ENG v PAK, 2nd Test Preview: England seek redemption at Old Trafford

ENG v PAK, 2nd Test Preview: England seek redemption at Old Trafford

Misbah-ul-Haq Pakistan Lord's
Pakistan’s captain Misbah-ul-Haq (2R)congratulates the players at the end of the first Test cricket match. (Photo by IAN KINGTON/AFP/Getty Images)

Licking their wounds from the first Test at Lords, England will be seeking redemption in the second Test at Old Trafford. However, the collateral damage for the home side has taken its toll with the likes of debutant Jake Ball losing his place in the side. As for Pakistan, their celebration coupled with the victory has seen them become a force to reckon with once more.

Pitch Condition

The last time someone played a Test match at Old Trafford, England completely outplayed the Indians thereby winning the match by an innings. However, the simple fact of that victory was that the England bowlers pitched the ball in the right areas. Typically, the Manchester wicket has assisted batsmen and spinners, something that will get Yasir Shah interested.

Team Analysis

England

After losing the first Test, desperation has got the better of the England camp. Sweeping changes have seen the likes of Ben Stokes, Adil Rashid, and James Anderson make their way back into the England fold. With an inexperienced lot of James Vince and Jake Ball removed from the side, the Brits look as formidable as ever.

The spotlight quite effectively will be on the returning James Anderson and Ben Stokes. This would also mean that Gary Ballance is perhaps the weak link within the England ranks. With the famed ‘Branderson’ partnership back to focus, the England bowling attack will be formidable once again.

Pakistan

A famous win at Lords saw Pakistan step back into the limelight they had vacated some time back. In a nutshell, the win has put Pakistan cricket back on the map. In spite of a few issues with the batting unit, the Pakistani side has been rather flawless. Of course, luck has played its part in the win, but, the main point is the fact that they look like a rejuvenated side.

The first Test saw the spotlight cast itself heavily on Mohammad Amir and the latter’s comeback. However, this time, around, the limelight will be on the irresistible Yasir Shah. With the leg-spinner close to making history and requiring just 14 wickets to complete 100 Test wickets, all eyes will be on the 30-year old as he attempts to scale the mammoth task.

England 12-man squad for the second Test:

Alastair Cook (C), Moeen Ali, James Anderson, Jonny Bairstow, Gary Balance, Stuart Broad, Alex Hales, Adil Rashid, Joe Root, Ben Stokes, James Vince, Chris Woakes

Playing XI (Probable)

England: Alastair Cook (C), Jonny Bairstow (WK), Alex Hales, Joe Root, Gary Ballance, Ben Stokes, Moeen Ali, Chris Woakes, Adil Rashid, Stuart Broad, James Anderson

Pakistan: Misbah-ul-Haq (C), Sarfraz Ahmed (WK), Shan Masood, Mohammad Hafeez, Younis Khan, Azhar Ali, Asad Shafiq, Yasir Shah, Wahab Riaz, Rahat Ali, Mohammad Amir

StAttack

1. England has won seven of their last 10 matches at Old Trafford. Three of these matches have been won by an innings.

2. Mohammad Hafeez (3390) is 67 runs behind compatriot Azhar Ali (3457) and could catch or even overtake the latter.

3. Yasir Shah requires 14 wickets to complete 100 Test match wickets. Should he complete the feat before his 16th Test, he will become the fastest to 100 Test wickets in history.

4. Rahat Ali and Wahab Riaz require 6 and 5 wickets respectively to complete 50 Test match wickets.