Pakistan will look to capitalise on the "huge loss" of Ben Stokes from the England side by taking advantage of a lighter middle order, says bowling coach Waqar Younis.

Stokes withdrew from the rest of the series, which England lead 1-0 after a three-wicket win at Old Trafford, to travel to New Zealand for family reasons.

The world's top Test all-rounder had initially been limited to the role of specialist batsman for the first Test because of a thigh injury but came on to bowl in the second innings to help England dismiss the tourists for 169 with the wickets of Mohammad Rizwan and Shaheen Shah Afridi.

England improbably chased down 277 to win, though Stokes was not a major factor in that pursuit as he followed a first-innings duck with nine in the second innings.

However, captain Joe Root is under no illusion as to the impact of his absence, telling a media conference: "It's a huge loss for us. For a long period of time, he's been arguably our best player.

"He offers so much in all departments. He's a big leader within the group - vice-captain, as well - and, of course, we'll miss him dearly.

"We're all thinking about him. But it's an opportunity for someone to come in and try to fill those boots.

"That's always exciting for someone to take on that challenge. Whoever gets that responsibility has to try to step up to the plate and trust in their own game to help us hopefully get two up in the series."

Waqar does not necessarily see Stokes' exit from the series as a boost to the tourists given their bowling performance against him.

But with Zak Crawley expected to come into the side, he does see potential for Pakistan to have greater success against England's middle order.

"He's [Stokes] the kind of batsman that takes the game away from you single-handedly at times," said Waqar.

"I wouldn't say it's a boost because of the way we bowled at him in the previous game. I thought we had very clear plans and I think we executed really well.

"Yes he's not around, it's unfortunate for cricket but there's no doubt he's a match-winner. If he's not around, England will probably be a touch light when you talk about the middle order. We're going to talk about it and try to cash in."

Ben Stokes will play no further part in England's Test series against Pakistan for family reasons. 

Stokes, who captained the team in Joe Root's absence for the opener against West Indies in July, has featured in all four Tests played on home soil so far this year.

However, the 29-year-old – who has been struggling with an injury which restricted him to just four overs of bowling in the victory over Pakistan in Manchester – will not be available for the next two matches, which take place at the Rose Bowl. 

The all-rounder will instead be heading to New Zealand to spend time with his family, the England and Wales Cricket Board announced in a statement on a Sunday.

In December, Stokes' father, Ged, fell ill while attending England's tour of South Africa. 

While his father recovered in hospital after undergoing three operations, Stokes continued to play on for England, helping clinch a 3-1 series triumph over the Proteas. 

However, England - who went 1-0 up against Pakistan on Saturday - will now be without their vice-captain in Southampton. 

Jos Buttler and Chris Woakes were the heroes as the hosts chased down a target of 277 to secure a three-wicket triumph at Old Trafford.

Ben Stokes provided the spark as England stayed in the hunt for victory in a gripping first Test against Pakistan.

Picked just as a batsman for this match due to a niggling thigh injury, Stokes made a frustrating duck in England's first innings, but he stepped out of the slips to take the ball and pick up two prized Pakistan wickets.

Day three at Old Trafford ended with Pakistan on 137-8 in their second innings, 244 runs ahead of England.

However many more runs Pakistan add on Saturday morning, England will face a tough task to chase down their target, but they still have hope.

The home side had hope at the start of this day too, and they also had Ollie Pope, but England's new middle-order star added just 16 to his overnight score to be out for 62.

From a precarious 92-4 at the start of play, England were dismissed for an underwhelming 219, thankful again to Stuart Broad (29 not out) for some lusty lower-order hitting as the tail was soon exposed.

Pope fell to a scorching delivery from Naseem Shah, the ball leaping up off the pitch and catching the splice of the bat, arrowing low to Shadab Khan at gully.

Leg-spinner Yasir Shah removed home captain Joe Root on day two and began to make his presence felt again, bowling Jos Buttler (38) and Chris Woakes (19) either side of having Dom Bess snaffled at slip by a leaping Asad Shafiq.

