Hollywoodbets Sports Blog: First Test: England vs Pakistan Preview

First Test: England vs Pakistan Preview

England vs Pakistan Preview

England face another dangerous but inconsistent touring side in Pakistan with the first of three Test matches getting underway at Old Trafford on Wednesday 5 August.

Photo Copyright - Steve Haag Sports 

Two women looking excitedly at cellphone

The hosts have the advantage of having just completed a Test series against the West Indies even if they weren't always at their best in those contests.

Pakistan's players have only had intra-squad warm-up matches to prepare for their return to Test cricket.

First Test | Wednesday 5 August - Sunday 9 August 2020 | Old Trafford, Manchester | 12:00

To Win 
England 9/20
Draw 7/2
Pakistan 5/1

England
England's emphatic third Test win over the West Indies could encourage team management to stick with that starting XI.

Jos Buttler managed to lift some of the pressure on his place with a half-century in that third Test against the West Indies. England's batting depth is impressive, but they would prefer if the top order could pick up where they left off.

Rory Burns and Dom Sibley look to have established themselves as England's opening pair for the foreseeable future.

Stuart Broad and James Anderson have rolled back the years with the former taking ten in the match he passed the 500 Test wicket mark.

Pakistan
Pakistan will need Azhar Ali to be at his resistant best to protect their fragile middle order against the England new-ball attack.

Babar Azam is well placed to cement himself as Pakistan's best batsman, and he could provide the inspiration the tourists need to pick up an upset victory.

Pakistan's fast bowlers are more than capable of taking 20 wickets in a match, but they will need something on the board to work with. Shaheen Afridi has shown good form in the warm-ups and had enjoyed his previous visits to England.

Yasir Shah is no longer as central to the Pakistan attack as he was the last time he visited England, but the leg-spinner has the ability to wrap up a fourth innings like few bowlers. Pakistan will need to choose between Shah and Shadab Khan who is a better batsman.

Verdict: England 9/20
The hosts should be too well-prepared for a rusty Pakistan.

Written by James Richardson for Hollywoodbets 

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