Wayne Rooney has backed Harry Kane to end his World Cup goalscoring drought and "come alive" in England's last-16 clash with Senegal.

Captain Kane has yet to find the net at the finals, though he has provided three assists for Gareth Southgate's side.

Kane won the golden boot at the 2018 World Cup with six goals and Rooney expects the pressure of the knockout stages to inspire a return to that kind of form.

"Harry Kane is made for these games," England's record goalscorer wrote in his column in The Times. 

"The games that are tighter, where the pressure is higher, where the football has to be more calculated – they are where Harry steps up.

"He hasn't scored in the tournament yet but I think there will be a shift in his mindset. He'll think, 'right, it's on me now to make sure we progress', and I think this is when he'll come alive.

"Gareth's other forwards are talented but no one has Harry's consistency. He is always calm and composed and he doesn't let misses bother him.

"Failing to score in the group stage won't affect him like at Euro 2016, where you could see frustration. I reckon this will be more like Euro 2020 when we had similar conversations about his lack of goals in the group stage – and then he started scoring."

Rooney anticipates changes to the starting XI from the 3-0 win over Wales, but would stick with both Phil Foden and Marcus Rashford in the front three.

"It wouldn't surprise me if Gareth brought back Sterling or Bukayo Saka, and maybe even both," the DC United manager added.

"I think he will leave either Foden or Marcus Rashford out and will be keen to use Sterling because he knows and trusts Raheem more than any of the other wide forwards.

"Me? I would stick with the side that beat Wales and keep Rashford and Foden. Foden gives you better control and helps you a lot more and you could see Rashford's confidence grow after his goals against the Welsh. Confidence is key with him."

Gareth Southgate has no concern about calling upon Marcus Rashford and Bukayo Saka to take a penalty in a shootout at the World Cup.

The pair were among a trio of players to miss from the spot in the European Championship final defeat to Italy last year, along with Jadon Sancho, who was not selected for the tournament in Qatar.

Rashford has been a fine performer for Southgate's side, scoring a trio of goals to sit joint-top of the scoring charts, while Saka netted a brace in the demolition of Iran in the opening group match.

Now into the knockout stage, with a round of 16 tie against Senegal on the horizon, the prospect of penalties continues to be a talking point – particularly regarding who could be called upon.

Asked if he had any reservations about either Rashford or Saka stepping up in a shootout, Southgate said: "None at all.

"Marcus' stats would be among the best in the world on penalty taking, and Bukayo is now taking them more regularly with his club. They're both in a good space with that."

In the World Cup in Russia, Southgate introduced players, including Rashford, off the bench in order to take penalties but was criticised for the same approach against Italy – with Rashford and Sancho both missing after their late introductions.

Southgate defended that tactic and hinted that similar moves could be made in the future, if required.

"In terms of the changes, Marcus came on as a sub in Moscow and took a penalty four or five minutes earlier than we put him on at Wembley," he added.

"I've seen lots of teams do that and scored, and it's the right thing. If you don't then it's wrong.

"We've got to stick with our processes, give ourselves the best percentages of winning, and we feel we are very well prepared.

"We've won two, we've lost the last one. We've refined some of those things we didn't think were quite right. We feel that the process is good."

Declan Rice is under no illusions as to the test Senegal will present England in the last 16 of the World Cup on Sunday.

Having won Group B, England will be widely expected to progress in their first meeting with Senegal and set up a quarter-final clash with either France or Poland.

But Senegal have proven their mettle in progressing as Group A runners-up behind the Netherlands despite missing Bayern Munich star Sadio Mane through injury.

And Rice, who will likely be at the heart of a key battle in the midfield at Al Khor, knows Senegal are not to be taken lightly.

"I think we've had a really good focus throughout the three group games – three really tough group games as well – but we’re onto a bigger test and we know Senegal are going to be really tough," Rice told a press conference.

"It's the knockout stages and we want to win. If you don't win, you go home, but that’s not what we're aiming for. We want to get to the end of the tournament. 

"There was big pressure around the Iran game for us to win and we did that. The USA was a tough game but then to beat Wales, with all the noise around that, we really dominated the game from start to finish.

