Cricket Article

England v Pakistan 2nd Test at Leeds Preview, Predictions & Tips

England v Pakistan 2nd Test at Leeds Preview, Predictions & Tips Photo: IBL

Pakistan have the chance to win their first Test series in England since 1996 when they take to the field in Headingley on Friday, having already comprehensively beaten the home side by nine wicket in their initial meeting at Lords last week.

After the emphatic nature of their victory in the first test, even a draw will be good enough for the tourists, although, historically, Headingley is a ground that, weather permitting, produces results.

The match is likely to be won, or lost, by the bowlers and, judging by the first test, Pakistan have the edge in this department with the likes of Mohammed Amir, Hasan Ali and Mohammad Abbas at their disposal, although conditions in Yorkshire are likely to give the English pacemen more of an advantage than they enjoyed at Lords.

In terms of team selection, Pakistan are forced into making one change, with the unfortunate Babar Azam, who broke his wrist after being struck by a short delivery from Ben Stokes at Lords, out of action for six weeks. Usman Sahahuddin, who scored 69 no out in a warm-up match against Leicestershire, is the most likely candidate to take his place.

Amidst widespread criticism from supporters and critics alike after the events at Lords, England have reacted by dropping opener Mark Stoneman after a poor run of form with the bat, and have recalled 25-year old Keaton Jennings, who returns to the test arena after almost a year’s absence followiing a poor series against South Africa last summer. Chris Woakes looks set to play on a surface that favours his swing bowling, so either Stuart Broad or Mark Wood may have to give way.

However, there is an injury doubt over Ben Stokes, who faces a late fitness test for a hamstring, with seam bowler Sam Curran drafted in as cover. If Stokes does miss out, Jos Buttler, who batted at seven in the first test, will likely move up one place in the batting order.

It is likely to be a closer fought contest than the first test, and the weather could play a part in proceedings, but Pakistan, given the relative form of both sides, probably start the match as favourites.

Sunny c
Sunny C Sports Pundit staff writer

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