The first Test between England and Pakistan at Manchester turned out to be a true classic. After having the upper hand for the first half of the match, the visiting Pakistani side slipped at the wrong time while a strong-willed England clawed back to pull off a majestic 3-wicket win. The hosts now lead the 3-match series 1-0 and will head into the second Test at Southampton, which begins from the 13th of August, with great confidence.
England has suffered a body blow before the second Test as star all-rounder Ben Stokes has been ruled out of the remainder of the series against Pakistan due to family commitments. This will leave a gaping hole for the team. However, Chris Woakes, who was the man of the match in the last Test for his wonderful unbeaten 84 in the final innings, can step up into that role. He’s a useful seam bowler and a solid lower-order batsman and will be a thorn for the opposition.
The likes of Ollie Pope, Jos Buttler, and captain Joe Root are expected to manage the batting order. In the bowling department, James Anderson would hope to do better as he got just one wicket in the last Test. Stuart Broad and Jofra Archer could hence have a bigger role to play.
Pakistan let go of a wonderful opportunity in the last Test. They had worked hard to put England on the back foot but let it go. Opener Shan Masood’s sparkling 156 set up the first innings for Pakistan followed by a classy 69 by Babar Azam. However, the likes of Abid Ali, Asad Shafiq, and captain Azhar Ali failed to put up any decent contributions. Their batting unit would have to be much more responsible if they hope to put pressure on England.
Pakistan’s bowlers put up a splendid show in the first innings of the first Test, bowling the home team out for just 219. Shaheen Afridi and Mohammad Abbas have found good rhythm while the experience of leg-spinner Yasir Shah is coming in real handy. If the conditions in Southampton are seam-friendly, then expect the Pakistani bowlers to make merry again.
England vs Pakistan 2nd Test Cricket Betting Tips
The Rose Bowl, Southampton, is not a batting paradise. A total above 500 has only been achieved once here and generally, the seamers find help right away here or from the second day onwards. Hence, if the team batting first puts on a total of 300-plus, they will have the advantage.
Pakistan showed great promise in the last Test but lacked cohesion. Their batting unit needs to be much more solid and their bowling would have to consistent all the way through. It feels as if the team lacks an experienced leadership right now.
England, despite the unavailability of Ben Stokes, are a strong side at home. Yes, they have issues in their batting but they still have enough responsible batsmen to bail them out along with a terrific bowling unit that should excel in these conditions. Hence, while Pakistan might again give a tough fight, England should emerge as the winners of the second Test.