England will look to continue their winning run when they face Pakistan in the first of the three-match Test series starting August 5 (Wednesday) at the Old Trafford in Manchester. The host will be oozing with confidence after beating West Indies 2-1 from being 0-1 down in the series.
The upcoming series holds great significance for Joe Root & Co as two more wins will take them over Australia in the ICC World Test Championship points table. Currently, they are in the third place after pocketing 80 points against West Indies. Also, England will look to win the series against Pakistan, against whom they haven’t won a series at home since 2011.
England pacers will be brimming with confidence after their last Test win against the Caribbeans. They are likely to retain the same attack from the last match and then rotate the attack over the course of the series. If Ben Stokes is fit to bowl, the home side might ponder playing an extra batsman in place of a bowler.
On the other hand, Pakistan have been in England for a while now. They had a good outing in the warm-up games; however, coach Misbah-ul-Haq said it won’t influence the playing XI of the first match. The visitors might look to field Sohail Khan ahead of Mohammad Abbas in the first Test.
He had picked two five-wicket hauls in two practice games and has a great record against England. Misbah has hinted at playing two spinners considering Manchester wicket offers some spin. Pakistan might look to play three seamers, and Yasir Shah with Shadab Khan, a spin-bowling all-rounder.
England vs Pakistan 2020: 1st Test, in Old Trafford, Manchester starting from August 5 (Wednesday) at 3:30 PM IST
Pitch and Weather Report
The forecast for the first Test between England and Pakistan is much better as compared to the last two Test in this ground. However, there are chances that the first day might have some shower. The temperature is also likely to fall as the match progresses.
Meanwhile, the pitch is likely to offer some assistance to the spinner which prompted Misbah-ul-Haq to hint that Pakistan might field two spinners.
England vs Pakistan, 1st Test – Match Prediction
The home side will be oozing with confidence after a great comeback against West Indies. The players also got a welcome break and spent some time with their family before assembling for this series. As a result, they will be fresh and come all guns blazing against Azhar Ali-led Pakistan, who are playing their first international game post COVID-19 break.
The Pakistan cricketers might look some rusty which will give England team an advantage. Thus, they will look the better of the two teams to take an early lead in the series.