Pakistan captain Misbah-ul-Haq has identified England middle order batsman Joe Root as the biggest threat to the hosts in the upcoming Tests series against the Three Lions.
Misbah said Root had impressed consistently through his performances and was equally adept at playing pace as he we was against spin bowling.
“Joe Root will be their key player. He has scored runs at home and abroad and he is equally good against pace and spin,” said Misbah in a column for Cricket Australia’s official website.
Root, 24, has amassed a whopping 2733 runs in just 32 Tests for the Three Lions and also provides utility with the ball. In the recent Ashes success, Root was the highest run getter for England with 460 runs.
Misbah said Pakistan would need to come up with a special strategy against the youngster from Sheffield, Yorkshire.
“We will need to come up with special plans to tackle him.”
According to the Pakistan skipper, restricting Root from getting high scores would increase the chances of beating England.
“If you can control the threat of the opposition’s best player you stand more chances of winning,” added Misbah.
The 41-year-old believed that although Pakistan would benefit from ‘home advantage’, the Englishmen would be a force to reckon with when the series kicks off on Tuesday, October 13 at Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi.
“England have a new team and, on paper, they may appear to be weak compared to the team we faced on their last visit in 2012. But keeping their recent performances in mind they have the team which can give us a tough time,” said Misbah.
England’s last Test encounter was the all-important Ashes series against Australia which the Britons won with a convincing margin.
Misbah said that England would have learned valuable lessons from the their disastrous 3-0 defeat three years ago and it will be tougher for Pakistan to beat them this time. “They know the mistakes they made on the previous tour so they will be better prepared this time.”