 36 in 23 matches at 16.86
  • T20I Four wicket hauls (4)
  • 271 T20 wickets taken at 17.36

Jofra Archer pointed out he is not a robot after the England fast bowler's pace levels were again called into question on day two of the first Test against Pakistan.

The hosts reached stumps on 92-4 at Old Trafford, with Ollie Pope's unbeaten 46 the clearest note of defiance against a superb opening burst from Pakistan's seamers – Mohammad Abbas the pick with 2-24 after bowling Ben Stokes for a duck.

A career-best 156 from Shan Masood did most of the heavy lifting in the tourists' 326 all out, in which Archer and Stuart Broad took three wickets apiece.

However, in between scything a brilliant ball through the defences of Shan's opening partner Abid Ali on the first morning and removing tailenders Yasir Shah and Abbas, much of Archer's work was pedestrian.

He rarely looked like pushing the speed gun beyond 90 miles per hour as he did notably during last year's thrilling Ashes duel with Steve Smith.

Speaking to Sky Sports after the day's play, Archer said he was not purposefully bowling within himself but added a track taking spin on the second day in Manchester was not one on which a fast bowler should "bend your back".

"It's not deliberate. Not every day are you going to come in and bowl 90 miles per hour," he said.

"I seen the guy [Naseem] Shah started bowling 90 today, so we'll see how he goes later on tomorrow.

"No one's robots, so I'll be very interested to see what he can produce a bit later.

"This wicket is not really one you're going to try and bend your back on. We bowled first, there was a little bit there in the morning but it's spinning on day two so that says a lot about the wicket right now."

Captain Joe Root – who fell cutting at leg-spinner Yasir for 14 – has been accused of over-bowling Archer in his still-fledgling Test career, but he went almost two hours without turning to his strike bowler as Pakistan threatened to get away from England during the middle session.

"If you looked at the time, it was approaching the [second] new ball and I think he just wanted all of the bowlers fresh," an unperturbed Archer observed.

"Obviously there was a time last night when I probably got off the hook as well. The umpire said it was a bit too dark.

"He probably did want to bowl me last night as well. He didn't want to bowl me after the break but I guess the captain knows best.

"We've got more than enough bowlers here to do a job. I wouldn't be upset at all."

Archer returned to the England XI for last month's series-clinching win over West Indies after being ruled out of the second Test for violating bio-secure protocols.

In a column for the Daily Mail, Archer detailed his resulting mental anguish and, asked whether he had put that episode behind him, he added: "I hope so… yeah, I definitely did. I'm just glad to be back playing out playing again."

Pakistan's sparkling and lethal bowling attack left England reeling at the end of day two after Shan Masood's excellent century put the tourists in charge of the first Test.

Star batsman Babar Azam was removed by James Anderson without adding to his overnight 69 as England checked Pakistan's day-one momentum with impressive discipline during the morning session.

But the indefatigable Masood remained and found a willing ally in Shadab Khan (45) before the century-maker became the ninth man to fall, making 156 out of 326 all out.

New ball pair Shaheen Afridi and Mohammad Abbas then removed England openers Rory Burns and Dom Sibley cheaply, both lbw, before Abbas cleaned up Ben Stokes for a duck with a sensational delivery.

Captain Joe Root's 58-ball stay yielded 14 runs before he was out caught behind, cutting leg-spinner Yasir Shah, meaning the bulk of England's hopes rested with Ollie Pope (46 not out) as they closed on 92-4 – 234 in arrears.

After an underwhelming Wednesday outing on his home ground, Anderson (1-63) was bang on the money in the first over of the day and tempted Babar into a drive he edged to Root at first slip.

Broad (3-54) accounted for Asad Shafiq in similar fashion, with Stokes the catcher, and the similarly assured Chris Woakes (2-43) had Mohammad Rizwan caught behind by Jos Buttler, who endured an otherwise torrid innings with the gloves.

England had a sniff of Pakistan's vulnerable lower order but Shadab put on 105 for the sixth wicket with Shan, who reached a fourth Test century, and third in as many outings, off 251 deliveries.

Shadab slapped Dom Bess to Root at midwicket with 50 in sight, which was Shan's cue to put his foot down as Jofra Archer (3-59) and Broad split the tail between them – the latter having implored in inimitable fashion for the centurion's scalp.

