Test cricket will once again return after a one week break when hosts England lock horns with Pakistan in what should be a mouth-watering three-match series between the two countries. The first Test of the three-match #raisethebat series will take place at the Emirates Old Trafford in Manchester and England will hope to continue from where they had left against the West Indies last week.
After having dropped the opening Test of the summer at the Ageas Bowl, England, on the back of dodged performances from the likes of Rory Burns, Dom Sibley, and all-round display from Ben Stokes, Stuart Broad and Chris Woakes came roaring to clinch the last two games and the series.
They could be in for a stiff challenge though against a Pakistan side that has performed relatively well in English conditions in the past decade. Pakistan is the only team to have drawn two back-to-back Test series in England- 2-2 in 2016 and 1-1 in 2018- in the last decade. But the issue for Pakistan is that all three wins that they have registered in England since 2010 have come in London- Lord’s and Oval.
They wouldn’t play a Test in London this time around and considering the fact that they lost by 330 runs in their last Test at Old Trafford and England’s brilliant record at the venue, the home side should start as overwhelming favorites. The key for Pakistan in this series will be their batting-unit. While they have the bowling firepower fo challenge English batting but can their batsmen counter the likes of Broad, Anderson, and Woakes and post in excess of 300 in their first innings? We’ll have to wait and see. It will also be interesting to see what bowling combination does Pakistan play. Bowling coach Waqar Younis said that they might consider playing two spinners. In that case, the likes of Shadab Khan and Kashif Bhatti may come into contention.
England vs Pakistan, 2020, 1st Test Match Details:
The 1st Test between England and Pakistan will be played on Wednesday (August 05) at the Emirates Old Trafford in Manchester. The match will start at 11:00 AM local time [03:30 PM IST].
England vs Pakistan, 2020, 1st Test: Pitch Conditions
The pitch at Old Trafford usually assists fast bowlers, as was evident from the last two Tests against the West Indies. What was also evident in that Test was that the pitch is pretty good for batting on the first couple of days.
Jason Holder made the cardinal mistake of winning the toss and opting to field in both the Tests and then saw England batsmen pile up a huge first innings score, something both Joe Root and Azhar Ali should have in mind when they walk out for toss tomorrow.
Average 1st innings score: 335 [ In 81 Tests played at the venue]
Matches won batting first: W-32, L-14
England vs Pakistan, 2020, 1st Test, Dream 11, Fantasy Tips
- Azhar Ali enjoyed a great outing in England back in 2016- 295 runs at 42.14- but he didn’t have the same success in 2018 where he managed just 67 runs across four innings. The Pakistani captain hasn’t had a particularly good last 12-15 months, something he would be looking to address in this series.
- Shan Masood scored 49 in the most recent practice match. Can he emulate his exploits in the Test series?
- Rory Burns [226 runs at 45.8] and Dom Sibley [234 runs at 46.80] were brilliant against the West Indies. The opening pair will once again be the key to their fortunes.
- Babar Azam has had a brilliant run in Test cricket in the past 12-15 months. The right-hander was the best Pakistani batsman during the tour of South Africa [202 runs at 36.8] and Australia [210 runs at 52.5]. Can he repeat the same against the Dukes in England?
- Joe Root loves batting against Pakistan. The English captain has 916 runs to his name in 9 Tests against Pakistan. He also has a brilliant record at Old Trafford: 725 runs in 7 Test at 72.5.
- Ben Stokes was the MVP for England against the West Indies. But can the all-rounder improve on his batting numbers against Pakistan [average of 18.78 in five Tests].
- Ollie Pope made a sumptuous 91 against the West Indies in the last Test.
- Mohammad Abbas- 10 wickets at 14.80 in 2 Tests- was brilliant on the 2018 tour. Can he repeat the same? Also, can Shaheen Shah Afridi and Naseem Shah deliver the goods?
- Of-course the English pace bowling unit of Stuart Broad, James Anderson, and Chris Woakes will be the ones to watch out, considering the way they dismantled the West Indies batting unit in the last two Tests.
England vs Pakistan, 2020, 1st Test: Injury & Availability Update
- England have named an unchanged 14-man squad for the 1st Test.
- Pakistan have named a 16-man squad for the 1st Test.
England vs Pakistan, 2020, 1st Test: Predicted Playing XI
Rory Burns, Dominic Sibley, Zak Crawley, Joe Root (c), Ben Stokes, Ollie Pope, Jos Buttler (wk), Chris Woakes, Jofra Archer, Stuart Broad, James Anderson
Shan Masood, Abid Ali, Azhar Ali (c), Babar Azam, Asad Shafiq, Mohammad Rizwan (wk), Shadab Khan, Yasir Shah, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Naseem Shah, Mohammad Abbas
Captain and Vice-Captain Selection:
Captain: Joe Root, Babar Azam, Ben Stokes, Stuart Broad
Vice-Captain: Chris Woakes, Mohammad Abbas, James Anderson
Suggested Playing XI No.1 for Fantasy Cricket:
Wicket-keeper– Mohammad Rizwan, Jos Buttler
Batsmen– Babar Azam [VC], Joe Root, Rory Burns, Ollie Pope
All-rounder– Ben Stokes, Chris Woakes
Bowler– Mohammad Abbas, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Stuart Broad [C]
Suggested Playing XI No.2 for Fantasy Cricket
Wicket-keeper– Mohammad Rizwan
Batsmen– Azhar Ali, Babar Azam, Shan Masood, Joe Root [VC], Dom Sibley
All-rounder– Ben Stokes [C], Chris Woakes
Bowler– Mohammad Abbas, Naseem Shah, James Anderson
The pitch at Old Trafford normally aids fast bowlers. Hence, it wouldn’t be a bad idea for to you make seamers as captain/vice-captain of your Dream11 team.
England vs Pakistan, 2020, 1st Test: Live Streaming Details
The 1st Test of the three-match series between England and Pakistan can be watched live on the Sony Ten network. You can also live stream it on the Sony Liv app.
England vs Pakistan, 2020, 1st Test: Dream11 Fantasy Team