On Thursday, the opening Test match of a three-match series will get off in Rawalpindi. This will be the first time in 17 years that England has played a Test match in Pakistan. Ben Stokes and McCullum, a former New Zealand great, have been instrumental in England’s transformation of their game. As a result, England has won six of their most recent seven Tests at home playing a style of cricket that has been nicknamed “Bazball,” after the coach’s moniker. After a disastrous stretch in which they won only one of 17 tests, including a humiliating loss in the Ashes series in Australia by a score of 4-0, head coach Chris Silverwood was fired, and Joe Root was replaced as captain by Ben Stokes. However, the low and sluggish fields of Pakistan, the location of England’s most recent Test match, which took place in 2005, present a distinct challenge for England. Shoaib Akhtar, a brilliant fast bowler for Pakistan, will long remember his performance in the series. Back then, he was responsible for 17 wickets.
In an interview with The Guardian, Akhtar recalled the series and said, “I was sitting on the edge of my seat wondering whether I was going to be selected for the series or not.” When I was, Freddie Flintoff was the driving force behind all I did.
Flintoff made fun of the speedster when they competed against one other in the ICC Super Series in 2005. Flintoff had commented back then that the player “looked like Tarzan but bowled like Jane.” Shoaib was adamant that he would provide an appropriate response to the star all-rounder.
“I’ve been keeping an eye on Freddie, and I’ve recently begun bowling bouncers. After noticing that he was in pain, I helped him to his feet and asked him, “Mr. Flintoff, do I seem more like Tarzan or Jane?”
“He pleaded with Shoaib, ‘Please forgive me. Over the course of a month, you have completely transformed into a new person. You used to be unfit and often talking trash, but now you’ve completely changed your attitude. What on earth took place? I responded with, “A lot of pills and even more heart,” and I meant it.
Rawalpindi, Multan, and Karachi will each host one of England’s three Test matches during this particular series.