Shaheen's pace and Abbas' wily precision got Pakistan quickly stuck into the England middle order, with Stokes losing his stumps when driving at a majestic delivery that decked away from him.

Pope found a fluency that eluded his captain, meeting the challenge of considerable speed and skill with a nicely judged counter-attack he must now build substantially upon.

With the ability to bowl a sort of an in-slider with the new ball to right-handers, Imad Wasim provides Pakistan with a very handy option to start off the bowling attack, before coming back in the middle stages to strangle the run-rate with his tight nagging lines. Imad doesn't really turn the ball a lot, and so relies on accuracy and variation in pace to be successful.

The list of accolades for the wily southpaw is a long one. He was a long-term skipper for Pakistan at the age-group levels. He has also led Islamabad for a decent period of time. And when his T20I debut happened, the backdrop was historic. Cricket had returned to Pakistan after six years and Imad Wasim got a T20I cap in the second game of the series. Pakistan won that close encounter and the series 2-0.

 

Career Statistics (2015-present)

Full name: Syed Imad Wasim

Born: December 18, 1988 (31), Swansea, Glamorgan, Wales

Major teams: Pakistan, Abu Dhabi United, Barbados Tridents, Barisal Bulls, Chattogram Challengers, Comilla Victorians, FATA Region, Federal Areas Leopards, Islamabad, Islamabad Leopards, Islamabad Region, Jamaica Tallawahs, Karachi Kings, Maratha Arabians, Nottinghamshire, Pakistan Cricket Academy, Pakistan Under-19s, Punjab Badshahs, Sind

Playing role: Allrounder

Batting style: Left-hand bat

Bowling style: Slow left-arm orthodox

 

T20I Career - Pakistan

Mat   Inns    Balls     Runs    Wkts    BBI     BBM     Ave     Econ     SR     4w   5w    10w

43      42       912       908       42       5/14    5/14     21.61   5.97      21.7     1      1       0

T20 Career

Mat   Inns    Balls     Runs    Wkts    BBI     BBM     Ave     Econ     SR     4w   5w    10w

177    171     3595     3819     153      5/14    5/14     24.96    6.37     23.4      1     1       0

 

Career Highlights

  • First Pakistani spinner to take a 5-fer in T20Is
  • Won Pakistan's T20I Player of the Year award in 2017

Wahab Riaz’s arrival in all formats of the game was signalled by a One-Day International spell in the semi-finals of the ICC World Cup.

Bowling against an Australian top order inclusive of Shane Watson and Michael Clarke, Wahab delivered at real pace, his 150 km/h bouncers and yorkers getting the batsmen in trouble.

“One of the fastest spells I have seen in a long tim,” said Clarke after the 2015 World Cup game.

Wahab’s pace and wicket-taking ability has made him a hit in the T20 leagues around the world. He was a platinum selection for Peshawar Zalmi in the Pakistan Super League, leading the team in number of wickets for the last few years. He has also had stints in the Afghanistan Premier League, the Global T20 Canada, the Mzansi Super League and in the Bangladesh Premier League.

 

Career Statistics (2008-present)

Full name: Wahab Riaz

Born: June 28, 1985 (35), Lahore, Punjab

Major teams: Pakistan, Barbados Tridents, Brampton Wolves, Cape Town Blitz, Central Punjab (Pakistan), City Nazim XI, Comilla Victorians, Derbyshire, Dhaka Dynamites, Dhaka Platoon, Essex, Essex 2nd XI, Hyderabad (Pakistan), Hyderabad Hawks, Hyderabad Region, Imtiaz Ahmed's XI, Kandahar Knights, Karachi Kings, Karachi Port Trust, Kent, Kowloon Cantons, Lahore, Lahore Eagles, Lahore Lions, Lahore Ravi, Lahore Region Whites, Lahore Shalimar, National Bank of Pakistan, North West Frontier Province-Baluchistan, Northern Warriors, Pakistan A, Pakistan All Star XI, Pakistan Blues, Pakistan Chief Ministers XI, Pakistan Cricket Academy, Pakistan Cricket Board Patron's XI, Pakistan Greens, Pakistan Under-17s, Pakistan Under-19s, Peshawar Zalmi, Punjab (Pakistan), Punjab Badshahs, Rangpur Riders, Surrey, Water and Power Development Authority

