Wahab: Pakistan to target England's 'fragile' middle order


Wahab Riaz believes Pakistan's bowling attack will enjoy plenty of success in their Test series with England if they can remove Alastair Cook and Joe Root quickly.

The four-Test series begins on Thursday at Lord's with Pakistan having struggled for consistency in their two tour matches, the latest of which sees the tourists lead Sussex by 143 runs.

Saturday saw Pakistan's bowlers struggle with the conditions at first, but there was some joy later on as five wickets fell for 79 runs - Wahab taking 2-62.

And the fast bowler hopes that continues against Cook's side, whom he feels are struggling for confidence outside of the two star batsmen.

"We know that England are struggling with their middle order," he told ESPNcricinfo. 

"Obviously Joe Root is one of their best players, he has to take responsibility and that's why he's coming in at number three.

"I think the other batting is really fragile down the order, if you get Cook and Root out quickly then you can really put pressure on the team.

"But you cannot take things very easy against them, so you have to work hard for each and every wicket, and to do that you have to be consistent with your line and lengths."

After a disappointing series against Sri Lanka, England have replaced Nick Compton with Gary Ballance, but Alex Hales and James Vince remain despite having struggles of their own.