3rd Test: England vs Pakistan
That is the question as we head back to Southampton for a late summer test.
The fact we are on the south coast is an achievement in itself as, at one point, we wondered if we’d get any cricket in England this summer.
Yet we have and this 3rd Test: England vs Pakistan will actually be England’s sixth bio-secure test in seven weeks, although no more are scheduled for Joe Root’s men for the remainder of the year.
It’s evenly poised too as the hosts seek to maintain their unbeaten record at home, while the Men in Green need to secure a win to avoid a series defeat.
Root has asked his team for ‘one big push’ and England are likely to stick with largely the same eleven.
James Anderson planned to play four out of six summer tests and has so probably won’t feature and that means Jofra Archer could be brought into the equation.
The World Cup hero was amongst those rested in the last test and could make a comeback, while Mark Wood remains in contention too, having played only one test to date.
England may be 1-0 up after a thrilling victory at Old Trafford in the opener, but Pakistan have impressed in spells and will hope the weather relents to allow them the chance to draw the series.
Indeed, but for the weather, Pakistan may have already been level.
They came as close to victory in the opening test as a team could, without actually winning it. They then would likely have asked some really tough questions in what were ideal bowling conditions for their attack but were denied the opportunity.
That rain-marred second test duly ended in a predictable draw.
Organisers have made plans to try and avoid a repeat in Southampton with the England & Wales Cricket Board and the International Cricket Council agreeing to revised start times which is a potentially positive move.
If time is lost on a particular day, play on the following day may now begin at 10.30am, rather than the usual 11am. Previously, tests in England have only made up time at the end of a day, when the light can become an issue.
The Rose Bowl in Southampton, a pitch has always favoured the pacers, has not been a particularly idyllic ground for England in this crammed season. They lost the opening test to the West Indies and, while they won the two one day internationals against Ireland, they conceded the highest run-chase against them for the Irishmen in the third.
The visitors might also make one change in a bid to win the final test. Fawad Alam could be confined to the bench with spin-bowling all-rounder Shadab Khan the favourite to get the nod.
The tourists will certainly need a big performance from their skipper, with Azhar Ali scoring just 38 runs across three innings in the series so far. He needs 43 runs to reach a tally of 6,000 in test cricket.
There are incentives for both nations with the ICC World Test Championship standings.
England will start as the favorites to create 3rd Test highlights, win the match and overtake Australia in the ICC World Test Championship points table.
Pakistan, on the other hand, are fifth with 153 points. A win will take them above New Zealand to fourth.
Pakistan last won an away test match in 2018, against England. Since then, they have lost six successive away games – three in South Africa, two in Australia and one this series in England – before rain forced a draw last time out.
Yet, on the other side, they have not lost a series in the country since the end of 2010. Now would be an ideal time to maintain their record.
This has been a closely contested rivalry over the years.
Of the 84 matches played, England have won on 25 occasions, Pakistan have 21 victories and there have been 38 draws.
|England vs Pakistan||Pakistan Asian Handicap 0.00 @ 2.81|
|August 21-26, 18:00 (GMT+8)|
England last lost a home test series 13 tests ago – to Sri Lanka in 2004 – and the draw in the second test guarantees the visitors cannot claim the series.
That is partly why the SBOBET 3rd Test betting odds back a home success with 1X2 @ 1.76 and Asian Handicap 0.00 @ 1.40.
|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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