Lancashire pace bowler Saqib Mahmood was the star player as a new look England cruised to a nine wicket win over Pakistan in the first of three ODI’s against Pakistan.
Mahmood picked up two wickets in his first three balls to give England a near-perfect start after their rocky build-up, which saw the original squad go into self-isolation as a result of a number of Covid-19 positives.
He finished with figures of 4-42 as the tourists were bowled out for just 141,Lancashire leg-spinner Matt Parkinson also took 2-28
“I always thrive, whatever team I play for, when I’m given that extra responsibility,” he told reporters.
“Speaking to Stokesy, he said he wanted me to take the new ball and even out there, bringing me on when we needed wickets, that sort of stuff, I thrive off that. I’m glad I was able to back that up and make the most of that responsibility.”
Asked whether he might have expected to have played more games for England by now, Mahmood pointed to the quality of the players currently ahead of him in the pecking order and admitted that previously he had not quite done enough when he had been given a chance.
“I think the main thing is that this is the No 1 side in the world and you’ve got to do some pretty special things to take over from the guys who have got the spots,” he said.
“When I’ve played for England, I haven’t managed to take that opportunity. I don’t think it is a side where when you come in, you’ve got time to settle, I guess.