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England v Pakistan 2nd Test – Michael Vaughan comment : ‘Stokes absence a blow for England’

England's Ben Stokes
England's Ben Stokes

Ben Stokes’ absence from the final two Test matches against Pakistan will be a psychological blow to England’s chances, according to William Hill ambassador Michael Vaughan. 

“No Ben Stokes,” Vaughan said. “He’s obviously going to be missing the next two Test matches which will have a big effect on the England team’s psychology. He plays a big, big role in that dressing room.

“Even though he’s not had a massive impact in terms of the ball or the bat in the last couple of games, he has a big impact with his persona in that dressing room. So he will be missed hugely [in the remaining Tests].”

“[But] England will be too strong,” Vaughan added. “Even though Ben Stokes is out I think England will be too strong.”

England secured a thrilling three-wicket victory over Pakistan in the first Test, having had to chase down 277 on a tricky pitch.

Vaughan feels it ranks as one of England’s best in recent years and is backing the hosts to complete a series win.

“What a Test match and what a win for England,” Vaughan said. “It’s right up there with one of the best Test match wins over the last few years because of the pitch. Everything was against England with the surface, loads of spin, two leg-spinners from Pakistan, so it was a great Test match victory.”

Vaughan added: “Pakistan had their chance. Old Trafford was Pakistan’s chance to win a Test match. Azhar Ali, a young captain in terms of Test matches but an experienced player in terms of Test matches that he’s played. I think that was his chance to win a game overseas for the first time. This series will be 3-0 – England will win the series 3-0, that’s my prediction.

“Ollie Pope is going to get a hundred, I think Stuart Broad will have a time out there with the ball in hand. For Pakistan, Naseem Shah, I think he will have a nice week in Southampton. And Babar Azam, you can’t go beyond Babar Azam. He’s going to score a hundred as well. But England will win. It will be 2-0 and the week after [will be] 3-0.”

With Stokes missing the second Test, Vaughan is expecting a number of changes to the England side on Thursday.

Vaughan said: “Who will come in? I think Jimmy Anderson will be rested. I’d be surprised if he plays back-to-back games so I think he will be rested. Maybe Sam Curran will come in for him or Mark Wood. Zak Crawley will probably come in for Ben Stokes.”