Playing role: Bowler

Batting style: Right-hand bat

Bowling style: Left-arm fast

 

T20I Career – Pakistan

Mat   Inns   Balls   Runs   Wkts   BBI     BBM     Ave    Econ    SR     4w    5w    10w

31       30     609     813       30     3/18    3/18     27.10   8.00   20.3     0        0       0

T20 Career

Mat   Inns    Balls    Runs    Wkts    BBI   BBM     Ave     Econ    SR     4w    5w    10w

252    248     5347     6379     296     5/8     5/8      21.55    7.15   18.0     0        2      0

 

Career Highlights

  • 9th most wickets in T20 cricket (296)
  • 296 T20 wickets at 21.55
  • 30 T20I wickets from 31 matches at 27.10

Babar Azam made a classy unbeaten half-century and Shan Masood was given two lives by Jos Buttler as Pakistan had the better of a weather-hit opening day in the Test series with England. 

The tourists were 43-2 at one stage after Abid Ali and Azhar Ali, who had opted to bat after winning the toss, were dismissed by Jofra Archer and Chris Woakes respectively at Old Trafford. 

However, Babar then took centre stage with a majestic 69 not out, while Masood was still there on 46 as Pakistan reached 139-2 when play was abandoned due to bad light. 

Buttler dropped Masood on 45 and the opener was still on the same score when the England wicketkeeper-batsman missed a chance to stump him during a day when just 49 overs were bowled. 

England, unchanged following their series-clinching win over West Indies at the same venue, were below par, Babar in particular making them pay in what is Pakistan's first Test since February. 

Masood and Abid came through probing new-ball spells from James Anderson and the in-form Stuart Broad, but the excellent Archer struck with the first ball of his second over. 

Abid was the man to depart, paceman Archer rocking back his off stump with a delivery that nipped in to end an opening stand of 36. Azhar soon followed lbw to Woakes, the visiting captain also wasting a review. 

Babar and Masood steadied the ship in contrasting fashion, the opener continuing to dig in as Pakistan's white-ball skipper played with greater fluency after lunch. 

The elegant Babar showed great timing with glorious drives, racing to his 50 off 70 balls, though Masood had a stroke of luck when he nicked Dom Bess behind but Buttler failed to hold on. 

An early tea was taken due to rain with Pakistan on 121-2 and there was further frustration for England in a short resumption, Buttler unable to stump an advancing Masood off Bess, with Joe Root forced to bowl himself due to the poor overhead conditions. 

Pakistan picked two leg-spinners and Azhar Ali chose to bat after winning the toss in the first Test against an unchanged England side at Old Trafford on Wednesday.

Shadab Khan was selected along with Yasir Shah to give Azhar a pair of leg-spinners to call upon, with Shaheen Afridi, Naseem Shah and Mohammad Abbas the seamers in a dangerous attack.

England went with the same team that sealed a 2-1 series victory over West Indies at the same venue last week, Ben Stokes strictly playing as a batsman due to a quad injury.

Dom Bess did not bowl a single ball in that win over the Windies in Manchester, but the spinner retains his place in the first of three Tests.

The in-form Stuart Broad and James Anderson will again spearhead the England attack and will be hoping to make early inroads in Pakistan's first Test since February.

 

England team: Dom Sibley, Rory Burns, Joe Root (captain), Ben Stokes, Ollie Pope, Jos Buttler (wicketkeeper), Chris Woakes, Dom Bess, Stuart Broad, Jofra Archer, James Anderson.

Pakistan team: Shan Masood, Abid Ali, Azhar Ali (captain), Babar Azam, Asad Shafiq, Shadab Khan, Mohammad Rizwan (wicketkeeper), Yasir Shah, Shaheen Afridi, Mohammad Abbas, Naseem Shah.

When Pakistan were previously in England for a Test series, Babar Azam saw a promising start cut short by a bad break.  

The batsman made a half-century in the opening game at Lord’s in May 2018, but his involvement in the series was painfully cut short when struck on the left arm by a Ben Stokes short ball.  

