Joe Root Hints At Inclusion Of Saqib Mahmood And Dawid Malan In The Playing XI For The Headingley Test

Joe Root

England skipper Joe Root has high hopes of pace bowler Saqib Mahmood suiting to the Test format alongside Dawid Malan as both players are set to feature in the playing XI for Headingley. England has been facing a lot of injury issues recently with the latest entry to the injury list being Mark Wood who was impressive in the second list.

England announced their squad for the third test by recalling batsmen Dawid Malan and fast bowler Saqib Mahmood who has been phenomenal in the limited-overs games for England so far. England lost the second Test at Lord’s after a poor batting effort on the final day and have dropped Dom Sibley and Zak Crawley from the squad.

Joe Root and Jonny Bairstow
England skipper Joe Root and Jonny Bairstow. Credits: Twitter

Joe Root Delighted By Saqib Mahmood’s Development And Progress

Joe Root felt that Saqib Mahmood could be ideal to the England test side looking at the progress of the fast bowler in the last two years. Saqib Mahmood had an excellent ODI series against Pakistan and it has certainly impressed the England test skipper. Root was particularly happy to see the fast bowler’s development in the international circuit.

“I feel like Saqib couldn’t be in a better place to play Test cricket. We look at how he has progressed over the last couple of years across all the formats. The opportunities that he has taken which he has been given is exceptional.

“He went into that one-day series [against Pakistan] as probably the most experienced player and the go-to seamer and was under pressure. It is just great to see the strength and depth, and him developing the way he has developed over a period of time,” said England skipper Joe Root to media during a virtual interaction.

Saqib Mahmood (PHoto- Twitter)
Saqib Mahmood (Photo- Twitter)

Joe Root Feels Dawid Malan Has The International Experience At The Top

Joe Root confessed his frustrations on missing out on yet another fast bowler Mark Wood after the shoulder injury. However, he was happy to welcome Dawid Malan back into the England Test side and mentioned Malan’s red-ball game improvement in recent years. He recalled the 2018 Ashes where Malan finished as the top run-scorer and expects him to do well if the left-hander finds a place in the top 3.

“He bowled very well. This is frustrating for him and us. It gives opportunity to some of the others to step up,” Root told on missing Mark Wood.

“Dawid will offer a lot of experience in the top 3. Not necessarily Test cricket, but he has played lots of international cricket. He has dealt with pressure situations. He has played a lot of red-ball cricket over the course of his career. He also had great success and played in a massive series in Australia away (2017-18 Ashes) and been our leading run-scorer there,” he added.

Dawid Malan
Dawid Malan (Image Credit: Twitter)

India has already taken a 1-0 lead in the series with a win at Lord’s and they will be looking to continue their good performances in the remaining 3 Tests.

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