ENG vs PAK 2nd Test Fantasy Cricket: After the nerve-jangling ending of the first test at Manchester, teams have now arrived at Southampton. Both team managements have some decisions to make before captains take centre-stage in their blazers to spin the coin. Pakistan must be rattled with their performance during the last play of the match when they had England almost down and out. On the other hand, hosts will begin the second test with a lead over their opponents for the first time since 2018 in any test match series.
If we talk about England first, Ben Stokes has left for New Zealand to be with his family and he is certainly out of this English summer. So, the question still remains the same for the English test side: Can they still make the same impact without their talisman? The answer somewhat remains in their performance at The Old Trafford last week. Even after the limited contributions from Ben Stokes, England were able to find new heroes. Chris Woakes and Jos Buttler were struggling with their places in the playing XI before they came together and scripted a remarkable turnaround for the hosts. In bowling lineup, Stuart Broad was again at his best and an all-round effort is required now to grab the second straight series win for the summer.
A lot of questions were raised on Azhar Ali after Pakistan failed to close out a victory in the last test. His utilization of bowlers along with some field placements was up for debate in Pakistani media, not to mention his own form with the bat. Clearly, Azhar Ali needs to have a good game in Southampton to settle all these discussions. Shan Masood impressed everyone with his first innings performance but a bit of consolidation from Babar Azam and Shadab Khan from the other end would have surely closed the doors on England. The pace trio of Mohammad Abbas, Shaheen Shah Afridi and Naseem Shah started brilliantly but seemed to have lost steam as the match progressed. Pakistan squad needs to find some energy on the field somehow even without their passionate supporters in the stands.
The whole of UK are under a significant heatwave for last 15 days and their wait is set to end this week if anything to go by the forecasts. But the situation is different if you are a cricket fan as thunderstorms are predicted for the duration of the test match. Wet conditions would certainly encourage some movements in the air and off the pitch for fast bowlers. The Rose Bowl pitch has been dry traditionally but overhead conditions will have a huge role to play this time around.
ENG vs PAK, 2nd Test, 03:30 PM IST, 13th August 2020, The Rose Bowl, Southampton
Joe Root(c), Rory Burns, Dominic Sibley, Zak Crawley, Ollie Pope, Jos Buttler(w), Dominic Bess, Jofra Archer, Stuart Broad, James Anderson, Chris Woakes, Mark Wood, Sam Curran, Ollie Robinson
England Team News
ENG Predicted XI
Azhar Ali(c), Shan Masood, Abid Ali, Babar Azam, Asad Shafiq, Mohammad Rizwan(w), Shadab Khan, Yasir Shah, Mohammad Abbas, Kashif Bhatti, Shaheen Afridi, Naseem Shah, Fawad Alam, Sohail Khan, Sarfaraz Ahmed, Imam-ul-Haq,
Pakistan Team News
PAK Predicted XI
Azhar Ali (capt)
Mohammad Rizwan (wk)
Shaheen Shah Afridi
WK: Jos Buttler
Batsmen: Joe Root, Rory Burns, Ollie Pope, Babar Azam, Shan Masood
All-rounders: Chris Woakes
Bowlers: James Anderson, Stuart Broad, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Yasir Shah
Draw can be a possibility in the second test match looking at the weather forecast for the match. In terms of results, England are clear favourites ahead of Pakistan to register an outright win.