England and Pakistan’s 3-Test series will start from 5th August 2020. Pakistan is the third team after West Indies and Ireland to visit England since the resumption of international cricket post-COVID-19 pandemic. The first Test will be played at the Old Trafford stadium, Manchester in a Biosecure bubble.
England and Pakistan have faced each other 25 times in history for the Test series. Out of these, England has won 9 test series while Pakistan has won on 8 occasions. Rest 8 series resulted in a draw.
Pakistan has the best win-loss ratio in England amongst the teams from the sub-continent and the third-best overall after Australia and West Indies. Considering England’s loss in the first Test match against West Indies, If Pakistan is able to show their best cricket skills, a series win is not far for them. However, winning the Test series against the West Indies has certainly given the England team an advantage. They will look for a win in the first encounter against Pakistan.
England has named the same 14-player squad that played the last Test against West Indies. They played all four fast bowlers which ultimately worked. Stuart Broad achieved the feat of 500 Test wickets in the last Test match. We will get to see Ben Stokes in bowling action as he is declared fit to bowl. He will play as an all-rounder. Dominic Bess did not bowl a single over in the last Test. So, it would be interesting to see whether the host leaves him out and gives a chance to Zak Crawley or let Bess be the part of playing XI.
Both teams have a good bowling line-up. It will be interesting to see how Pakistan puts the bowling attack and makes the best of its bowlers. Even though they have good bowlers in the team, they lack experience compared to the world ODI champions. It is yet to be seen whether Fawad Alam, having a superb First-class record, will get a chance in the playing XI or not.
Stuart Broad is expected to keep his spot in the side with a toss-up between Chris Woakes and James Anderson.
Pakistan has the capability to win the series against England, delivering its best performance. Whereas England has the advantage of the home ground and the last Test series win against West Indies, which certainly boosts up the team’s confidence.
Fantasy cricket team prediction:
This Test series can prove to be a big series for Joe Root. His record against Pakistan is strong, with 916 runs in 9 Tests. Also, he has a solid Test record at Old Trafford: 7 Tests, 725 runs.
Ben Stokes has proved his skills with both bat and ball in the recent Test series against West Indies(363 runs, 9 wickets). Also, he has scored 1,453 runs and taken 39 wickets in Test since 2019. He is definitely going strong in the Test this summer.
Stuard Broad went past the 500 Test wickets and completely dominated the last two tests vs West Indies, after being left out in the first match. Ollie Pope scored excellent 91 in the last Test match against West Indies.
Broad and Anderson have a good record against Pakistan. Anderson has 63 wickets in 15 Tests vs Pakistan and Stuart Broad has 54 wickets in 16 Tests.
Chris Woakes is superb at home (81 career wickets). So too Jofra Archer (26 wickets).
This is a big series for the Pakistan team captain Azhar Ali, who has been out of form for a long time. He did perform well in the 2016 Test against England(295 runs).
Babar Azam has been superb since the beginning of 2018. Also, he has delivered a solid performance in South Africa(202 runs) and Australia(210 runs).
Shan Masood and Fawad Alam were top scorers in recent practice matches. Haris Sohail was the leading run-scorer in their last Test series against England, in 2018.
Mohammad Abbas, one of the underrated Test bowlers, took 10 wickets in 2 tests against England in 2018. He is expected to play a good game in this test as well.
Will Naseem Shah and Shaheen Shah Afridi be able to deliver a good performance for the team throughout the series? Yasir Shah believes that the pitches will turn and the tracks have had some turn so far this summer season. Also, he could contribute to the bat. He has scored a century in Australia, late last year.
Pitch Report and weather prediction:
Old Trafford has been in the favour of fast bowlers in both Tests against West Indies. However, the team which played with patience and determination was able to put runs on the board. The team batting first has won both the previous matches at Old Trafford. So, it will be interesting to see what decision the winning captain makes at the toss.
The weather forecast is pretty good for the match, except for a possible morning shower on the first day.
Old Trafford is usually a good ground for batting first. The average first innings score in the last six Tests is 416.
Pakistan has a strong record in Tests against England. They have not lost a Test series against England since 2010. Their last 2 encounters(2016 and 2018) resulted in a tie.
Pakistan has won their past two Tests, beating Sri Lanka and Bangladesh at home earlier in 2020. England has a superb record at Old Trafford in Manchester, winning 11 of their past 15 Tests there since 2000.