England Squad Affected By Virus Ahead Of 1st Test vs Pakistan In Rawalpindi: Report | Cricket News

Ben Stokes-led England will take on Pakistan in the 1st Test of the three-match series in Rawalpindi and the match is slated to begin on Thursday. However, on the eve of the Test match, the preparation has gone sideways for England as the touring squad including Stokes, has been affected by a virus. As per a report in BBC, around 14 members of the touring party have been advised to rest at the team hotel. Only 5 five players came out to train on Wednesday.

The BBC report also states that the symptoms of those affected are not related to Covid-19 and the management is hopeful of recovery within 24 hours.

On Wednesday, England announced their playing XI for the first Test and Liam Livingstone will be making his debut.

England playing XI for the first Test: Zak Crawley, Ben Duckett, Ollie Pope, Joe Root, Ben Stokes (c), Harry Brook, Ben Foakes, Liam Livingstone, Jack Leach, Ollie Robinson, Jimmy Anderson.

A recharged England, playing swashbuckling cricket under skipper Ben Stokes and coach Brendon McCullum, will get their first taste of Pakistan conditions in 17 years when the first Test begins in Rawalpindi on Thursday.

Under Stokes and former New Zealand great McCullum, England have remodelled their game — winning six of their last seven Tests at home playing what has been dubbed “Bazball” after the coach’s nickname.

That came after a dismal sequence of just one win in 17 Tests — including a 4-0 humiliation in the Ashes in Australia — resulting in head coach Chris Silverwood being sacked and Stokes taking over as skipper from Joe Root.

But low and slow pitches in Pakistan — where England last played a Test in 2005 — pose a different challenge, McCullum admits.

Security issues have meant Pakistan have had to play most of their home Tests of the last two decades on neutral grounds, usually the United Arab Emirates.

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