"We're building well and we're in a nice position, and we're ready for whatever comes. 

"Senegal are a really strong, athletic team, with some really good individual players. They are a really good team. It's the first time we've played them since I've been in the set-up and we know it's going to be a tough test."

England, semi-finalists in 2018, are looking to reach the quarter-finals in consecutive World Cups for the first time since 2002 and 2006 under Sven-Goran Eriksson.

If Senegal do pull off a huge upset, it will mark the first time they have won three games at a single World Cup, having also won two en route to the last eight in 2002.
 

PLAYERS TO WATCH

England - Jude Bellingham

At 19 years and 153 days, Bellingham became the second-youngest player to reach 20 caps in England's 3-0 win over Wales and dominated the midfield in doing so.

He won possession seven times, tied with John Stones for the most of any player in the game, and had a passing accuracy of 90 per cent. However, Senegal's midfield has more depth and more talent than that of Wales, and this game promises to be a sterner test of his undoubted quality.

Senegal - Ismaila Sarr

The Lions of Teranga have had five different goalscorers at this World Cup, but Sarr may be the one of whom England will be the most wary.

He scored from the penalty spot against Ecuador and also had the most touches in their box (five) and played more passes into the final third than any other player (13), with eight of them accurate.

Firmly in the shop window having missed out on a move away from Championship side Watford before the season, this is a huge opportunity for Sarr to impress.

PREDICTION

England and Senegal may be meeting each other for the first time, but Stats Perform's AI supercomputer has little doubt about the way this one will go.

The Three Lions, who have never lost in their seven World Cup meetings with African opposition, are given a 63.5 per cent shot of prevailing here.

Senegal are considerable underdogs at 13.8 per cent, with a draw that would force extra-time or penalties a more realistic outcome at 22.7 per cent.

Harry Kane feels "as match fit as I'm ever going to feel" as he prepares to lead England against Senegal at the World Cup on Sunday.

England captain Kane has yet to score in Qatar and has struggled to hit top form after sustaining an ankle injury in the opening 6-2 victory over Iran.

He concedes he would liked to have opened his account but is not overly concerned and says it is all part of a plan to peak as the tournament develops.

The Tottenham striker said: "At the World Cup in 2018, from a physical side of things, we started the tournament well, I scored a load of goals and as the tournament progressed, my performances dipped.

"At the Euros I tried to do it the other way round to make sure I was in the best place for the knockouts. I'd love to be sitting here with two or three goals but, minutes-wise, it hasn't been too tough, and hasn't been too physical heading into the knockout stages.

"I feel really good, I feel as match fit as I'm ever going to feel. Only time will tell but hopefully I can do well tomorrow and bring my best form into the knockout phase."

On his ankle, he added: "It feels fine. I had that knock in the first game but it's been getting better day by day and I almost don't feel it at all now. Form-wise I feel like I've been playing well. The goals are what I will be judged on but I am calm and always try to focus on the team, do my best and I can do that in many different ways.

"I will continue to do that and if the goals come then great. As a striker I always want to be scoring goals, it's going to be a tough game against Senegal but hopefully I can get off the mark."

Kane dismissed suggestions England have not performed well at the World Cup so far ahead of their round of 16 clash with the Africa Cup of Nations champions at Al Bayt Stadium.

He said: "We scored the most goals in the group stage [alongside Spain] and we have a good defensive record. 

"I think we're in a good place. The group stage is just about getting through, we did our job and now it's a second competition of knockout football. We have to be prepared to face a tough side on Sunday.

"Senegal's greatest asset is their togetherness, that's what's seen them become African champions and get through the group stage here. It'll be a tough test but you're at the World Cup, so you expect to play against the best in the world."

England boss Gareth Southgate has a fully fit squad to choose from but some selection dilemmas, primarily in attacking positions with Marcus Rashford, Bukayo Saka, Jack Grealish, Phil Foden and Raheem Sterling all candidates to play wide of Kane.

"It's a good position to be in," said Southgate. "You want your players in confident mood and our forward players are. You want to make the best decision possible and in some respects I am not sure there's a right or wrong answer.

"They all offer different attributes and it's just trying to get the balance right and make the best decisions."