Fellow leg-spinner Shadab Khan had Jofra Archer caught behind off the glove, before pinning last man James Anderson lbw.

Armed with a 107-run first-innings lead, Pakistan found England's pace attack troubling, with Shan Masood following his first-innings 156 with a duck, nibbling at a ball slanting across him and down the leg side from Broad, clipping through to Buttler.

Bess had Abid Ali caught in the deep by Woakes, who then made a key impact himself by having Babar Azam taken at slip by Stokes and Azhar Ali trapped leg before.

Dom Sibley got rid of Asad Shafiq (29) with a smart run out, but Pakistan were beginning to stabilise when Stokes entered the attack.

He claimed a wicket with his eighth delivery when he got Mohammad Rizwan (27) out lbw, then Broad had Shadab Khan in the same manner.

And shortly after 19:00 local time (18:00 GMT) Stokes struck again, a short ball accounting for Shaheen Afridi, the batsman lobbing one up for Rory Burns to take a safe catch.

Pakistan picked two leg-spinners and Azhar Ali chose to bat after winning the toss in the first Test against an unchanged England side at Old Trafford on Wednesday.

Shadab Khan was selected along with Yasir Shah to give Azhar a pair of leg-spinners to call upon, with Shaheen Afridi, Naseem Shah and Mohammad Abbas the seamers in a dangerous attack.

England went with the same team that sealed a 2-1 series victory over West Indies at the same venue last week, Ben Stokes strictly playing as a batsman due to a quad injury.

Dom Bess did not bowl a single ball in that win over the Windies in Manchester, but the spinner retains his place in the first of three Tests.

The in-form Stuart Broad and James Anderson will again spearhead the England attack and will be hoping to make early inroads in Pakistan's first Test since February.

 

England team: Dom Sibley, Rory Burns, Joe Root (captain), Ben Stokes, Ollie Pope, Jos Buttler (wicketkeeper), Chris Woakes, Dom Bess, Stuart Broad, Jofra Archer, James Anderson.

Pakistan team: Shan Masood, Abid Ali, Azhar Ali (captain), Babar Azam, Asad Shafiq, Shadab Khan, Mohammad Rizwan (wicketkeeper), Yasir Shah, Shaheen Afridi, Mohammad Abbas, Naseem Shah.

Joe Root recalled Jofra Archer and James Anderson to an England team a batsman light due to Ben Stokes' injury concerns.

England face West Indies in the third and final Test at Old Trafford on Friday needing to win to regain the Wisden Trophy.

As for the second match, Root has altered his attack, although Mark Wood again misses out.

Archer - unable to play last time out after breaching biosecurity protocols - and Anderson are back, meaning Sam Curran makes way.

But with Stokes managing an injury, number three Zak Crawley has also dropped out to get the extra bowler in, seeing the rest of the order shift up.

That batting order was swiftly tested after Windies captain Jason Holder won the toss and, as in the previous match, opted to bowl first.

"We've balanced the side out as best we can and I actually feel like we've got a very good, well balanced team. I'm not worried about that at all," Root said, before quickly finding himself in the middle when Kemar Roach dismissed Dom Sibley lbw for a duck in the first over.

Of Archer's return, the captain added: "Jofra's ready to play. Over the last couple of days, he's got his smile back and bowled with real pace in the nets.

"He knows he's got the full support of the dressing room and the guys around him. We're really looking forward to him getting back out there and showing everyone how talented he is."

On the possibilty of Stokes bowling, Root said: "We'll have to see how things go. We can monitor that as the game progresses. But we have to make sure we look after him as best as possible."

Stokes - now the ICC's top-ranked all-rounder - revealed he had "been better" and was still unsure of the nature of the injury.

He said: "It's going to be a day by day thing. I was a little bit worried I wouldn't be able to offer everything I could with the ball, especially in the first innings."

The Windies have also made a change, meanwhile, bringing in spinner Rahkeem Cornwall for Alzarri Joseph in a match they need only to draw to retain the trophy.

Rain is forecast on four days in Manchester.

Joe Root admits it will be a major test of his captaincy to rein in Ben Stokes and ensure England do not place too great a burden on their talisman.

