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Pakistan will play England in the first test in UAE tomorrow, however, their confidence may be a bit shattered after their strike bowler Yasir Shah is unfit with a back issue in training. Captain Misbah-ul-Haq said he had encountered a back spasm and a decision regarding his fitness would be made in the morning.
Yasir was playing in the nets and fell down after his studs stuck in the turf. He was left lying on the ground in clear agony before being aided away by spinner Zulfiqar Babar.
The legspinner, who as of late turned into the quickest Pakistani to take 50 Test wickets, has been seen as one of the key bowlers in this series and his nonattendance would be a noteworthy blow for Misbah’s side, after Pakistan’s No. 3, Azhar Ali, is also out of the first match due to a foot injury.
“We need to sit tight until tomorrow and hope after the best,” Misbah said. “He has a back spasm and let’s see [how his recuperation goes] overnight. Losing Yasir could be a major blow however we are trusting that he will be fine as he is our key player and we are all worried about him.
“Clearly we are looking for a replacement. In the event that he is not fit then we have to have somebody and we are dealing with that. Ideally we will get somebody for tomorrow morning.
“Considering the damage to Azhar Ali, now if Yasir couldn’t make it, it will be an intense test for us. It will be hard for us to adapt without him yet this is the very same situation, we are as of now playing against a top team and we knew we need to come hard so it will be all the more difficult.”
Pakistan have rung left-arm spinner Zafar Gohar, who played against England in their two warm-up matches a week ago. Gohar had come back to Pakistan and it is impossible for him to fly back to UAE before the beginning of the Test on Tuesday, which implies Pakistan may need to turn to playing another pace bowler if Yasir is unfit.