Cook and Root solid after early Amir strike

Shukriya Pakistan

Manchester: England are 95/1 at the end of first session after having won the toss earlier in the morning. Cook was unbeaten on 40 while Joe Root was playing on 41.

Amir provided Pakistan with the first breakthrough by removing opener Alex Hales for 10 in the 7th over of the innings.


Joe Root, the new batsman, along with captain Cook laid a nice solid partnership and ensured that Pakistan did not make more inroads after the early blow.

Earlier England captain Alastair Cook won the toss and elected to bat against Pakistan in the second Test at Old Trafford on Friday.

England made two changes from the side that lost the first of this four-Test series by 75 runs at Lord’s last week.

As expected, England recalled James Anderson, their all-time leading wicket-taker, on his Lancashire home ground after he missed the first Test because the selectors were uncertain of the paceman’s fitness following a shoulder injury.

All-rounder Ben Stokes was also recalled after a knee problem, with the pair replacing seamers Steven Finn and Jake Ball after the pair, who both played at Lord’s, were omitted when a 14-man squad was reduced to 12 on Thursday.

England had the chance to play a leg-spinner in a home Test for the first time in 16 years.

But although Adil Rashid, all of whose three Test appearances came against Pakistan in the UAE last year, made it into the 12, the Yorkshireman was left out on Friday.

Instead England preferred to stick with off-spinner Moeen Ali as their specialist slow bowler in a five-man attack, despite the Worcestershire all-rounder’s mediocre display at Lord’s.

This match saw opening batsman Cook become the fourth man to captain England in 50 Tests after Michael Atherton (54), Michael Vaughan (51) and Andrew Strauss (50).

Pakistan were unchanged with leg-spinner Yasir Shah, man-of-the-match at Lord’s with a 10-wicket haul, given the all-clear after suffering a shoulder injury batting in the nets on Wednesday.

England are unbeaten in nine Tests at Old Trafford since losing to Pakistan by 108 runs in 2001.

The story includes input from AFP.