England are toying with deploying Stokes as a specialist batsman and taking bowling responsibilities off the Durham all-rounder for the series decider against West Indies.

The third Test gets under way on Friday at Old Trafford, the same venue where Stokes' brilliance paved the way for England's 113-run victory in the second match of the series.

Stokes is carrying a niggle that England would hate to become anything more serious, but Root knows just how difficult it will be to prise away any responsibility from the 29-year-old, who scored 254 runs in the previous contest and took three wickets.

"He wants to affect the game. That's the beauty of him," Root said. "He's desperate to be the man to turn things around and to win you the game."

Stokes has the ability to decide matches with bat or ball, but England have a lot of cricket to come in the weeks and months ahead, which is why Root is determined to at least not over-stretch him.

"There were a few occasions where I did check in with him first and second innings [in the second Test] and I said 'I think that’s enough' and he wanted one more [over]," Root said.

"He has matured as a player now and you sometimes have to put trust in a player to tell you when enough's enough.

"I feel like he's in a place where he can do that. That's the sort of commitment that you want to see from senior players and it feeds down into the rest of the group.

"He's definitely okay to play as a batsman. It's just how much of an impact he can have with the ball.

"We want to make sure we get the best out of Ben and I'm sure he wants to ride a wave.

"And it must be quite difficult when you're playing as well as he is to maybe have to rein it back in now and again. It is important that he's looked after."

Should Stokes let others take the bowling strain, it will mean England either going in with one fewer bowling option, or sacrificing a batsman to bring in another seamer.

They have abundant options, with Jofra Archer, James Anderson and Mark Wood vying for places with the pace attack from the second Test: Stuart Broad, Chris Woakes and Sam Curran.

Root knows he cannot pick all six, and culling players could be particularly tough, given how close the skipper is to some members of the squad.

"It shouldn't come down to them being your mate or not," Root said. "If guys are upset and annoyed about it, that shows that they care and if they're annoyed with me for a few days then I have to deal with that."

Archer's inclusion in the 14-man squad reflects an eagerness to get back on the field, having been sidelined for the second Test after breaching strict protocol rules between the first Test in Southampton and England's current residency in Manchester by briefly returning to his Hove flat.

Root condemned as "disgusting" the social media abuse that Archer has faced recently, and stressed the Sussex quick has his full backing.

"I've had some good conversations with Jofra. It is important he's in a mentally good enough place to play the game," Root said. "We're all here to support him. I'm very excited to see him smiling and enjoying his cricket."

While understandable attention surrounds Archer, it could yet come down to the tried and tested partnership of Anderson and Broad opening the bowling for England.

"It's exciting to know there's pretty much 1,000 wickets between them and they could be leading the attack," Root said. "They're two of our best cricketers of all time and I feel they've got a lot left in both of them."

Ben Stokes could be forced out of England's bowling plans for the third Test against West Indies but Jofra Archer is delivering the ball "at the speed of light".

That was the verdict of captain Joe Root on Thursday as he readied the home team for the series decider at Old Trafford.

Talisman Stokes bowled 27.4 overs across two innings in the second Test, picking up three valuable wickets, as well as making 176 and 78 not out with the bat.

But England are determined to protect their star all-rounder and that may means he is selected as a specialist batsman on Friday morning.

"We'll have to be really clear on where Ben's at - he's still feeling it a little bit on his quad, so we're making sure he's fit to bowl and if not that might change how we go with things slightly," Root said.

"He pretty much spent the whole time on the field [in the second Test]. It was a long old game for him, but it does take a lot to keep him down and to take him out of the action.

"We'll see how he is in the morning and if you look at the squad of players we've got, we've got plenty of brilliant options.

"I feel like whatever combination we decide to go with will definitely be worthy of taking 20 wickets."

Quicks Jofra Archer, James Anderson and Mark Wood come back into the picture for the third Test, providing competition for Chris Woakes, Stuart Broad and Sam Curran in a 14-man squad.