Southgate is aware of the task that awaits his side and does not feel the absence of injured Bayern Munich forward Sadio Mane weakens Senegal.

He added: "We've been really impressed by them. They are African champions and have a lot of belief in the team. They have some excellent individual players that can cause problems and a good structure.

"[Senegal coach] Aliou [Cisse] has done a fantastic job. They were unlucky not to qualify from their group in 2018 and did so this time.

"Mane is an incredible player and every team in the world would want to have him but Senegal have become stronger in his absence. They have shown great spirit but losing him doesn't change the level of difficulty of the fixture tomorrow. We have to be at our very best to win the game."

Harry Kane feels "as match fit as I'm ever going to feel" as he prepares to lead England against Senegal at the World Cup on Sunday.

England captain Kane has yet to score in Qatar and has struggled to hit top form after sustaining an ankle injury in the opening 6-2 victory over Iran.

He concedes he would liked to have opened his account but is not overly concerned and says it is all part of a plan to peak as the tournament develops.

The Tottenham striker said: "At the World Cup in 2018, from a physical side of things, we started the tournament well, I scored a load of goals and as the tournament progressed, my performances dipped.

"At the Euros I tried to do it the other way round to make sure I was in the best place for the knockouts. I'd love to be sitting here with two or three goals but, minutes-wise, it hasn't been too tough, and hasn't been too physical heading into the knockout stages.

"I feel really good, I feel as match fit as I'm ever going to feel. Only time will tell but hopefully I can do well tomorrow and bring my best form into the knockout phase."

On his ankle, he added: "It feels fine. I had that knock in the first game but it's been getting better day by day and I almost don't feel it at all now. Form-wise I feel like I've been playing well. The goals are what I will be judged on but I am calm and always try to focus on the team, do my best and I can do that in many different ways.

"I will continue to do that and if the goals come then great. As a striker I always want to be scoring goals, it's going to be a tough game against Senegal but hopefully I can get off the mark."

Kane dismissed suggestions England have not performed well at the World Cup so far ahead of their round of 16 clash with the Africa Cup of Nations champions at Al Bayt Stadium.

He said: "We scored the most goals in the group stage [alongside Spain] and we have a good defensive record. 

"I think we're in a good place. The group stage is just about getting through, we did our job and now it's a second competition of knockout football. We have to be prepared to face a tough side on Sunday.

"Senegal's greatest asset is their togetherness, that's what's seen them become African champions and get through the group stage here. It'll be a tough test but you're at the World Cup, so you expect to play against the best in the world."

England boss Gareth Southgate has a fully fit squad to choose from but some selection dilemmas, primarily in attacking positions with Marcus Rashford, Bukayo Saka, Jack Grealish, Phil Foden and Raheem Sterling all candidates to play wide of Kane.

"It's a good position to be in," said Southgate. "You want your players in confident mood and our forward players are. You want to make the best decision possible and in some respects I am not sure there's a right or wrong answer.

"They all offer different attributes and it's just trying to get the balance right and make the best decisions."

Southgate is aware of the task that awaits his side and does not feel the absence of injured Bayern Munich forward Sadio Mane weakens Senegal.

He added: "We've been really impressed by them. They are African champions and have a lot of belief in the team. They have some excellent individual players that can cause problems and a good structure.

"[Senegal coach] Aliou [Cisse] has done a fantastic job. They were unlucky not to qualify from their group in 2018 and did so this time.

"Mane is an incredible player and every team in the world would want to have him but Senegal have become stronger in his absence. They have shown great spirit but losing him doesn't change the level of difficulty of the fixture tomorrow. We have to be at our very best to win the game."

Pele was hailed as "an inspiration" by England captain Harry Kane as the football world reacted to worrying reports about the health of the Brazil World Cup legend.

Seven years ago, Pele praised the burgeoning Kane, who had just been called into the England squad for the first time after impressing for Tottenham in the Premier League.

He described the then 21-year-old Kane as an "excellent" talent and urged him to look after his physical wellbeing and never believe he was the best in the business.

That praise was remembered with fondness by Kane on Saturday, as he spoke at an England press conference ahead of the Qatar 2022 last-16 game against Senegal.

