Pakistan coach agrees that the team will miss Yasir Shah but is confident that the pace department can make up for his absence.
With ace spinner Yasir Shah ruled out of the two-Test series in England, Pakistan head coach Mickey Arthur believes the time is right for the young team to gel as a unit and build a core of players that can play in all conditions.
Shah, who has taken 89 Test wickets in the last two years – more than any other Pakistani bowler – was ruled out of the tour because of a hip injury and was replaced by the one-Test-old Shadab Khan, a leg-spinner like Shah.
Khan, 19, has impressed in limited-overs cricket but the red-ball test away from home is likely to be challenging. With the team already in England and ready for their first warm-up game against Kent, Arthur feels watching Khan bowl in English conditions will be exciting.
“Any team would miss Yasir. He has the ability to hold the attack and control the game,” Arthur said.
“Shadab is incredibly exciting but also I am not sure that spin is going to be a huge factor given it s early season in England, so we have covered ourselves in the seam department.
“But Shadab can clean tails up because he has all the tricks. It is going to be exciting to see how he goes.”
Pakistan have picked five uncapped players in their squad as the team goes through a transition phase after the retirements of Misbah-ul-Haq and Younis. In such circumstances, the responsibility on some of the senior players becomes all the more crucial, one of them being Mohammad Amir, who marked his return to Test cricket at Lord s in 2016.