Date: August 21, 2020
Timing: 11 am local time, 3 pm PKT
Venue: The Rose Bowl, Southampton
Weather: The weather is much better than last week at Southampton though the rain is expected on Days 1, 4, and 5 of the third Test match.
Following the discussions with PCB, ICC, and broadcasters, the third match between Pakistan and England will be started half an hour earlier if bad weather intervenes in the game.
Conditions / Pitch Report: The conditions will mostly be partly sunny and cloudy with an exception of Day 5.
As for the pitch report, it was being considered that the same pitch will be used for the final match. It would bring the spinners into the game somewhat earlier if it goes that way, though there is an expected showers on Day 1 early morning.
HEAD TO HEAD:
Matches: 85 | England: 26 | Pakistan: 21 | Drawn: 38
England: D W W W L (completed matches, most recent first)
Pakistan: D L W W D
England’s top-order is still an issue for them but the inclusion of Zak Crawly has strengthened their line-up as he scored 53 in the last game. The bowling is still top-class, dismissing Pakistan for 236, but they conceded 60 runs for the last two wickets, which they will be looking to overcome while bowling to tail-enders.
ENGLAND PROBABLE XI:
England announced today that they will be retaining the same 14-men squad that was announced for the second match. Jofra Archer could be back into the side. If so then that means either Sam Curran or Dominic Bess may be left out.
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. Sam Curran, 10. Stuart Broad, 11. James Anderson
Pakistan were on top of the first Test as well as the second, and they did better than England in sessions. The top order is still shaky. Abid, Shan, and Babar have scored runs but Azhar is still trapped as he hasn’t scored fifty in his last 15 innings outside the home. The last fifty he scored away was against the same opposition at Lord’s in 2018. If Pakistan want a good chance to draw the series, Azhar would need to play a captain’s knock.
PAKISTAN PROBABLE XI:
Fawad Alam finally got his chance after 11 long years for his 4th Test match, only to receive his first duck in Test cricket. Chances are that Pakistan will likely play the same squad again, unless there is a forced change due to an injury.
1. Abid Ali, 2. Shan Masood, 3. Azhar Ali (c), 4. Babar Azam, 5. Asad Shafi, 6. Mohammad Rizwan (wk), 7. Fawad Alam 8. Yasir Shah, 9. Mohammad Abbas, 10. Naseem Shah, 11. Shaheen Afridi
PLAYERS TO WATCH:
- Stuart Broad: He is the highest wicket-taker of the series so far with ten and averaging at just under 15. He also showed some good resistance during batting. He averages 23.81 with the bat and 22.54 with ball against them. He has been more threatening than Anderson lately against them. If England want to seal the series, Broad will play a big role here.
- Babar Azam: In four innings he has played against England so far, Babar has scored a couple of fifties and a 47, averaging 63 so far against the hosts. He will be looking to go big and score his maiden Test century in England. He is also the second-highest run-scorer of this series, just 36 runs behind Shan Masood’s 157.
- Joe Root: Before the series began and from the active English players, Joe has an average of 61.06 with a century and six half-centuries against Pakistan. With scores of 14, 42, and 9, with an average of just 32.50, England would want their captain to stand up if they will be looking for a series win.
- Yasir Shah: He could have been the joint-highest wicket-taker had Rizwan did not miss the stump chance, but the second-highest wicket-taker Yasir Shah will be looking for more. He has been outstanding in this series, not forgetting the handy runs he scored. Yasir would need to bowl extra well, if he wants Pakistan to win the final game and draw the series.
STATS AND TRIVIA:
- Pakistan are unbeaten in their last four series against England. Pakistan won the two they played at “home” in the UAE, and drew two in England. Should they fail to win the third Test? It will be Pakistan’s first series loss since the tour of 2010, when England triumphed 3-1.
- Babar Azam needs 29 runs for his 2000 Test runs. Azhar Ali, being in his poor form, is 43 runs away from his 6000 Test runs. Should he achieve the feat? If yes then he will become the fifth Pakistan player to do so.
- James Anderson needs seven wickets to become the first fast bowler to 600 Test dismissals.
“My message to the guys today was quite simple really. We don’t know when the next time is that we’ll play Test cricket so let’s make sure we throw everything into this week, make sure we leave no stones un-turned and we give everything to each other and the badge going into this last game.”
- Joe Root gees up his players for one last time this summer.
“I’m lucky to have such a nice bunch of guys who are putting everything in for Pakistan. They have gelled nicely which makes the job very easy for me so I focus on all the strategies.”
- Azhar Ali appears not to have found quarantine life in England particularly challenging.