1st Test: England vs Pakistan
Cricket has bounced back in the UK with a superb series between England and West Indies completed safely. The Three Lions won 2-1 and now they have their sights set on Pakistan.
Old Trafford is the venue for the 1st Test: England vs Pakistan on Wednesday, and we’re looking forward to another well fought series, the tourists have a team blessed by young talent, but England are beginning to look like they can become world beaters again.
At seventh in the ICC Test rankings Pakistan is three places below England with the top four well clear of the chasing pack. And the England vs Pakistan betting odds back the Lions to keep the distance between them and their visitors.
Same again for England
After fighting back from one Test down against the Windies to win the other two convincingly, the England selectors have named the same squad for the first Test against Pakistan. Selector Ed Smith said: “After three Tests in quick succession against the West Indies, we now turn to an equally condensed Test series against Pakistan, with 15 days of Test cricket in a three-week period. Our 14 man squad is unchanged.
So Joe Root will lead a settled side which is brimming with confidence, and arguably with England’s best bowling attack in modern times. The hottest property in world cricket at the moment is Ben Stokes, and the Durham man will be writing the headlines again for sure. After blowing away the Windies in the second Test with a century and a quick-fire 50, he rose to fourth in the world batting rankings as well as being the top ranked all-rounder.
And, of course, he’s part of a hostile bowling attack with genuinely fast seamers Mark Wood and Jofra Archer vying for places, while veteran Stuart Broad roared back from his omission in the first Test against West Indies to tear the tourists batting apart and rise to third in the world bowling rankings.
Add into the mix record breaker Jimmy Anderson and the impressive Chris Woakes and this is a pace attack to rival any in the world.
Rauf flies in for Pakistan
The tourists were making the wrong kind of England vs Pakistan news a month ago when the visiting team got itself into a tangle over COVID testing, with players testing positive and sharing photos of themselves on social media ignoring social distancing guidelines. And 26 year old fast bowler Haris Rauf tested positive five times so was replaced by Mohammed Amir in the Pakistan squad.
But two negative tests in the last week have given Rauf the all clear, so he is fit to join the side in time for the first test. He is up for consideration alongside a talented young pace attack spearheaded by Shaheen Shah Afridi. The 6ft 6in 20 year old became a household name last year when he starred in the World Cup, as the first bowler to take six wickets in an ODI at Lords in Pakistan’s game against Bangladesh.
17 year old Naseem Shah became the ninth youngest player to make a Test debut when he was called up against Australia in 2019. He started his international career by taking the wicket of David Warner, and in the second Test he took a five wicket haul. In February this year he became the youngest bowler ever to take a hat-trick in the Test match against Bangladesh.
This is an exciting talent.
Pakistan’s batting line-up is led by Babar Azam, who is sixth in the world rankings and has recently been handed the ODI captaincy, with a leadership style likened to the legendary Imran Khan.
This will be the 26th Test series contested between England and Pakistan and the head to heads couldn’t be much closer. England have won nine of the series to Pakistan’s eight and 25 Tests to Pakistan’s 21.
In the 29 meetings across all formats, over the last five years, England have won 16 to Pakistan’s 11 and there have been two ties.
In the last meeting Pakistan beat England in the opening round of the 2019 ODI World Cup. In a dramatic match Joe Root and Jos Buttler both scored centuries but at 334 for nine the Three Lions fell 14 runs short.
|England vs Pakistan||Hundred in 1st Innings? – Asian Handicap YES 0.00 @ 1.79|
|August 5-10 18:00 (GMT+8)|
Prior to Pakistan’s amazing win in the World Cup England had won the previous five meetings and the latest SBOBET odds back the hosts to continue in that vein at 1.47 to win with the draw at 3.98 and Pakistan at 6.18.
It will be a tale of two hostile bowling attacks but there are plenty of big hitters around for someone to make a mark, and I’m backing a ton for the best batsman.
|A SHORT EXPLANATION ON HOW OUR () BETS ARE WORTH:|
|= €20 (Highly confident)||= €10 (CONFIDENT)||= €5 (SOMEWHAT CONFIDENT)|
Disclaimer: Odds are correct at time of publish.
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