Reports in Brazil have claimed the 82-year-old Pele has been moved to palliative care after a cancer battle. There has been no confirmation of this news from Pele or his family.

Kane said: "First and foremost, we send our best wishes to him, and his family."

Reminded of Pele's generous praise in 2015, Kane said: "He's an inspiration in our game, an incredible footballer and an incredible person and to hear those words from him was really special. As someone who is always learning, he was spot on with his advice.

"It's sad to hear that news, we wish him well, not just me but the whole England squad."

Pele was a World Cup winner as a 17-year-old with Brazil in 1958 and also helped the Selecao triumph at the 1962 and 1970 tournaments.

He is widely acknowledged as the greatest player in the World Cup's history, and the likes of past winners Kylian Mbappe and Rivaldo were quick to send best wishes on Saturday as worrying news emerged about Pele's wellbeing.

Reports have claimed Pele is not responding to chemotherapy treatment, having been admitted to hospital for what were described as routine checks. The Folha de Sao Paulo newspaper said Pele is now receiving pain-relieving measures in an end-of-life care ward.

Joe Root has explained why he shined the ball on Jack Leach's head during day three of England's first Test against Pakistan, where a late flurry of wickets shifted momentum in the tourists' favour.

England ended day three of the first Test needing just three wickets to bring the hosts' first innings to a close, with Babar Azam's side on 499-7, still 158 runs behind.

Having laboured to stop Pakistan from chipping away at their lead, England struck late through Will Jacks, James Anderson and Ollie Robinson, taking four wickets in just over 20 overs.

But it was footage of Root rubbing the ball over Leach's head during the day that caught the eye of spectators and now the former captain has spoken out on his strange tactic.

"You've got to get some moisture in it somehow, some weight to try to get it to move around on a placid wicket like that," he stated.

"A nice sweaty, bald head like Jack's is perfect for it. You can see it sat there on his head. He's more than just a pretty face Jack, he is very useful in lots of ways."

Leach, a folk hero among England fans for his role in their famed Headingley comeback against Australia in 2019, has posted figures of 2-160 from 42 overs so far in Rawalpindi.

Despite the cost however, his efforts helped lay the platform for his side's closing flurry, with Root hopeful they can push on over the final two days.

"All the hard work we put in, we got our just rewards," he added. "We had to be quite creative, try to do things differently and think outside the box."

Senegal are hoping coach Aliou Cisse will clamber off his sick bed to lead the team against England.

Cisse has been ill the last two days, and failed to take training on Friday as a result.

His assistant Regis Bogaert faced the press ahead of the World Cup last-16 clash but remains confident Cisse will be on the bench at Al Bayt Stadium on Sunday.

He said: "He's been sick for a couple of days now and he let us [the staff] take charge of training yesterday, with his instructions.

"We are sure that at 10pm tomorrow, he will be there."

Senegal are African champions and edged out Ecuador to secure qualification from Group A and underline their growing reputation on the world stage.

Bogaert added: "We know Senegal can beat England. We need to focus on our African identity and be positive with the experiences we are having at the moment.

"Since the last World Cup, we have matured. We can beat anybody and when we go on the pitch we need to be convinced of that.

"Our objective is to get through. We're not too excited and trying to ensure we stay as calm as possible."

Senegal's finest moment at the World Cup came 20 years ago with a 1-0 win over France in the opening game of the 2002 tournament in Japan and South Korea.

Asked how beating England would compare, Bogaert said: "It would be a tremendous achievement, although I am not sure how it would compare to the win in 2002.

"For the players, it would show them that we are capable of playing one of the top five sides in the world. If we can beat a team like that it sends a very strong message of the progress we have made."

Bogaert believes set-pieces could be key on Sunday and is hoping it is an area they can use to spring a major surprise.

"We have studied the different types of set plays they employ and we will try to adopt the best possible strategy," he said.

"We have identified some things and set-pieces can be decisive. We hope to take advantage of them and cause problems for our opponent."

Phil Foden is "disappointed" not to have made more starts in an "up and down" World Cup for the England attacking midfielder and hopes to play a big part against Senegal.

