Date & Time: Thursday, August 13, 15:30 IST
Venue: The Rose Bowl, Southampton, England
Following a stunning Test match at Manchester, both England and Pakistan have moved to Southampton for the second game of the 3-match series. The host has suffered a big setback when they locked horns with the West Indies at this venue. However, now they have a different lineup with quite a few changes expected to take place.
Meanwhile, after losing the first Test match by a slender margin of three wickets, Pakistan will look to improve their performance and level the 3-match ICC World Test Championship series in Southampton.
Opening batsman Shan Masood’s career-best 156 and an excellent performance from the bowlers in the first innings helped the visitors gain a lead of 107 runs. However, Stuart Broad, Chris Woakes, and Ben Stokes ensured that England stay in the game with their bowling in third innings. Later, Chris Woakes and Jos Buttler showed their class with the bat to secure a stunning victory.
Despite more positives than negatives from Manchester, the visitors have plenty to ponder about for Southampton. They are yet to play a single game in this venue and selection headaches present for captain and coach with senior batsman Fawad Alam sitting in the bench. All in all, it is going to be a cracking contest with both teams having their pros and cons for this game.
With Ben Stokes unavailable for this match, England might bring back Zak Crawley. Stokes majorly played as a batsman in the first Test match and bowled only four overs in the entire game. Hence, Crawley is the most likely candidate to take his place.
While the move to include two leg-spin bowlers worked in Manchester, the pace-friendly conditions in Southampton may prompt Azhar Ali to add Sohail Khan or Wahab Riaz in place of Shadab Khan.
Further, James Anderson’s place is in doubt,with Sam Curran waiting for his chance to showcase his skills. For Pakistan, there are good chances for Fawad Alam to make it into the lineup. If there is anyone to make way, it has to be Asad Shafiq, however, he has got the backing of head coach.
Shan Masood, Abid Ali, Azhar Ali (C), Babar Azam, Asad Shafiq, Mohammad Rizwan (WK), Yasir Shah, Shaheen Afridi, Shadab Khan, Naseem Shah, Mohammad Abbas.
Dom Sibley, Rory Burns, Joe Root (c), Zak Crawley, Ollie Pope, Jos Buttler (wk), Chris Woakes, Sam Curran/Mark Wood, Dom Bess, Stuart Broad, Jofra Archer.
In the last Test match played in Southampton, West Indies defeated England by chasing down 200 runs in the fourth innings. The pitch favored the fast bowlers- the likes of Jason Holder, Gabriel and Stokes made the perfect use of it. It is expected to be similar again for this game as well. Apart from that, rain is in the forecast for this game, which makes it difficult for the batsman.
Total matches – 4
Matches won batting first – 2
Matches won bowling first – 1
Average 1st Inns scores – 300
Average 2nd Inns scores – 324
Average 3rd Inns scores – 280
Average 4th Inns scores – 187
Is there any other player who can enter this contest with more excitement than Woakes? The brilliant all-rounder had done exceptionally in the first Test and will have to carry a similar burden once again with Ben Stokes staying away from the game. He has got 109 PPM in his last five games with an MDTA of 1.67.
The lanky fast bowler has time and time again proved his worth for England. His wicket-taking ability out of nowhere is a major asset and is one of our must-haves for this game. He has got PPM of 135 in the last five games with an MDTA of 1.
The talented batsman is once again going to be the cynosure of the eyes for this game. He is looking in fine touch and a good knock is expected from his willow for this game. He has 144.5 PPM in the last five games with an MDTA of 1.
The skipper of England might have failed to put on a big score in the recent past but he is getting into his groove and expected to deliver big for this game. He has PPM of 104.8 in the last five games with an MDTA of 1.25.
Pope is maturing with each innings for England. He showed good skills in the first innings when the team was under pressure and lost his wicket to unplayable deliveries. He is expected to deliver to his full strengths in this game. Thus, he is our big bet.
The star for Pakistan in the first game is our second big bet player for this game. The lanky southpaw batsman has been doing well for Pakistan in the recent past and in fine form to make noise with the bat.
Well, Pakistan’s skipper Azhar Ali is our notable miss for this game. He has done well in the past but unfortunately, failing to deliver in the recent past. His stats have put him away from being the captain or vice-captain in any of our teams for this contest.