England, on Thursday (December 8) announced their playing XI for the second Test against Pakistan in Multan, starting Friday as they set out to take an unassailable lead in the three-match series.
Mark Wood will replace Liam Livingstone in the English lineup. The Lancashire batter played as an extra batter in Rawalpindi in the first Test. However, he picked up a knee injury on his Test debut and has flown back home.
“Having someone in your squad who can bowl 150kph is a massive bonus for anyone around the world, especially out here with Pakistan being a very hard place to come, and win someone of his calibre with what he brings is going to be massive for us,” said Ben Stokes.
“It is going to add to our ability to take 20 wickets. It is a different story having three bowlers bowling low 80s (mph) when Mark Wood is bowling 150. He is fit, firing, and ready to go.”
Pakistan is a very hard place to come & win: Ben Stokes
The Three Lions have also decided to persist with Ollie Pope as their wicket-keeper for the Multan Test. Pope replaced Ben Foakes in the first Test as the former was down with illness in the camp among many other members.
“I’ll still keep saying that he (Foakes) is the best keeper in the world,” Stokes said while addressing the press on the eve of the Multan Test.
“It must sound silly to not be picking him but you got to see the conditions we face here. Pakistan is a very hard place to come and win.”
England’s Playing XI for the 2nd Test vs Pakistan:
Zak Crawley, Ben Duckett, Ollie Pope (wk), Joe Root, Harry Brook, Ben Stokes (captain), Will Jacks, Ollie Robinson, Jack Leach, Mark Wood, James Anderson.