The first Test of the two match series between England and Pakistan begins tomorrow at Lord’s. We take a look at the squads and who is likely to come out on top in the match.
Salim Parvez takes a look at the Pakistan team:
“The 2018 Pakistan team has every reason to look forward to the Lord’s Test match. Buoyant after their victory against Ireland at Dublin, last week, it is set to play an unchanged XI., although it could do, with Hasan Ali replacing, either Rahat Ali or Mohammad Amir. The most positive vibe to emerge from the tourists’ dressing room is to go with five front-line bowlers, thus providing them with an outside chance to upset the odds.
The 31-year old Sarfraz Ahmed, having unwisely been burdened with captaincy in all three formats, is clearly struggling to keep up the high standards he set, both as a batsman and wicket-keeper. Azhar Ali, the senior most batsman of the side, unselfishly vacated the one-down position to take up the challenge to open the batting, had stronger credentials to take over from Misbah-ul-Haq, as the Test match captain.”
Pakistan squad: Sarfraz Ahmed(c), Azhar Ali, Imam-ul-Haq, Sami Aslam, Haris Sohail, Babar Azam, Fakhar Zaman, Saad Ali, Asad Shafiq, Usman Salahuddin, Shadab Khan, Mohammad Amir, Mohammad Abbas , Hasan Ali, Rahat Ali, Faheem Ashraf
For England, their squad has some surprises, with the inclusion of Somerset spinner Dominic Bess and Jos Buttler. All in all a strong balanced squad which should be capable of a series win over the tourists.
England captain, Joe Root on the inclusion of Bess commented on BBC Sport: "It's a great opportunity for him. He seems to have an all-round game. He's played different roles for Somerset and coped with the pressure of trying to bowl sides out on spinning wickets at Taunton."
Pakistan has not won a Test series in England since 1996, but drew 2-2 in 2016.
England squad: Joe Root (captain), Alastair Cook, Mark Stoneman, Dawid Malan, Jonny Bairstow (wkt), Ben Stokes, Jos Buttler, Dom Bess, Mark Wood, Stuart Broad, James Anderson, Chris Woakes.
Cricket Match Prediction
Home advantage will count a lot for England and unless the weather intervenes, I can only see a win for England at Lord's. For all the latest online cricket betting tips for this match and cricket betting news and match predictions, visit our cricket betting section.
© Cricket World 2018