Cricket

Pakistan looks to bounce back as England eyes series win

Chance for either Sarfraz Ahmed or Fawad Alam to play the second Test match

Chance for either Sarfraz Ahmed or Fawad Alam to play the second Test match (via Google image)

MATCH DETAILS:

Date: August 13, 2020

Timing: 11 am local time, 3 pm PKT  

Venue: The Rose Bowl, Southampton

Weather: The weather isn’t very pleasing according to forecast as all five days indicates rain with Days 1 and 4 showing heavy showers. 

Conditions / Pitch Report: Rain is expected for the whole five days of the second Test match.

In the West Indies series, only one game was played at this venue, fast bowlers enjoyed more success with 36 out of 40 wickets were taken by them; moreover, with the gloomy weather, Fast bowlers will enjoy the swing and bounce here at the Rose Bowl. 

HEAD TO HEAD:

Matches: 84 | England: 26 | Pakistan: 21 | Drawn: 37  

FORM GUIDE:

England: W W W L W (completed matches, most recent first)

Pakistan: L W W D L 

TEAM NEWS:

ENGLAND

England conceded a 107 runs lead to Pakistan in the first innings; despite that, they won the first Test by three wickets, but their top-order is still an issue for them. With Ben Stokes not available, the inclusion of Zak Crawly may strengthen their line-up. Though the bowling attack looks settled for them. 

ENGLAND PROBABLE XI:

Ben Stokes and his family left the UK for New Zealand due to personal family reasons and he won’t be available for the rest of the series. Zak Crawly will likely replace the all-rounder. Joe Root confirmed on Wednesday that James Anderson will play despite returning figures of 1-97 at Old Trafford. There is a chance for Mark Wood to replace Jofra Archer but apart from all of this, England will unlikely to make more changes. 

1. Rory Burns, 2. Dom Sibley, 3. Joe Root (c), 4. Zack Crawly, 5. Ollie Pope, 6. Jos Buttler (wk), 7. Chris Woakes, 8. Dominic Bess, 9. Jofra Archer/Mark Wood, 10. Stuart Broad, 11. James Anderson

 

Chris Woakes has an excellent record against Pakistan

Chris Woakes has an excellent record against Pakistan (DAN MULLAN/POOL VIA REUTERS)

PAKISTAN

Pakistan donned the first Test match for three and a half days before a brain fade captaincy from Azhar Ali in the evening session helped England win the game. The captain of Pakistan himself is under pressure, as in the last 16 innings, he scored only 327 runs at an average of 20.43, crossing double digits seven times along with four ducks. Pakistan will need their seniors to step up if they want to make a comeback.

PAKISTAN PROBABLE XI:

There are rumors that either Fawad Alam and Sarfraz Ahmed will be included in the playing XI tomorrow with the latter may play as a pure batsman. Final XI will decide tomorrow. 

1. Abid Ali, 2. Shan Masood, 3. Azhar Ali (c), 4. Babar Azam, 5. Asad Shafiq, 6. Mohammad Rizwan (wk), 7. Shadab Khan/Fawad Alam/Sarfraz Ahmed 8. Yasir Shah, 9. Mohammad Abbas, 10. Naseem Shah, 11. Shaheen Afridi

PLAYERS TO WATCH:

  • Chris Woakes: of his 110 Test wickets, 34 of them came against Pakistan which is easily the most against a single opposition by him. His bowling average against Pakistan (16.52) is his lowest against single opposition while he has the third-best batting average against Pakistan. He personally enjoys playing against Pakistan.
  • Babar Azam: Despite failing in the second innings, Babar will still be a treat to watch for many fans of his. His first innings at Old Trafford, where he scored 69, saw pure class from the middle-order batsman. Pakistan will need him evermore of they were to level the series. 
  • Joe Root: He scored 14 and 42 in the first Test match in England’s three-wicket victory but England would need their captain to convert his starts into big one after yet another top-order failure. He has always performed brilliantly against Pakistan though. From the active players, he currently has an average of 61.06 with a century and six half-centuries. 
  • Shaheen Afridi: He may return the figures of 2-111 in about 33 overs he bowled, Shaheen still poses a threat to the English batsmen with his ability to bring the ball back into the right-handers. 

STATS AND TRIVIA:

  • It will be the first match for Pakistan at The Rose Bowl.
  • Only twice Pakistan has bounced back from 1-0 down in the series against England. It happened in 1954 and 2001, where Pakistan were 1-0 down before making a comeback to draw the series 1-1.
  • Captain Azhar Ali, who is in very poor form, is 63 runs away from his 6000 Test runs. Should he achieve the feat, he will become the fifth Pakistan player to do so. His deputy Babar Azam is 76 runs away for his 2000 Test runs.
  • James Anderson needs ten wickets to become the first fast bowler to 600 Test dismissals.

QUOTES:

“I think it would be very silly for us to write someone like Jimmy off. He’s still as dedicated as ever, he’s working very hard at his game, and looking very good in practice. I don’t think it’ll be long before he’s got another five-for to his name.”

  • Joe Root confirms that Anderson will play and said that he expected “to see the best of him again very soon.”

“It’s been five months since we last played a Test. I don’t think tiredness is an issue with the team.”

  • Waqar Younis on whether Pakistan plan to rest one of their quicks.
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