Forced to retire hurt with 68 to his name, Babar did not appear again during the tour. A fracture ended his contribution as the tourists triumphed at the home of cricket, while he had to watch on as his side were crushed in the second Test at Headingley. 

At that stage of his career, Babar was viewed as a limited-overs specialist still making his way in the Test arena. With an average under 25 prior to playing England, he was – at the age of 23 – a player with obvious potential working out how to play the game of patience.

Just over two years on, he returns to England having enhanced his reputation to such an extent that the so-called 'Fab Four' - Virat Kohli, Joe Root, Steve Smith and Kane Williamson - have company. It is unclear who identifies as the cricketing versions of Paul, John, Ringo and George, but Babar is not like the fifth Beatle – his identity is clear.

Start a discussion with cricket fans over who should be considered the lead act in the group and you are opening a cricketing can of worms. It is a topic that, understandably, stirs up national pride, but also heated discussions about the weight of importance given to each format. 

What is not up for debate, however, is that Babar deserves to be in the conversation. His white-ball numbers are outstanding – he averages over 50 in Twenty20 and one-dayers for Pakistan – yet his Test statistics in recent times provide additional evidence for those keen to argue his case.  

Indeed, his average of 75.9 across his 12 Test knocks since the start of 2019 is the best rate of any batsman to have 10 or more innings during that period. Better than Kohli, despite the India captain piling on the runs at home against South Africa, including a career-best 254 not out. Better even than Smith, whose Ashes heroics last year were so crucial in helping Australia retain the urn on English soil.  

He also sits above the same pairing when it comes to contributing for his team, providing an astonishing 22 per cent of Pakistan’s total Test runs over the period. There is clearly substance to the style now, a determined streak to go with the eye-catching technique.  

Ricky Ponting, the former Australia captain, tipped Babar to become one of the best in the world at the start of the year; he was a little late to get on board a bandwagon that now offers standing room only. 

"I think he is right up there already," Azhar Ali, Pakistan's Test skipper, said on the eve of the series opener with England at Old Trafford. 

"His performances have improved massively in Test matches over the last year or so. Firstly, he was performing really well in white-ball cricket and people thought he was only a white-ball player, but he took on that challenge and played with a lot of freedom and flair.” 

Babar's career totals do not stand up to the sheer volume scored by Kohli, Root, Smith and Williamson - at least not yet. Still, since 2018, he sits above the quartet in terms of Test average (65.5) and strike-rate (63.2 runs per 100 deliveries).

That stretch includes a memorable maiden hundred on home soil. While rain ruined the spectacle of the first Test played in Pakistan for over a decade, Babar brightened up the final day against Sri Lanka in Rawalpindi with an unbeaten 102 that delighted the crowd who had patiently waited to see their team return.  

Scores of 60 not out, 100 and 143 followed in the remainder of a truncated series, all from a player who did not reach three figures until his 17th Test. 

Prior to that breakthrough innings against New Zealand in November 2018, Babar had managed an unspectacular 822 runs at 30.4. Since then, though, there have been four more three-figure scores in 10 games, plus a 97 in a losing cause against Australia in Adelaide when no colleagues were willing to stick around in support. 

Pakistan are likely to lean on him heavily again in England, particularly as they come up against a team brimming with fast-bowling options and fresh off a 2-1 series victory over West Indies. 

Babar's development - including a highly productive Cricket World Cup campaign last year on English soil, as well as finishing top run-scorer in the T20 Blast while playing for Somerset - suggests he will relish the challenge.

The head-to-head battle with Root will be one of the main storylines, too. England's captain has much on his plate in the coming weeks, including fathoming out a way to nullify the brilliant Babar, who has stylishly climbed his way into the top tier of international batsmen.

He has been an asset for the Bangladesh team for a long time. In the bowling department, Shakib al Hasan possesses accuracy and consistency. Meanwhile, on the batting front, Shakib al Hasan has aggression and a variety of strokes in his arsenal.

He made his international debut in 2006 for the ODI and T20 teams in 2006. A year later, he was drafted into the Test team for the very first time.

In 2009, he ascended to the role of Bangladesh skipper and to date, remains the captain of the Test and T20 team.

Shakib began his tryst with the IPL in 2011. From that year to 2017, he played for the Kolkata Knight Riders. Then, in 2018 he joined the Sunrisers Hyderabad and now has stuck with them for another year.

