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HomeCricketEngland v Pakistan 2nd Test Preview

England v Pakistan 2nd Test Preview



Last Updated on 6 years by Charbel Coorey

Joe Root England v Pakistan 2nd Test Preview Cricket Blog

Were Pakistan really good at Lord’s, or were England really crap? Will England show a little bit more fight for the cause, or will they crumble again? Can Pakistan play another near perfect game, and win their first series in England since 1996?

We will find out in the second Test.

England have serious problems. In my first article for Last Word on Cricket, I wrote about three burning issues in English cricket that has to be sorted. In this Test, the players in the side now simply have to execute better. When a return to Lord’s can’t even mask the issues we saw in the winter, it is clear that the pressure is well and truly on coach Trevor Bayliss, captain Joe Root and the players.

Pakistan and their fans have every reason to be feeling positive. Their bowling at Lord’s was an exhibition, landing the ball consistently where they wanted to, as if they were aiming for a five cent piece on the pitch. In beautiful craft by Mohammad Abbas and co, Pakistan completely outplayed England’s bowlers thanks to their focus on hitting the stumps, and I am excited to see this attack go at England again.

With England continuing to stink it up in Test cricket, can Pakistan hand them another lesson?

Key to an England win

The good news for England is that they have only three issues to sort out. 
Unfortunately, these issues are their batting, bowling and fielding.
Let me start with their bowling. England’s mentality of “bowling dry” is catching up with them, intent on putting people to sleep. Their focus on low economy rates coincides with their predominantly back-of-a-length bowling, which is perfect for Pakistan to deal with in these conditions. It has been tough going in the last two years with a lack of variety in their attack, so England must pitch the ball up at Leeds to test the Pakistan batsmen further.
With the bat, England simply aren’t converting enough fifties to hundreds. Since their tour of Bangladesh in 2016, England have had 80 fifty-plus scores, with just 16 (20%) converted to centuries. Joe Root, the skipper, has not converted his last ten fifties. England’s set batsmen simply have to go big to blunt the impressive Pakistan attack.
And… with fielding, catches win matches.
England v Pakistan 2nd Test Preview Cricket Blog
Photo from ancient history: Joe Root converting a fifty into a hundred!

Key to a Pakistan win

Pakistan were so impressive at Lord’s that England resorted to bringing Keaton Jennings back. Jennings may do well, but the onus is on Pakistan’s seam bowlers to continue challenging the front foot of England’s batsmen. 
The contrast between England and Pakistan’s bowlers at Lord’s was huge, and if the two Mohammad’s (Amir and Abbas) can repeat their onslaught on England’s stumps and edges, Pakistan are in with a shout for a 2-0 series sweep.
Also, Pakistan should take a lot of heart from their batting effort at Lord’s. The biggest doubt heading into this series was whether their batting would cope against England’s successful seam attack in home conditions. I like Pakistan’s chances if they can make England toil again.
Mohammad Abbas England v Pakistan 2nd Test Preview
Mohammad Abbas: Amazing bowler

Predicted teams

Keaton Jennings will replace Mark Stoneman in another attempt to replace Andrew Strauss… who retired about six years ago. Ben Stokes is said to have a hamstring niggle, so this may mean he won’t bowl much, if selected. Also, expect Dominic Bess to be given another chance to impress.
England possible XI: 1. Alastair Cook, 2. Keaton Jennings, 3. Joe Root (c), 4. Dawid Malan, 5. Jonny Bairstow (wk), 6. Ben Stokes, 7. Jos Buttler, 8. Dominic Bess, 9. Mark Wood, 10. Stuart Broad, 11. James Anderson
For Pakistan, they will be forced into change with Babar Azam unfortunately injured at Lord’s. Usman Salahuddin is likely to make his Test debut in the middle order. Their bowling attack looks like a well-oiled machine, and their batsmen have another chance to show their worth.
Pakistan possible XI: 1. Azhar Ali, 2. Imam-ul-Haq, 3. Haris Sohail, 4. Asad Shafiq, 5. Usman Salahuddin, 6. Sarfraz Ahmed (c & wk), 7. Faheem Ashraf, 8. Shadab Khan, 9. Mohammad Amir, 10. Hasan Ali, 11. Mohammad Abbas

Stats and Facts:

  • England have not won in their last eight Tests.
  • Pakistan won two of their previous 11 Tests before this tour of the UK. They are now on a run of two straight wins.
  • Since October 2016 (22 Tests), England have conceded an average first innings total of nearly 400, spending 120.2 overs on the field.
  • Pakistan haven’t won a Test series in England since 1996.
  • Mohammad Abbas has 40 wickets in seven Tests, with an average of just 16.62.


A win would be perfect with all the doom and gloom in England Test cricket right now. The senior players in the side, including Cook, Root, Broad and Anderson need to lead from the front with their performances.
Call me crazy, but I have a feeling England can bounce back and win this Test, thanks to fuller bowling that will trouble the Pakistan batsmen. Watch this space.
In the meantime, be sure to catch up on my player ratings for the first Test, as well as my “Sanjay Manjrekar flop IPL XI”. I promise you they are worth the read!

Charbel Coorey
Charbel Coorey
Charbel is the owner & founder of, based in Sydney, Australia. He started the website to fulfill his love for the game of cricket. Charbel has also been featured on other publications including OP India, Times of India, and The Roar, among others. For any story tips or questions, you can contact Charbel at

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