Eng vs Pak 1st Test Prediction & Playing 11 24/05/18

This is preview for Eng vs Pak, 1st Test, Pakistan tour of England, 2018

Venue :- Lord’s, London

Date :- 24/05/2018

Time :- 3:30 PM ( IST )

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Squads

England Squad: Joe Root (c), Jonny Bairstow (wk), Alastair Cook, Mark Stoneman, Dawid Malan, Ben Stokes, Jos Buttler, Chris Woakes, Stuart Broad, Mark Wood, James Anderson, Dominic Bess

Pakistan Squad: Sarfraz Ahmed (c & wk), Azhar Ali, Imam-ul-Haq, Haris Sohail, Asad Shafiq, Babar Azam, Shadab Khan, Faheem Ashraf, Mohammad Amir, Mohammad Abbas, Rahat Ali, Sami Aslam, Fakhar Zaman, Saad Ali, Usman Salahuddin, Hasan Ali


 

England

England have announced a 12-man squad for the first test. The selectors have recalled Jos Buttler owing to his rich vein of form in the Indian Premier League. Wicket-keeper Jonny Bairstow has been retained and will be batting up the order which means that there is no room for James Vince in the side. Jack Leach has been ruled out of the series with a fractured thumb and has been replaced by young spinner Dominic Bess who is all set to make his test debut on Thursday. Alastair Cook is likely to open the batting with Mark Stoneman while Joe Root and Dawid Malan have been confirmed to bat at numbers three and four respectively. With Anderson, Broad and Stokes being automatic selections, the hosts will have to choose between Wood and Woakes as their fourth seam option.

Key Players

The hosts will bank on the likes of Alastair Cook, Joe Root, Jos Buttler and Jonny Bairstow to deliver the goods with the bat. Cook, with 12028 runs, is England’s leading run-getter in tests and the second-highest run-getter in the format at the Lord’s. Skipper Root is averaging over 58 at this venue, Bairstow hit a century in his previous test against New Zealand while Buttler is coming off an incredible IPL form. For taking wickets up front, England will turn to their new-ball specialists in James Anderson and Stuart Broad. In red-ball cricket, the duo has taken the most wickets for the team as well as the most wickets at this ground. England’s spin attack will be led by debutant Dominic Bess and the mysterious off-spinner could fox the Pakistani batsmen who have not faced him before.

Recent Form

England’s performance in test cricket of late has not been impressive. The hosts have not managed a single win in their past seven matches; they have lost five and drawn two. Their most recent test win came last year against the West Indies at this very venue. Since then, they have lost 0-4 to Australia in the Ashes before being beaten 0-1 by the Kiwis in a two-game series in New Zealand.

Pakistan

Batsmen Imam-ul-Haq, Saad Ali, Fakhar Zaman and Usman Salahuddin have earned maiden test call-ups while Shan Masood and Yasir Shah have been sidelined from the 16-man squad due to injuries. Leg-spinner Shadab Khan will replace Yasir in the playing eleven. Allrounder Faheem Ashraf, owing to his improved bowling of late, is likely to make his debut. The Pakistani selectors have retained Haris Sohail and brought back Rahat Ali but have ignored batsman Fawad Alam despite his good performance in the first-class season. Mohammad Amir picked up an injury and went off the field during the one-off test against Ireland. If the left-arm pace bowler does not get fully fit in time, the team will probably name Hasan Ali as the like-for-like replacement.

Key Players

Azhar Ali, with 5135 runs under his belt including 14 centuries and 27 fifties, has scored the most test runs for Pakistan from this current squad. He along with Asad Shafiq who was the team’s best batsman in the last home test series against Sri Lanka in the UAE will be the key batsmen at the top. Middle order batting will rely mainly on skipper Sarfraz Ahmed and Babar Azam who scored 57 in the warm-up game against Northamptonshire before scoring 59 in the recent test against Ireland. Mohammad Amir will pose the biggest threat to the England openers with the new ball. But if he fails to recover from his injury, Pakistan will have to look elsewhere for getting the early breakthroughs. In that case, Mohammad Abbas who tormented Ireland with a match-haul of nine wickets seems to fit the bill. Shadab Khan is a very talented spinner and is another bowler who could make a big impact here with his deceptive off-breaks.

Recent Form

Pakistan have won three and lost four out of the seven test matches they have played since last year. Prior to their five-wicket win over Ireland in the last match, the visitors had a disappointing series against Sri Lanka in the UAE which they lost 0-2. However, they had earlier toured the West Indies for a three-match series which they ended up winning 2-1. Coming into this game, Pakistan would be slightly concerned regarding their batting as they were reduced to 14-3 by Ireland in the second innings in their pursuit of 160.

Team News

England:

England are set to hand a Test debut to offspinner Dom Bess at Lord’s as part of a five-man attack with a final decision to be made between Mark Wood and Chris Woakes for the final seam bowling spot alongside James Anderson, Stuart Broad and all-rounder Ben Stokes. Wood, who played in the final Test of the winter in New Zealand at Woakes’ expense, is the frontrunner.

Pakistan:

The tourists are expected to name an unchanged side from the one which beat Ireland by 5 wickets in the one-off Test 12 days ago. The two Mohammads, Amir and Abbas, will lead the attack with left-arm quick Rahat Ali and Farheem Ashraf, who made his debut in Malahide, completing the quick bowling line-up. Asad Shafiq and Babar Azam at four and five with Sarfraz at six make up an attractive looking middle order.

Playing 11

England:

Mark Stoneman, Alastair Cook, Joe Root (c), Dawid Malan, Jonny Bairstow (wk), Jos Buttler, Ben Stokes, Stuart Broad, Chris Woakes/Mark Wood, Dominic Bess, James Anderson

Pakistan:

Imam-ul-Haq,  Azhar Ali, Haris Sohail, Asad Shafiq, Babar Azam, Sarfraz Ahmed (c/wk), Shadab Khan, Faheem Ashraf, Mohammad Abbas, Rahat Ali, Mohammad Amir/Hasan Ali

 

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England vs Pakistan 1st Test Prediction

Since 2011, the Lord’s has hosted 14 test matches of which 11 have produced a result. Since the venue has witnessed more results than draws in recent times, wagering on a draw here seems a risky option. Also, betting on Pakistan to win this match may not be a wise decision as teams from the subcontinent tend to struggle in English conditions, especially when it comes to the longest format.

Although the tourists may gain some confidence from their recent win against Ireland, it won’t be easy for them to challenge England in their own backyard. Even against a weaker opposition like Ireland, their top-order batsman faltered in the second-innings and the chinks in their batting could be exposed even further when they face the hosts’ hostile pace attack. Pakistan will need to be extra sharp with the ball in order to take some pressure off their batsmen, otherwise it will get very difficult for them to even save the game. There is also plenty of inexperience in this Pakistan line-up which is one of the reasons why we predict England to take a 1-0 lead at the Lord’s.

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