Match: England vs. Pakistan, 2nd Test
Venue: Rose Bowl, Southampton
Date and time: August 13, 2020, at 3.30 PM IST
Preview: The first Test between these two sides was an enthralling encounter in which England was outplayed for long spells, but some superb hitting by Buttler and Woakes just took the game away from the tourists. Pakistan will not be too disheartened from that as the series moves to Southampton. The West Indies beat England at The Rose Bowl, so that will give Pakistan and their pace bowlers some confidence. With another game under their belts, Pakistan could be even more dangerous here and with England missing B Stokes, the visitors could well even things up here and take it to a decider.
Pitch and Weather Conditions: Unfortunately, the weather forecast doesn’t look too good in Southampton throughout the Test. Expect rain to play a part. However, the Southampton pitch has provided assistance to both pace and spin bowlers, with the most recent example being West Indies’ superb win last month. So, even if rain plays a part, there could be time for a result given the fragile batting lineups. Also, the likes of M Ali have enjoyed bowling at Southampton, so the spinners could prove key here.
Probable Playing 11 and Key Players
Probable Playing 11 for England: R Burns, D Sibley, Z Crawley, J Root ©, O Pope, J Buttler (wk), C Woakes, D Bess, S Curran/M Wood, J Archer, S Broad
Probable Playing 11 for Pakistan: S Masood, A Ali, Azhar A ©, B Azam, A Shafiq, H Sohail/F Alam, M Rizwan (wk), Y Shah, SS Afridi, N Shah, M Abbas
- J Buttler’s batting form is picking up, with 220 runs in his last five knocks (avg. 44). Also, Buttler averages 75.77 in three Tests at the Ageas Bowl.
- C Woakes could be crucial in the absence of Stokes. Woakes was outstanding last Test, scoring a superb 84* along with four wickets.
- J Root has an excellent record vs Pakistan, averaging 57.17 in 10 Tests (972 runs).
- S Masood scored a superb 156 in the first innings. He looks much more assured around his off-stump & would be a key player.
- B Azam is also crucial for Pakistan, once again. His class was on show at Old Trafford during his first-innings 69.
- O Pope has batted well in recent times, particularly with England under pressure. He has scored 91 and 62 in his last two Tests and came in with England tottering both times (122/4 and 12/3).
- S Broad is in wonderful form. He has taken 22 wickets in three Tests since being left out, with 109 runs at 54.50 as well. Also, Broad has 60 wickets vs Pakistan at 23.11.
- M Abbas will be key, especially with the new ball & Y Shah will be key as he took eight wickets in the last match.
Howzat Dream Team
NOTE: The Howzat dream team above is just a suggestion. You can select your own fantasy cricket team by using your knowledge of cricket. Also, don’t forget to make any necessary changes to your team once the actual playing 11 is announced by each team (15 to 30 minutes before the start of the match) as some players you have selected might not be part of the playing 11.
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