Test cricket has returned during the pandemic in the most fascinating fashion with the England-West Indies series in July. Playing at home, England registered a fine 2-1 series win and are now all set to host Pakistan for a 3-match Test series beginning August 05, 2020 at Old Trafford, Manchester. Pakistan has traditionally done well in England and should hence be giving the hosts a tough fight.
After suffering a shock defeat in the first Test of the series against the West Indies, England came back hard and dominated the next two Tests. They are an extremely strong side at home with a settled batting and bowling unit. Apart from captain Joe Root, England will have the best all-rounder of the world at the moment, Ben Stokes, in their ranks. Stokes is coming of an outstanding series against the West Indies and will be keen to continue that form.
In Stuart Broad, James Anderson, and Jofra Archer, England have a superb seam bowling unit that should utilize the conditions perfectly and trouble Pakistan regularly.
Pakistan has a good mix of talent in its ranks but it will be interesting to see how they cope in these conditions straightaway. Captain Azhar Ali will have a huge responsibility on his shoulders and would hope that Babar Azam, the best batsman in their team, does the bulk of the scoring. Imam-ul-Haq and Asad Shafiq are expected to put in some good performances too.
It is their bowling where Pakistan can really peg England back. With talented seamers like Shaheen Afridi, Naseem Shah and Mohammad Abbas, Pakistan has enough variety. Leg-spinner Yasir Shah’s experience should come in handy, too.
England vs Pakistan 1st Test Cricket Betting Tips
In the last 5 Tests between England and Pakistan, England has won 3 games and lost 2. On their last tour to England, Pakistan did win the first Test of the two-match series while losing the second. Even on the 2016 tour, Pakistan drew the Test series 2-2. They do know how to do well in these conditions and their bowlers, especially, might be a real force to reckon with.
England will of course start as favorites as they are playing at home. The form of Joe Root and Ben Stokes is their best bet along with the talent of their seamers. However, they are known to slip against a quality seam attack and that is where Pakistan will have the chance.
Old Trafford is a high-scoring ground and we should expect some big runs in the first three days. The wicket will change from the fourth day onwards and seam bowlers will come into play then.
A tight and fascinating contest is expected. However, since Pakistan hasn’t played any active cricket for the last 4 months, they might be a little rusty and thus struggle. England are already in flow and should hence dominate in home conditions. Thus, England should be backed as the winners of this contest.