Foden made his first start of the tournament in a 3-0 win over Wales on Tuesday that sealed the Three Lions' place in the round of 16.

Gareth Southgate is facing a tough selection for the showdown with the Africa Cup of Nations champions at Al Bayt Stadium on Sunday, with Foden waiting to discover if he will keep his place in the team.

It has been a mixed World Cup for the Manchester City star, who hopes the best is yet to come

"It has been up and down," he told BBC TV. "[I am] disappointed not to start more games, but it is part of the tournament. I am a team player and when I get the opportunities I'll take them."

Foden added: "I had seen a lot of media attention towards me to start, it is hard to get away from that.

"There is a lot [of competition]. [Bukayo] Saka has done well and scored in the first game, [Marcus] Rashford has scored and did very well against Wales.

"Everyone is scoring and everyone has proved a point, so it will be a headache for Gareth to pick the team for the next game.

"[Scoring against Wales was] definitely up there for one of the best feelings in my career so far, a special moment.

"I think I have every chance to start the next match. I played well against Wales, but we will have to see what happens."

Babar Azam scored the seventh century of the match but England's persistence paid off as they took four wickets in the final session on day three of the first Test against Pakistan.

Imam-ul-Haq (121) and Abdullah Shafique (114) completed their hundreds in the morning session at Rawalpindi Cricket Stadium before their opening stand came to an end with 225 on the board.

Captain Babar (136) got in on the act with a typically stylish innings, but Pakistan closed on 487-7 in reply to the tourists' 657 all out – trailing by 160 runs.

Debutant Will Jacks took 3-123 and Jack Leach claimed 2-158 on a flat wicket, England earning late rewards for toiling in the heat after Pakistan avoided the follow-on.

Spinning all-rounder Jacks got the breakthrough after Pakistan resumed on 181 without loss, Shafique edging a wide delivery through to wicketkeeper Ollie Pope.

Imam holed out trying to launch Leach over the rope and Pakistan were 283-3 at lunch after the left-arm tweaker trapped Azhar Ali (27) leg before.

Babar and Saud Shakeel prevented any further damage from being done in a wicketless afternoon session, the skipper serenely scoring another century he brought up by dispatching Ben Stokes through the covers for four.

Ollie Robinson struck in the first over after tea, though, debutant Shakeel nicking the seamer behind for 37, and Babar ended a fifth-wicket stand of 60 with Mohammad Rizwan by slapping Jacks to Leach at point.

Rizwan (29) became James Anderson's first victim and Naseem Shah struck a well-flighted Jacks delivery to Leach in the deep as England ended the day strongly.

Openers make history in run-fest

All four opening batters made centuries in the same match for only the second time in a Test – and this was the first time that each of the four reached three figures in the first innings.

It was also the first occasion in which there have been two double-century opening stands in a Test.

Imam made his third hundred in as many Test knocks in Rawalpindi, having scored one in both innings against Australia in March. Shafique has three Test centuries in only 14 innings.

Babar delivers another masterclass

Skipper Babar made his eighth Test hundred and a first against England with yet another masterclass.

The elegant right-hander showed a combination of sweet timing and aggression in a stylish knock that we have become so accustomed to seeing.

Babar has scored three Test hundreds and four half-centuries this year in 10 Test innings, hitting one six and 19 fours in his latest exhibition of batting of the highest order.

Talented Bournemouth winger Jaidon Anthony insists he is in no hurry to decide his future with both international teams England and Jamaica being options at this point.

In truth the 22-year-old winger might not be a major consideration for either country at this point, having not secured much time on the pitch in the English Premier League (EPL).

In total the player has made only 12 appearances but has shown plenty of ability with the 3 goals he has scored so far.  At Bournemouth, Antony is teammates with Jamaica international Jamal Lowe who has already attempted to sell the young player on representing the Caribbean team.  At this point in time, however, he insists he is not yet ready to consider it.

“My mum and my dad are both from Jamaica as well. I have got good heritage from there,” Anthony told the Beautiful Game Podcast.

“It would be an honour to represent either.  One of my team-mates, Jamal Lowe, plays for Jamaica. He’s always saying you need to come!

