Left-hand opener Shan Masood is ready to turn the tables in England. Despite the home side’s defeat to West Indies in the first Test at Southampton, Masood believes that England bowlers will still be a threat to Pakistan’s batsmen. In particular, James Anderson.
During a video conference, Masood addresses Anderson as to be a big threat.
“No doubt that he (Anderson) is a world-class bowler. By achievements, he’s perhaps the No. 1 fast bowler in the world right now.”
In his early days in Test cricket, he was troubled by Anderson. Anderson and Masood have together played three-Test match against each other, with the former has dismissed the latter in all six innings. Masood’s last tour to England was not a good one with him managing only 71 runs in four innings. Anderson nicked him off in all four innings before Masood was dropped for Sami Aslam. Afterward, Masood played only one more match in whites, against the West Indies in 2017 in the final Test match where he managed only 30 across two innings. Since then, he did not play for Pakistan until the end of 2018.
Masood was recalled into the side in the South Africa Test series in 2018. And he impressed everyone on that tour. He was Pakistan’s leading run-scorer with 228, averaging at 38. He was the second-highest run-scorer in that Test series. It was a good return. And since his comeback, Masood has scored 624 runs at an average of 44.57 with two centuries and three half-centuries across 14 Test innings.
“You learn from the past and the mistakes you made then, but you also learn not to become fixated on the past,” he said. “You should also know when to move on. Things have changed from 2016. The mistakes we’ve made before we have to learn from, but we have to react to the needs of today. Nothing is constant, and I want to live in the present.”
For interim batting coach Younis Khan, calling him the greatest Test batsman in Pakistan history, Masood praised him evermore.
There’s no surprise in that as Younis’ arrival brings back personal memories for Masood. One of his career highlights took place in a series-deciding Test against Sri Lanka in 2015, with Pakistan needed 377 for victory against the hosts. But having lost two wickets early, Masood played a wonderful hand of 125 in the stand of a 242-run partnership with Younis as Pakistan chase down their highest total in Test, winning with seven wickets to spare.
“Younis’s stature is inarguable and his arrival makes a huge difference,” Masood said. “He’s Pakistan’s greatest Test batsman and all batsmen in the side are eager to interact with him and draw on his experiences. The way the guys were playing in Worcester, be it in the nets or the scenario matches, he worked with everyone.
“He even works hard with our bowlers on their batting because, in Test cricket, the runs they provide from the lower order are crucial too. Fifty or 60 runs added there could turn the tide of a Test match. We’re having two sessions a day, morning and evening. There’s been a hugely positive impact and we’re looking forward to learning more from him.”
Pakistan will play three-match Test series against England starting from August 6. After the Test series, both sides will play three-match T20I series to conclude the tour.