After a successful 2-1 series against the West Indies, the focus now shifts to the Pakistan Test series for hosts England. The first Test begins on Wednesday at Old Trafford, in secure bio-bubble, with facilities that were present during the Windies series too. To start with, Pakistani team would consider themselves to be in an advantageous position rightaway -- since they have been in England for close to a month and have been getting used to the conditions by playing practice matches. Also England players would be a bit worn-out as it has been only a few days since the series against West Indies culminated.
Having said that, it is going to be Pakistan's first series after the coronavirus break, and the players could be rusty, which the English team would like to exploit. In the coming series, some valuable World Test Championship points are going to be at stake. England having moved to third spot already, would have a chance to go one better, while Pakistan can overtake New Zealand to fourth position. For this series, England have named the same squad that clinched them the Wisden Trophy and it will once be interesting to see what will be their bowling combination for the first Test. On the other hand Pakistan have gone with a 20+ squad for the series.
WHAT: England vs Pakistan, 1st Test
WHEN: 3:00 PM IST, August 5 - August 9
WHERE: Old Trafford, Manchester
TELECAST: Sony Network
LIVE STREAMING: SonyLIV App
LIVE SCORE UPDATES: ENG v PAK 1st Test
England Team news:
Jonathan Trott has bee appointed batting coach for England for the upcoming series. Trott, who played 52 Tests, retired from playing all forms of cricket in 2018.
Predicted XI England: Joe Root (C), Jofra Archer, Dominic Bess, Stuart Broad, Rory Burns, Jos Buttler, Ollie Pope, Dom Sibley, Ben Stokes, Chris Woakes, Sam Curran
Pakistan Team news:
Former Pakistan captain Shahid Afridi announced that his foundation's logo will feature on the Pakistan cricket team's playing kits during the series against England. Earlier Pakistani team had struggled to get sponsors for their kit.
Predicted XI Pakistan: Azhar Ali (c), Babar Azam, Asad Shafiq, Fawad Alam, Mohammad Abbas, Mohammad Rizwan (wk), Naseem Shah, Shadab Khan, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Shan Masood, Yasir Shah
England Squad: Joe Root (C), James Anderson, Jofra Archer, Dominic Bess, Stuart Broad, Rory Burns, Jos Buttler, Zak Crawley, Sam Curran, Ollie Pope, Dom Sibley, Ben Stokes, Chris Woakes, Mark Wood, James Bracey, Ben Foakes, Jack Leach, Dan Lawrence
Pakistan Squad: Azhar Ali (c), Babar Azam, Abid Ali, Asad Shafiq, Fawad Alam, Imamul Haq, Kashif Bhatti, Mohammad Abbas, Mohammad Rizwan (wk), Naseem Shah, Sarfaraz Ahmed (wk), Shadab Khan, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Shan Masood, Sohail Khan, Yasir Shah