ABU DHABI: Yasir Shah may not play the first England Test after the legspinner suffered a back injury during training on the eve of the Abu Dhabi match.
Yasir, who was widely tipped to play a match-winning role in the three-match Test series against Alastair Cook’s side, suffered a back injury in the nets and may join top-order batsman Azhar Ali on the sidelines who failed to recover from a toe infection.
Captain Misbah-ul-Haq termed Yasir a doubtful starter for the first game.
“We will wait on a final decision on Yasir on the morning of the first Test but judging by his current condition, his participation is highly unlikely,” Misbah told reporters during a pre-match press conference.
Pakistan were pinning their hopes on relative Yasir Shah and Zulfiqar Babar to cause England’s batsmen problems in the absence of spin duo of Saeed Ajmal and Abdur Rehman who were England’s tormentors in the 2012 whitewash, taking 43 wickets for an average of 15.6 runs.
Meanwhile, England fast bowler Steven Finn will also miss the first Test against Pakistan with a foot injury, the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) announced on Monday.
The 26-year-old has sustained a stress injury to his left foot and will therefore sit out the opening match in the three-Test series, which begins on Tuesday.
Finn first felt pain in his foot during England’s second warm-up match against Pakistan A in Sharjah last week, but took part in a nets session on Sunday.
“It’s a bitter blow for him,” said England captain Alastair Cook.
“He bowled really well in that warm-up game and over the last 12 months he’s made huge strides back to where we’d like him to be.
“We’ll monitor him and hope he could be right for the second Test. But we’ll have to wait and see.”
Pakistan take on England in a three-Test series, the first of which starts on October 13.– Agencies