Sohail Tanveer believes England should be wary of Pakistan's "unpredictability" but says the batsmen must stand up to support a potent bowling attack in a mouth-watering three-match Test series. (More Cricket News)
Pakistan return to Test action in the bio-secure bubble at Old Trafford on Wednesday six months after they thrashed Bangladesh in their last contest in the longest format.
England last week sealed a 2-1 series victory over West Indies in the first international series since cricket ground to a halt due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Paceman Tanveer, who has played 119 white-ball matches for Pakistan and is pushing for a recall, knows Joe Root's side are favourites to secure another series win.
But with the exciting Naseem Shah and Shaheen Afridi charging in combined with the likes of seamer Mohammad Abbas and star spinner Yasir Shah, Tanveer says the tourists will be a big threat if the batsmen step up
He told Stats Perform News: "Pakistan has the ability to surprise, we all know that. One day they can be great and the next day not so great, but the unpredictability makes them more dangerous.
"I'm definitely not writing Pakistan off. Yes, England have played good cricket since the first Test against West Indies [which they lost in Southampton], especially in the bowling department they look strong.
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"But having said that, Pakistan also has good youngsters and bowling-wise I'm not really worried. But they will need the batsmen to support the bowlers.
"If they can do that I think it will be a good competition. England has the edge because they are at home and have already played three Test matches, but Pakistan also has a chance. It's going to be a very interesting Test match series."
Naseem become the youngest bowler to take a Test hat-trick against the Tigers in February and Tanveer expects the 17-year-old to thrive in English conditions.
He added: "Naseem Shah has shown he's very good with the red ball and I think he will be more threatening with the ball swinging around in England.
"He's got pace and he can swing the ball both ways, he's young and can bowl long spells. Shaheen Afridi is now an established cricketer and his confidence is very high because he's been performing well since the World Cup.
"Naseem and Shaheen are going to be increasingly threatening bowlers in Test cricket."
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