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England facing best spinner since Shane Warne, insists Ben Stokes

By Robert Jones

Published 21/07/2016

Bowled over: Pakistan’s Yasir Shah has had England in a spin
Bowled over: Pakistan’s Yasir Shah has had England in a spin

Fit-again England all-rounder Ben Stokes says Pakistan's Yasir Shah is the best leg-spinner since Shane Warne. Yasir spun his side to victory in the first Investec Test at Lord's, with match figures of 10 for 141 inspiring a 75-run win on Sunday and cementing his place at the top of the ICC world rankings.

England looked all at sea against his leg spin, particularly in the first innings, and conditions look set to suit him even more for the second Test at Emirates Old Trafford, which starts tomorrow.

Stokes, who looks set to return to the team in Manchester after a knee operation, knows exactly how good Yasir is.

"Yasir Shah, I reckon, is the best leg-spinner since Shane Warne," Stokes said.

"They are a very good team but we go into the Test match knowing how he goes about bowling and we should be able to counteract that.

"(The conditions are) another thing we will have to try and adapt to and we'll just see how it goes."

Stokes has been missing for England after injuring his knee in the first Test of the summer against Sri Lanka in May.

He has been in action for Durham, playing as a batsman, but after being ruled unfit for the opener against Pakistan, he resumed all-rounder duties for his county against Lancashire earlier this week.

After coming through unscathed in Southport, Stokes is raring to go for his country again.

"It's the first game where I have played doing both parts of my game," he added.

"I have been playing as a batsman for two weeks, it is something I did need, to get myself back into match situations.

"I have been bowling in the nets but you can't replicate doing that, the only thing you can do is bowl in a game.

"So it was good on that point and it was a massive confidence boost."

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