Michael Atherton believes Saqib Mahmood has all the capabilities to replace Stuart Broad in England’s Test setup once the latter decides to hang up his boots. Mahmood has played a starring role for the hosts in the ongoing three-match ODI series against Pakistan.
Saqib Mahmood was drafted into the ODI team after seven members (three players and four support staff) of the main England team contracted COVID-19 before the start of the Pakistan series. The right-arm seamer grabbed his chances with both hands, impressing in the first ODI against Pakistan after returning with figures of 4-42.
Saqib Mahmood has so far taken six wickets in two ODIs against Pakistan while maintaining a parsimonious economy rate of 3.50.
Former England skipper Michael Atherton sees Mahmood as an ideal replacement for the aging Stuart Broad in England’s Test set-up. Atherton was quoted as saying by Sky Sports:
“He looks like a bowler who can challenge across formats, thinking ahead to the India and Australia Test matches coming up. I’m not wishing Broad away at all, he’s one of England’s all-time greats, but Mahmood looks like the type of bowler who could step into Broad’s shoes. He offers accuracy, seam movement and a bit of skill with the old ball when it reverses. He is improving, for sure.”
Saqib Mahmood, who is yet to make his Test debut, has represented England in six ODIs and as many T20Is so far.
“I reckon he’s someone who we will start to see in all formats” – Robert Key on Saqib Mahmood
Saqib Mahmood has been making all the right noises after being drafted into England’s limited-overs team for the Pakistan series.
Former England batsman Robert Key highlighted what makes Mahmood a dangerous fast bowler. After the first ODI in Cardiff against Pakistan, Key stated:
“He has that angle in, and just gets the ball to straighten. He is quick – 88, 89mph – and has good control. Plus, he looks a pretty smart bowler as he is constantly setting his own fields. We get carried away in England when someone puts in a good performance but I reckon he’s someone who we will start to see in all formats.”
England have taken an unassailable 2-0 lead in the three-match ODI series. Pakistan will be looking to bounce back and notch up their first victory of the tour in the third and final ODI at Edgbaston today.
The two teams will then lock horns in a three-match T20I series between July 16th and 20th.
For the latest news, live scores and interviews from the world of cricket, click right here!