Root explained Archer is raring to go and said the recent online racist abuse suffered by the Sussex paceman had been "disgusting".

Archer, who missed the second Test after breaching strict protocols on the team's bio-secure environment, said in a newspaper column he reported the racist abuse to the England and Wales Cricket Board.

Speaking to reporters on Thursday, Root said: "He's got his smile back. He's been bowling at the speed of light.

"It was disgusting to see some of the stuff he's had to put up with over the last week. As a squad we've tried to get round him and let him know we're all there for him.

"No-one should have to go through anything like that. There's no other word other than disgusting really."

Ben Stokes is becoming England's greatest all-rounder but must be looked after so he can reach his peak, according to James Anderson.

Stokes was influential as England squared the Test series with West Indies, scoring 254 runs with the bat while also taking two crucial wickets on a dramatic final day in Manchester.

It was his dismissal of Jermaine Blackwood just prior to the tea break that opened the door for Joe Root's side to push for victory, setting up a winner-takes-all showdown at the same venue this week.

The updated International Cricket Council player rankings have Stokes listed as the leading all-rounder in the world in the longest format, while seamer Anderson believes the 29-year-old is on course to surpass the achievements of the great Ian Botham.

England's all-time leading wicket-taker admits it is "amazing" to be in the same team as an individual who can make such a massive impact in all three facets of the game.

"It's hard to say how good he is, because it's hard to find the words. I saw Joe Root say the other day that we're in the presence of greatness and he's spot-on," Anderson said of Stokes.

"The fact that he could get into any team as a batsman, without his bowling and fielding, speaks volumes. His bowling is getting better and better each time he goes out there; he could get into a lot of bowling attacks as well.

"It's just amazing to have that talent in our team, and also to be able to watch it first-hand.

"After a week where he's pretty much done everything – chasing balls off his own bowling, batting most of the two innings that we had and getting wickets as well – it can take a toll. We've got to make sure we look after him as well, so we can keep getting the best out of him for as long as possible.

"He's certainly the best all-rounder I've ever played with - and I think he's becoming the best all-rounder that England have ever had.

"There's no reason why he cannot go on and be even better, too. With the bat, averaging in the 40s, with the ball in the 30s and then taking spectacular catches.

"It's incredible that we've got him on our team."

While Stokes starred in the second Test, Anderson was not involved. The 37-year-old was rested after featuring in the series opener in Southampton, where West Indies triumphed by four wickets.

Stuart Broad, Sam Curran and Chris Woakes were the three seamers selected at Old Trafford last week, though with Jofra Archer and Mark Wood also available, Anderson acknowledged there is a serious fight to feature in England's best XI, which he expects to take the field in the decider.

"It's healthy competition but there are going to be some disappointed guys this week, three spot up for grabs and there's six or seven guys who could fill those spaces," he said.

"It's a good position to be in, because it shows we've got strength in depth.

"But I'm sure now we're in a position where, having rested guys and those that played this week, we can now pick our best thee going into this game wanting to win it."

Archer was excluded for the previous match due to breaching bio-secure protocols. However, he has served a period of self-isolation and returned two negative coronavirus tests, clearing him for action.

England talisman Ben Stokes has replaced West Indies captain Jason Holder at the top of the ICC Test all-rounder rankings as a result of his Old Trafford heroics.

Stokes was named man of the match after another magnificent performance in Manchester, where England levelled the three-Test series with a 113-run victory on the final day.

England's vice-captain made a brilliant 176 in the first innings and cracked an unbeaten 78 from just 57 balls on day five after being promoted to open, with Joe Root's side in need of quick runs before the declaration.

Stokes also took 2-30 on Monday after picking up a wicket in the first innings.

Windies skipper Holder showed some defiance with the bat before being removed by Dom Bess as the tourists failed to secure a draw after winning the first Test in Southampton.

Holder also drops a place to third in the bowler rankings, with New Zealand seamer Neil Wagner moving up to second behind Australia quick Pat Cummins.

Stokes can seemingly do no wrong at the moment and the 29-year-old is now officially the best all-rounder in the world ahead of the series decider at Old Trafford, which starts on Friday.

