London - Frustrated at not winning back his Test place, former Pakistan captain Salman Butt said that inexperience could cost Pakistan dearly in the upcoming Test series against England.

"The squad's inexperience in early-summer English conditions will be a big problem," said Butt and added: "Especially given the fact that we will be missing the services of Misbah-ul-Haq and Younus Khan. Azhar Ali and Asad Shafiq did quite well in the previous visit to England but their performances this time around will need to be a lot better and will be crucial for Pakistan's success."

With Yasir now sidelined by injury, Pakistan will be without a potent weapon when the first of the two Tests begins at Lord's on Thursday - and Butt says that makes England favourites. "Realistically speaking, given the inexperienced Pakistan side chosen for this series, it would be a good outcome if the visitors can give a reasonable account of themselves and compete as best as they can."

Butt feels this is an excellent opportunity for some of Pakistan's best domestic performers like Saad Ali to experience international cricket and establish themselves in the Pakistan Test side. "I am pleased to see Saad Ali being picked for this tour as that is how top domestic performers should be rewarded. Only when someone like Saad Ali is given a chance to play international cricket can we judge his true potential and also, it's a fact that only by playing at the highest level can a talented player get the experience he needs to develop into a top-quality batsman in the future."

Butt feels that judging Test match suitability on success in a limited overs tournament is a flawed strategy. "There are so many surprises in this part of the world, that this sort of selection didn't really shock me that much," he reflected.

"I feel that there is a trend nowadays to pick One-Day and T20 players for Tests and do a bit of experimentation. However, one must remember that Test cricket is a real test of a player's skills and must be taken seriously. You need experienced Test players in your side which doesn't seem to be the case in the Pakistan side chosen for this tour. All we can do is wish them the best of luck and hope that they all do well, as they will need it,” he added.

Butt said: "There was some discussion about Azhar Ali's batting position as he was tried out as an opening option in the warm-up game against Kent, but the fact is that whichever position he or even Asad Shafiq bat at during the series, England will know that taking the wickets of these two batsmen will be key to exposing the inexperienced Pakistan batting order. "The value of their wickets cannot be underestimated, and Pakistan will look towards both batsmen to take the fight to England."

When asked why Butt and M Asif are still being sidelined, despite some good domestic performances, he said: "What can one say? I have tried everything in my powers, but this has been the situation for a while now. Of course, I am disappointed at this turn of events and I really don't know the reason or the criteria behind my non-selection for the Pakistan side. Perhaps it's simply a case of the selectors having made up their mind to ignore me.

"Whilst M Amir is being selected for international duties, M Asif and I have been ignored for selection and its come to a point where there isn't much more I can do. Perhaps this is more of a question now for the selectors to answer."

"I am trying my best to make sure I remain in contention for a place in the Pakistan side. To this end, I am training hard and putting in the effort and aiming to do well in domestic cricket in the coming season,” he added.

"Even Pakistan's chief selector Inzamam-ul-Haq had told me that he expected me to be selected for Pakistan, but I am not sure what is stopping him from doing that. Ultimately, one has to leave these things to the Almighty and hope and pray that I am able to achieve my goal of returning to play for Pakistan once again,” Butt concluded.