LAHORE - Former Test cricketer and chief selector Salahuddin Sallu has said Pakistan must play with aggressive approach as it is the only way to beat strong England team in the two Test-match series.

Talking to The Nation, Sallahuddin said: “Sarfraz Ahmed, who is known as aggressive skipper, must lead the team aggressively and have to take bold decisions in utilizing his options well. We have better bowling line up but batsmen need to be consistent in their performances and especially the openers must take responsibility to provide a good start, which will help the middle order batsmen play without pressure and freely and also help in guiding the team score big total.

About the England team, he said: “Although Pakistan team’s morale is high after winning the Ireland Test, yet England side is much better than the visitors in all the departments. They have very experienced batsmen in shape of Joe Root, Alaister Cook, Jose Butler, etc while Ben Stokes is a very good all-rounder. Their bowling department is also very strong which has James Anderson, Stuart Broad and others.

“Both James Anderson and Stuart Broad are one of the best bowlers of the world. Anderson is comparatively tough bowler as he swings the ball with pacer while Stuart swings in the air so he is comparatively easy to play as he just bowls with speed,” he added.

Former chief selector said that Pakistan team is comparatively younger and inexperienced but it has very passionate and talented youngsters, who can give tough time to the hosts. “Shadab Khan can play key role in bowling and help Pakistan get crucial wickets. Azhar Ali’s 73-run knock is a good sign for the country as he has proved that he is ready to deliver against England, while Fakhar Zaman also played with responsibility, which helped the team not only make good partnerships but also guide them to post a respectable total.

“Imam-ul-Haq and Babar Azam are in good form and playing responsible innings. Now the major responsibility lies on the shoulders of skipper Sarfraz Ahmed and senior batsmen Azhar Ali and Asad Shafiq, as if they succeed in playing some very good innings, Pakistan can definitely beat the strong England at their home-yard,” he added.

The former Test cricketer said that in the warm-up match against Leicestershire, Pakistan bowlers struggled against the club side. “I hope if M Aamir and Hassan Ali gets fully fit and deliver, it can brighten Pakistan’s chances. M Abbas bowled really well against Ireland and it is hoped that if given chance, he can do well against England as well.

In Lord’s ground, there is a ridge at far end, where the bowler feels difficulty in taking the runner-up. “Skipper Sarfraz should keep this point in the mind and utilize the bowlers according to game plan, so that they may not find it difficult to bowl from that end.”

“Bowling department is comparatively better than the batting, but the need of the hour is that every individual has to shoulder the responsibility and contribute well to help the team beat the hosts. Sarfraz should enter the field with all guns blazing to get the best results. I hope Pakistan team will play well against England and try to win the series. I wish the Team Green good luck,” Sallu concluded.