He is the first England player to top the all-rounder rankings since Andrew Flintoff.

Joe Root praised Stuart Broad and Ben Stokes after the duo were influential in helping England level the Test series against West Indies.

Stokes followed up his knock of 176 in the first innings with an unbeaten 78 that allowed England to set up the opportunity to push for victory on the final day, as he added quick runs on the fifth morning.

The all-rounder then picked up two wickets - including crucially ending Jermaine Blackwood's resistance on 55 - as West Indies, chasing an unlikely 312 for victory, were bowled out for 198.

Root acknowledged match-winning contributions are becoming a common occurrence from his vice-captain, telling Sky Sports after the triumph at Old Trafford: "It doesn't surprise me.

"You watch how Ben goes about his business in practice whether it be practice, fitness or anything, he leads the way in many respects.

"He seems to want to keep getting better and better and we're seeing those results out on the field as well.

"It's great for a lot of the younger guys to see that, you've got to put the hard yards in, he certainly does that and we're starting to see that feed into the rest of the team, which is a great place to be."

Broad had boosted the home team's hopes on the final morning of the second Test with three top-order wickets, having also previously produced a devastating new-ball burst in West Indies' first innings.

The seamer was a surprise omission from England's line-up for the opening Test in Southampton - a game West Indies won by four wickets - but, asked to lead a new-look pace attack, he seized his opportunity in Manchester.

Broad had spoken publicly about his disappointment at missing out at the Rose Bowl, with Root not surprised to see him go out and back up his words on the field.

"You always expect that from Stuart. Generally, when he says something, he goes out there and produces a performance to back it up," Root said. 

"He's led the attack brilliantly this week and, as we've always said, you feel like he's got a lot of cricket left to play in him.

"Once he gets that ball in his hand, there's always that spell in him that can turn a game. He did that this week."

Stokes cut short his 15th over in West Indies' second innings due to an apparent fitness issue but insisted afterwards he was fine. The series finale starts on Friday at the same venue.

"The body just started to get quite stiff," he said to Sky Sports after being named player of the match. "I said to Broady, 'My body is starting to get quite stiff, what do you reckon?' and he just said to stop.

"I remember three or four years ago against Pakistan I had the same thing and ended up blowing my calf, so I didn't want to take that risk."

Stuart Broad and Ben Stokes rounded off magnificent individual performances to fire England to a series-levelling second Test win over West Indies by 113 runs.

The hosts, 1-0 down following the opening game of the three-match rubber in Southampton, needed quick runs in order to set a substantial target with enough time to bowl the Windies out, and star all-rounder Stokes duly obliged in a stunning assault.

When the declaration came at 129-3, Stokes – promoted to open – had bludgeoned an unbeaten 78 from 57 deliveries to stand alongside his mammoth first-innings 176.

It meant the tourists required 312 for victory, a target that soon became nominal after Broad (3-42) ripped through their top order.

Shamarh Brooks (62) and Jermaine Blackwood (55) struck stylish knocks in a 100-run stand for the fifth wicket, but the irrepressible Stokes (2-30) bounced out the latter, setting up the England attack for a relentless push towards victory after tea.

Ben Stokes vowed the England team would support Jofra Archer after the bowler's coronavirus breach saw him excluded for the second Test against West Indies.

Archer, one of the heroes of England's Cricket World Cup triumph last July, made an unauthorised trip home between the first and second Tests to see an unnamed person, breaking the protocols put in place for the games at bio-secure arenas.

England announced Archer would need to self-isolate for five days and could therefore not take his place in the XI when the second Test began at Old Trafford on Thursday.

The team's managing director Ashley Giles claimed "it could have been a disaster" that cost the England and Wales Cricket Board "tens of millions of pounds" as international cricket adjusts amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Yet Stokes - himself no stranger to attracting headlines away from the field following a fight in Bristol in 2017 - stressed Archer will not be hung out to dry by the squad.

"I think from us as players and as England Cricket group, this is a time where our way of operating really needs to come through," said Stokes, who was later cleared of affray following the incident in Bristol.

