England vs Pakistan 1st Test Preview: International cricket is going with full flow in England. After West Indies, Pakistan will play a 3-match test series with the English side. The series will begin just one day after the conclusion of the ODI series against Ireland. England are coming to the series after defeating the Caribbean side 2-1. However, Pakistan would feel confident walking into the game as they are yet to lose a series against England since 2010. They have drawn the last 2 series at the English soil, two-all in 2016 and one-all in 2018.
The first test would be played at Emirates Old Trafford, Manchester and the pitch is likely to assist both spinners and pacers in this game. It would be a crucial factor while selecting the playing 11 in this game.
After playing the last test as a batsman against West Indies, Ben Stokes is likely to be fit to bowl in this test. It would give the team the freedom to go with the 4 bowlers. While James Anderson, Stuart Broad, and Jofra Archer are likely to form the pace trio, Dom Bess would play as the off-spinner. Chris Woakes is likely to miss out on the selection.
ENG Playing 11 (Predicted) – Rory Burns, Dom Sibley, Zak Crawley, Joe Root (C), Ben Stokes, Ollie Pope, Jos Buttler (WK), Dom Bess, Jofra Archer, Stuart Broad, and James Anderson.
Coach Misbah-ul Haq has hinted to play two spinners in this game. In such case, Shadab Khan is likely to get the chance alongside Yasir Shah. Pacer Haris Sohail will miss out on the selection due to an extra spinner and Mohammad Abbas, Shaheen Shah Afridi, and Naseem Shah would form the pace attack. Despite impressing in the practice games, Sohail Khan is also likely to miss out. Shan Masood and Abid Ali are expected to open and the rest of the batting order looks settled.
PAK Playing 11 (Predicted) – Shan Masood, Abid Ali, Azhar Ali (C), Babar Azam, Asad Shafiq, Mohammad Rizwan (WK), Shadab Khan, Yasir Shah, Mohammad Abbas, Shaheen Shah Afridi, and Naseem Shah.
Ben Stokes has been turned into a one-man army for England in the past few years. He has been a superstar for his side with both bat and the ball. The allrounder has accounted for 156 wickets and scored a total of 4419 runs in 66 Tests.
Joe Root has been the most consistent batsman for England in the past few years. The English skipper once again would be the key in the batting for England. He has amassed a total of 7729 runs at an average of 48.01 in 94 Tests.
Stuart Broad is the latest entrant in the 500 wickets club. He is coming off a highly successful series against West Indies where he became the man of the series despite playing only 2 Tests. Broad has clinched 501 wickets in 140 Tests at an average of 27.95. He also has contributed 3284 runs with his willow.
Babar Azam is the best batsman of Pakistan across the formats. The youngster is growing in stature with each passing game. He has scored a total of 1850 runs in 26 Tests at an average of 45.12.
Azhar Ali has turned into a test specialist for Pakistan. The skipper of Pakistan in the red-ball cricket has been piling up runs for fun in the format. He has scored 5989 runs in 78 Tests at an average of 42.58 including a triple century against his name.
Mohammad Abbas is a deadly pacer and certainly can create an impact in the English conditions. He has had a great short career so far and it could be a vital series for him. Abbas has bagged 75 wickets in only 18 Tests at an average of 20.76.
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