He has not exactly contributed much with the willow, with his personal best being an unbeaten 66. However, he can boast of two half-centuries and a strike rate of 127.28.

 

Career Statistics (2006-present)

Full name: Shakib Al Hasan

Born: March 24, 1987 (33), Magura, Jessore

Major teams: Bangladesh, Adelaide Strikers, Bangladesh A, Bangladesh Cricket Board XI, Barbados Tridents, Brampton Wolves, Dhaka Gladiators, Jamaica Tallawahs, Karachi Kings, Khulna Division, Kolkata Knight Riders, Peshawar Zalmi, Sunrisers Hyderabad, Worcestershire

Playing role: Allrounder

Batting style: Left-hand bat

Bowling style: Slow left-arm orthodox

 

T20I Career - Bangladesh

Mat      Inns      Balls     Runs     Wkts    BBI     BBM     Ave       Econ     SR    4w   5w   10w

76          75        1667     1894         92     5/20     5/20    20.58       6.81    18.1    3      1       0

 

T20 Career

Mat      Inns      Balls     Runs     Wkts      BBI   BBM      Ave       Econ     SR     4w   5w    10w

308       302       6487     7459        354       6/6     6/6       21.07      6.89     18.3    8       4       0

 

Career Highlights

  • 3rd most T20I scalps, 92 in 76 matches at 20.58
  • Most wickets for Bangladesh in T20 WC (30 at 19.53)
  • 3 T20I four-wicket hauls, 1 five-wicket haul
  • 5th most T20 wickets (354 at 21.07)
  • 1st to be ranked 'No.1 all-rounder' in all three formats

Marketing leg-spinner's modern face with chic, Rashid Khan outnumbers leg-breaks with googlies, something he has perfected into a reliable and somewhat retaliatory weapon, executing it with very little change in action. Having doted on Shahid Afridi's modus operandi since childhood, Rashid bowls similar lines - linear, from stump to stump - and does so at a quick pace, rebelliously using his fingers more than the wrists, thus not allowing the batsman any time to shimmy out and get to the pitch of the ball.

The T20I debut for Rashid came a few days after his ODI debut on October 26, 2015 at Bulawayo against Zimbabwe. The Afghan team won the match by 6 wickets and Rashid took one wicket in the match.

Since then his importance to the Afghanistan team and for any team he joins on the T20 circuit cannot be understated. Today there is no bowler with a better T20I average, and no bowler in IPL history has ever had a better economy than the 6.55 Rashid boasts.

 

Career Statistics (2015-present)

Full name: Rashid Khan Arman

Born: September 20, 1998 (21), Nangarhar

Major teams: Afghanistan, ACB Development Squad, Adelaide Strikers, Afghanistan Under-19s, Afghanistan XI, Band-e-Amir Dragons, Band-e-Amir Region, Boost Defenders, Boost Defenders, Comilla Victorians, Durban Heat, Guyana Amazon Warriors, ICC World XI, Kabul, Kabul Eagles, Maratha Arabians, Mis Ainak Region, Nangarhar Leopards, Quetta Gladiators, Speen Ghar Region, Sunrisers Hyderabad, Sussex, Sussex 2nd XI

Playing role: Bowler

Batting style: Right-hand bat

Bowling style: Legbreak googly

 

T20I Career - Afghanistan

Mat      Inns      Balls     Runs     Wkts    BBI   BBM     Ave       Econ     SR    4w   5w    10w

48          48        1098     1124         89       5/3    5/3     12.62      6.14     12.3    3      2       0

 

T20 Career

Mat      Inns      Balls     Runs     Wkts    BBI     BBM     Ave       Econ     SR    4w    5w    10w

211       209       4853      5100       296     5/3       5/3       17.22     6.30    16.3    6        2       0

 

Career Highlights

  • Best bowling average in T20Is (12.62)
  • 4th most T20I scalps, 89 in just 48 matches
  • 3 four-wicket hauls, 2 five-wicket hauls in T20I
  • Topped the ICC T20I Player Rankings for bowlers in 2018
  • Tied 2nd fastest to 50 T20I wickets (31 matches)
  • 8th most T20 wickets (296) taken at 17.22
  • Best economy rate in IPL history (6.55)
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