"We really need to be there to support Jofra right now because obviously he's a big talking point.

"Obviously he is by himself because of everything else going on at the moment but it's making sure he doesn't feel like he's by himself. The worst thing we can do right now as a team is to just sort of leave him and see him in five or six days' time and then say, 'Alright'.

"Times like these for people are very, very tough and you can feel like you are all by yourself but I don't think anybody is going to allow that to happen.

"Jofra is a massive part of this group, as everybody is. If it was anybody else bar Jofra it would be the exact same way of handling it that we would do as a team.

"It's all good being there for people when things are going well but what really comes through is how you operate with someone when they need you the most."

Stokes was once again instrumental on the second day at Old Trafford, scoring 176 - his 10th Test century - as England made 469-9 declared before having West Indies 32-1 in the 14 overs before stumps.

The all-rounder made 260 alongside opener Dom Sibley, whose patient 120 might have silenced some critics following his struggles in Southampton, where he was out for a duck but went on to make a second-innings half-century.

"It's great signs for us going forward that all the noise around him after Southampton literally hasn't affected him whatsoever," Stokes added.

"It's a great way to respond to any criticism that there was by going out and banging 100."

A mighty fourth-wicket stand by centurions Ben Stokes and Dom Sibley put England firmly in charge on day two of the second Test against West Indies at Old Trafford.

Dom Sibley and Ben Stokes made patient half-centuries to build a strong platform England on an attritional day one of the second Test against West Indies at Old Trafford.

Jos Buttler has received the backing of returning England captain Joe Root, who is confident his team-mate can transfer his white-ball batting talents to Test cricket.

Wicketkeeper Buttler averages 31.46 in the longest format but has failed to get beyond 47 in his last 12 innings, a worrying slump in form that has seen his place in the team come into question, with Ben Foakes waiting in the wings.

The right-hander made scores of 35 and nine during the first Test against West Indies last week, with his second-innings dismissal coming during a collapse that swayed the game in the touring side's favour.

England lost at Southampton by four wickets but the under-pressure Buttler is set to keep his place for the game in Manchester, which begins on Thursday.

Returning skipper Root, who missed the series opener due to the birth of his second child, has seen technical improvements in Buttler's game to suggest a big score is just around the corner.

"I think you look at Jos and the game last week - and a I know we're in a results business and we're judged on performances - but you watch how he batted in that first innings and I thought, technically, it was as well as he's played in a long time," Root told the media on the eve of the second Test.

"His game is in a really good place, it's just a matter of time until we see some of those special innings that we've seen in white-ball cricket and his performances from that transfer across.

"He's someone that is a big part of our group – has been for a long time – and is a great thinker about the game. He's a big senior player in the dressing room across all formats.

"You feel he's not far away from grabbing Test cricket, taking it and running with it. I've seen big strides off the field with his technical game, I suppose you almost want him to find that balance and mindset he has in white-ball cricket and add it to a technique that can definitely thrive in red-ball cricket."

Root was a keen spectator back home as the action unfolded in Southampton, where all-rounder Ben Stokes took charge of the team for the first time.

The Yorkshireman admits it was not easy watching on afar when fully fit, though he saw enough from his players to suggest there are positive signs for the future, despite the result.

"It was challenging, more so because you're fully fit and could be out there, it's just a very strange set of circumstances," Root said.

"Ben as captain did a brilliant job. He had some very difficult decisions to handle and manage, and I think on the ground and throughout the game he managed things very well.

"One thing that I was really pleased with, actually, is the performance for the first two and a half days we were probably behind the game, but we managed to find a way of wrestling ourselves into a position where we could win it.

"In the past, sometimes we've fallen away a bit early, but going into those last two sessions we still had a chance at winning the game.

"In a way it was a small step forwards for us, though of course we couldn't quite get across the line.

"You look at the back-end of our second innings and that really did hurt us, but I think there were a lot of positive things to take from it. You could certainly see that, sat watching from home."

England have confirmed Root will come into the XI in a place of Joe Denly, while James Anderson and Mark Wood are both rested.

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