“I have only been playing professional football for two years. I don’t want to rush any decisions. We will see what happens.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’m ready now – Whisper

John Stones rates Harry Kane as a striker in the class of Erling Haaland as he backed the England captain to break his Qatar World Cup scoring duck.

England have reached the last-16 stage without needing a goal from their skipper, taking seven points from their group games and scoring nine times in the process, with both totals unsurpassed at this tournament.

For Kane not to have netted any of those goals is a surprise, but he has three assists to his name, more than any other player across the group stage, and is contributing in important ways without putting the ball in the net.

Four years ago in Russia, Kane's six goals made him the Golden Boot winner, and he may yet hit a hot streak of form in the coming fortnight.

Whether he does or not, Stones is in no doubt as to the quality of England's number nine.

Asked whether Kane is a player of the same calibre as Haaland, who is a club-mate of Stones at Manchester City, the England defender suggested they were of comparable quality.

"Definitely yeah, it's difficult to obviously say. Erling's so new to our league and Harry has been playing in it all his life pretty much," Stones said.

"Players like those two, their quality always shines through. Maybe they do say 'does he need a rest or not?', [but] we never think like that.

"I think players that usually are scoring like Harry and want to score, you all saw his assist the other day was incredible, but those sort of players are a massive team player as well.

"The things that don't get spoken about, the positioning, the headers from corners that us as defenders appreciate massively, and what he brings to the team as a leader and as a person, as a presence, can outweigh sometimes what happens or the outcome of things."

That reckoning of Kane's diverse qualities is why England's players are not getting at the captain to find his scoring touch, ahead of Sunday's last-16 tussle with Senegal. All in good time, appears to be the message.

 

Haaland and Kane have both been prolific already in the Premier League this season, netting 18 and 12 goals so far for City and Tottenham respectively to sit first and second in the scoring charts.

While Haaland is missing out on the World Cup action because Norway failed to qualify, Kane has the chance to guide England to glory, a year after they finished runners-up at the European Championship.

Again looking at Haaland and Kane, Stones said: "They are both incredible players and incredible within their own rights as well.

"Harry's always been incredible with me, incredible to play with, and I'm sure he will get on the scoresheet soon."

England head coach Eddie Jones has hit back after criticism from Clive Woodward.

The team's former head coach called for England's situation – including Jones' position – to be "scrutinised" should they fail to beat Scotland in next year's Six Nations opener.

England suffered a 27-13 defeat to world champions South Africa on Saturday, having also recently been beaten by Argentina at Twickenham, with doubts growing over their credentials ahead of the 2023 Rugby World Cup following a poor showing during the Autumn internationals.

With just one win in November against Japan, England's schedule concluded with a loss to a Springboks team missing key European-based players.

Woodward led England to the 2003 Rugby World Cup crown and he believes Jones' position should be under threat ahead of the latest Rugby Football Union (RFU) review, writing in his Daily Mail column: "England are not just losing, they are going backwards at an alarming rate of knots.

"A full and totally transparent review must be done immediately to look into where the team are at. As head coach, Eddie Jones has serious questions to answer. Everything must be scrutinised."

 

Speaking to Men's Health UK, Jones issued a sharp response, claiming he is currently at the peak of his coaching powers.

"I feel sad for him [Woodward]," he said. "If that is the best thing he has to do in his life, then he hasn't a lot to do.

"I'm 62 now and I think in pure coaching terms I am coaching better than I ever have. Results aren't always perfect, but I'm happy with how I have been coaching.

"After this, I want to do something really meaningful. I've enjoyed England a lot, it was a bit of a rescue job at the start, now rebuilding, and I am confident I will leave things in good shape."

Jones has already said he will leave the role after next year's World Cup.

John Stones says he has never seen a young player as talented as Phil Foden, as Gareth Southgate weighs up whether to stick with the Manchester City man for England's World Cup last-16 clash with Senegal.

Foden was left out of England's line-up for their first two games in Qatar – a 6-2 thrashing of Iran and a goalless draw with the United States – but he got on the scoresheet after starting Tuesday's 3-0 win over Wales. 

He led his team-mates for expected goals (1.04 xG), shots in the Wales area (four) and crosses (five) last time out, and Foden's City colleague expects him to continue impressing.

