Cricket Betting Tips and Fantasy Cricket Match Predictions: England vs Pakistan 1st Test
The 1st match of the 3-match test series between England and Pakistan will be played at the Old Trafford in Manchester.
Finally, the weather in Manchester has decided to be kind with no rain expected to cause interruptions in play on the five days of the first test. However, knowing the notorious weather, a couple of passing showers cannot be ruled out.
That aside, the Old Trafford pitch has become dry and is expected to assist the spinners. This will inform Pakistan's playing choices as they are considering to include Shadab Khan in the final XI alongside Yasir Shah.
That will weaken the Pakistan batting which could have done with the batting ability of Fawad Alam or even the all-round ability of Faheem Ashraf at number 6 or 7. Mohammad Abbas, Shaheen Shah Afridi and Naseem Shah will form Pakistan's pace battery.
For England, Zak Crawley is expected to be back at number 3 with Joe Root shifting to his preferred batting spot at number 4. Ben Stokes is reportedly back to bowling fitness and will play as an all-rounder.
Stuart Broad is expected to keep his spot in the side with a toss up between Chris Woakes and James Anderson. It will be bold of England to drop Dominic Bess and go in with a four-prong pace attack, which remains a distant possibility.
Pakistan have not lost a test series against England since 2010, tying both their last two series of 2016 and 2018. England's loss against West Indies in the first test and their subsequent batting collapses in the series showed that if Pakistan can play their best cricket and show the positive extreme of their mercurial nature, a series win for them is not out of question.
Let's have a look at the probable playing XI of both teams:
Pakistan - Shan Masood, Abid Ali, Azhar Ali (c), Babar Azam, Asad Shafiq, Mohammad Rizwan (wk), Shadab Khan, Yasir Shah, Mohammad Abbas, Shaheen Afridi, Naseem Shah
England - Rory Burns, Dominic Sibley, Zak Crawley, Joe Root (c), Ben Stokes, Ollie Pope, Jos Buttler (wk), Chris Woakes, Dominic Bess, Jofra Archer, Stuart Broad
Cricket Betting Tips and Match Predictions* - PrePlay
Who will win the toss? - England
Who will win? – England
Top Batsman (Runs Scored) – Joe Root (England), Babar Azam (Pakistan)
Top Bowler (Wickets taken) – Stuart Broad (England), Shaheen Afridi (Pakistan)
Most Sixes – Ben Stokes (England), Babar Azam (Pakistan)
Man of the Match – Ben Stokes
Team Scores Batting first – England 320+, Pakistan 300+
Match Handicap England
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*NB these predictions may be changed nearer the start of the match once the final starting teams have been announced and we will be running ‘In–Play’ features, so stay tuned.
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