The much-awaited three-match Test series between England and Pakistan is all set to begin of 5th August at Old Trafford. The hosts England are coming into the series after beating West Indies 2-1 in the Test series.
England was initially rusty in the series and lost the first Test match at Southampton. But as soon as their regular captain Joe Root came into the squad, they got the team combination right. Since then, West Indies were no match to England. Ben Stokes and Stuart Broad were at their best in the series and played a pivotal role to help England win the last two matches.
Whereas the visitors Pakistan arrived in England well in advance and prepared vigorously for the series. The Men in Greens have always performed exceedingly well in whites in England. Pakistan this time has a fairly young squad that will be looking to make an impact.
The onus will be on their star batsman Babar Azam who has been sensational in all three formats since the last year. Their young and exciting bowling attack consisting the likes of Shaheen Afridi and Naseem Shah will be looking to make inroads in the England batting line-up.
Whenever as Asian Side tours England the curators automatically leave a covering of grass on the surface. The Test match is expected to be played under overcast conditions which will be ideal for seam and swing bowling. The pitch on the 4th and 5th day may also assist the spinners because of the rough created by the footmarks of fast bowlers.
Matches won batting first: W-14, L-12
England vs Pakistan, 1st Test – Fantasy Tips
When it comes to the England side two players Ben Stokes and Stuart Broad should certainly be part of your sides. Captain Joe Root is also a must as he will be looking to score big in the upcoming Test series. He scored his highest Test score 254 against Pakistan at Old Trafford where the first Test will be played.
Alright from the Pakistan side Babar Azam and Shaheen Afridi will be real assets in your XI. Fast bowler Mohammad Abbas also has the reputation of being a handful when the surface assists swing bowlers.
Predicted Playing XI
England: Rory Burns, Dominic Sibley, Joe Root ©, Ben Stokes, Ollie Pope, Jos Buttler (wk), Chris Woakes, Stuart Broad, Dom Bess, Jofra Archer, James Anderson.
Pakistan: Shan Masoob, Abid Ali, Azhar Ali ©, Babar Azam, Asad Shafiq, Fawad Alam, Rizwan (wk), Shadab Khan/ Yasir Shah, Shaheen Afridi, Naseem Shah, Mohammad Abbas.
Captain Selection: Joe Root, Ben Stokes
Vice-Captain Selection: Babar Azam, Stuart Broad.
Expect Pakistan to be more competitive than West Indies in the Test series. The batting line-up of Pakistan will have to show up if they want to take a 1-0 lead. England will be looking to strike early with the bowl and dismiss Pakistan cheaply and then bat big in the first innings.
England is the favourites to win the Test match but don’t count Pakistan out completely.