"I've never seen anyone at that age like Phil, with his ability, his football knowledge, and his freedom in how he plays and how he expresses himself," Stones said on Friday.

"The ability he's got is frightening. I'm a huge fan of Phil, I'm lucky to get to play with him pretty much every day.

"I look forward to seeing what he can do and I love playing with him. I'm extremely lucky, City are extremely lucky, England as well, that we've got somebody like that. 

"I want to help him through whatever it might be, and make sure he gets what he needs on and off the pitch that allows him to go and play as he played the other night."

Foden faces stern competition for a place in England's frontline, with each of Raheem Sterling, Jack Grealish, Marcus Rashford and Bukayo Saka having scored in Qatar, and Stones does not envy Southgate's dilemma. 

"It's the hardest part of being a manager, choosing that starting eleven and knowing there's eleven happy players and the rest aren't," Stones added.

"We've got an incredible group here, and the boys who don't make the pitch or come on are very selfless and they put their own feelings aside for the group. 

"That's part of our success. I don't envy managers in general when they've got to make those decisions."

While England's tally of nine goals at this World Cup is the most they have scored in the group stages at a major tournament, back-to-back clean sheets also aided their bid to top Group B.

Stones' central defensive partner Harry Maguire has been heavily criticised after slipping down the pecking order at Manchester United, and the City man believes his response has been exemplary.

"Right from the first game, he's given the best response with what he's been doing. In all three games, he's been terrific," Stones said of Maguire. 

"Knowing what he's been going through and knowing the person he is, it speaks volumes about him to come through that and still believe in himself, like I believed in him and all his team-mates did.

"I think there was a lot of noise from outside which he's not listened to, and he's tried to improve and better himself, and he's come into this tournament and hit the ground running. That's great credit to him."

Abdullah Shafique and Imam-ul-Haq gave Pakistan a great start in their reply to England's record-breaking exploits with the bat on day two of the first Test.

Zak Crawley, Ben Duckett, Ollie Pope and Harry Brook scored centuries as the tourists piled on the runs on a historic first day in Rawalpindi Cricket Stadium.

After resuming on a staggering 506-4 in their first Test in Pakistan for almost 17 years, England posted 657 all out from 101 overs on Friday - Brook top scoring with 153 off 116 balls and taking a record 27 off an over.

Imam (90 not out) and Shafique (89no) then cashed in on a flat wicket, taking Pakistan to 181 without loss at the close on another gruelling day for the bowlers - trailing by 476 runs.

Ben Stokes hit the first ball of the day he faced from Naseem Shah (3-140) down the ground for six, but was cleaned up off the final delivery of an eventful opening over of the day.

Liam Livingstone fell cheaply, but Brook continued to show his class, brutally taking Zahid Mahmood (4-235) apart before he was removed by Naseem.

Ollie Robinson (37) and Will Jacks (30) also chipped in, but there was no joy for England with the ball as Imam and Shafique played superbly in control knocks.

Stand-in wicketkeeper Pope appeared to have put down a chance to dismiss Imam for 11 and caught Shafique when he had 54 to his name, but the opener was given a reprieve after a replay showed the ball bounced before lodging in his glove.

A concern for England would be the loss of Livingstone to an ankle injury that kept the all-rounder off the field and prevented him from bowling.

The brilliance of Brook

Making only his second Test appearance, Brook carried on where he left off on day one in a masterful knock as England made their second-highest Test score overseas.

He brutally took debutant Zahid apart to break a record of 24, which he shared with Ian Botham for less than a day after matching that on Thursday, for the most runs scored by an England batter in a Test over.

Brook struck Zahid for two sixes and three fours before scoring three off the final ball of that incredible over. He only faced 115 balls in the fastest 150 by an England player in the longest format and the fourth-quickest in Test history, hitting five sixes and 19 fours.

Shafique and Imam build strong foundations

After such a punishing time in the field, Shafique and Imam were able to enjoy themselves at the crease in a run-fest.

England had the odd half chance, but the openers looked comfortable as they saw off the new ball with apparent ease and were closing in on centuries at the close.

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