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England arrive in Pakistan for Test series after 17 years; Squads, Schedule, All you need to know about it

Islamabad, Nov 27: Two weeks after defeating them in the T20 World Cup final in Australia on November 13 at the iconic Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG), England arrived in Islamabad for a Test series on Pakistan soil in 17 years.

Skipper Ben Stokes and 15 of his teammates touched down in Pakistan on Saturday (November 26) and were given a warm welcome by local authorities ahead of the three-match series that commences in Rawalpindi on December 1.

While England played a seven-match T20I series in Pakistan prior to the T20 World Cup, this three-match Test series will be the first time the two sides have played a red-ball fixture in the country since 2005.

Pakistan eye WTC final spot

The series is part of the current World Test Championship period and Pakistan are still in contention to win a place at next year's final at The Oval.

Babar Azam's side sits in fifth place on the World Test Championship standings and have upcoming series at home against England and New Zealand to boost their chances of a top-two finish and earn a place at next year's decider.

England aim for an overseas Test win under Bazball

England are out of contention for a spot in the final, with their disastrous Ashes series in Australia at the end of last year and a disappointing series of the West Indies in March leaving them with too much to do to remain in the mix.

They have bounced back to some of their best form in recent times, with series triumphs at home over New Zealand and South Africa helping them commence a new era under Kiwi coach Brendon McCullum.

England are keeping a close eye on the fitness of Mark Wood, with the pace spearhead still battling the hip injury that saw him miss the final of the T20 World Cup against Pakistan in Melbourne.

For Stokes, the tour is his first visit to Pakistan and something the 31-year-old is eagerly looking forward to.

"In terms of the tour itself, I'm really looking forward to it," Stokes said.

"We know what the sub-continent feels about the cricket, it's a huge part of their life, and we're looking forward to going out there."

Squads

England: Ben Stokes (C), James Anderson, Harry Brook, Zak Crawley, Ben Duckett, Ben Foakes, Will Jacks, Keaton Jennings, Jack Leach, Liam Livingstone, Jamie Overton, Ollie Pope, Ollie Robinson, Joe Root, Mark Wood, Rehan Ahmed.

Pakistan: Babar Azam (C), Mohammad Rizwan, Sarfaraz Ahmed, Shan Masood, Saud Shakeel, Salman Agha, Naseem Shah, Nauman Ali, Abdullah Shafique, Imam-ul-Haq, Faheem Ashraf, Haris Rauf, Mohammad Wasim Jr, Abrar Ahmed, Zahid Mahmood, Mohammad Nawaz, Azhar Ali, Mohammad Ali

Schedule:

1st Test, Rawalpindi, December 1-5

2nd Test, Karachi, December 9-13

3rd Test, Multan, December 17-21

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Story first published: Sunday, November 27, 2022, 11:08 [IST]
Other articles published on Nov 27, 2022