Predicted Playing XI: Wood for Curran as Root looks to overtake Australia in Test ranking race

Predicted Playing XI: Wood for Curran as Root looks to overtake Australia in Test ranking race

Written by Vishal Menon

Up to date: August 21, 2020 1:09:07 pm

England’s Ollie Pope, Mark Wooden and Rory Burns throughout nets (Supply: Reuters)

Pakistan return to the Ageas Bowl with the prospect of heading in direction of their first sequence defeat in England in a decade. It’s not that they’ve been outclassed by the hosts on this sequence. In actual fact, Azhar Ali’s group had held the sting for the primary 4 days of the sequence opener in Manchester, whereas the second Take a look at resulted in a tame draw on account of inclement climate and dangerous mild. As soon as once more, the climate can be a priority in Southampton with the forecast for the subsequent 5 days wanting fairly grim. (ENG vs PAK 3rd Test Live)

There’s lots at stake for England. A win right here is not going to solely assist them end the summer time on a squeaky clear slate, however it is going to additionally catapult them previous Australia to the No.2 spot within the ICC World Take a look at rankings. So far as their enjoying XI goes, Joe Root is perhaps seeking to inject a little bit of tempo by blooding in Mark Wooden instead of Sam Curran.

Right here’s predicting the attainable enjoying XI of each groups and the challenges they face.



Rory Burns: Rory Burns was plagued by Pakistan’s pacers at Previous Trafford, underlining the opener’s grossly underwhelming summer time to date. He didn’t fare any higher at Southampton both, as he was dismissed by a vicious Shaheen Afridi outswinger.

Dom Sibley: He led laborious for his 32 runs in Southampton, earlier than frittering away one more promising begin.

Zak Crawley: England’s No.three batsman justified his choice within the second Take a look at by stroking a chic half-century. Within the absence of Stokes, the group administration will fall again on Crawley’s companies for the upcoming duel.

Joe Root (c): Crawley’s induction signifies that England’s captain will drop to his most well-liked No.four place. Total, he has had a reasonably middling summer time as a batsman. It’s not as if Root is within the midst of a barren stretch. He has registered promising begins with scores of 23, 22, 17 68 not out, 14 and 42 and 9 not out. Nonetheless, the massive three-figure rating has been elusive.

Ollie Pope: After flattering to deceive within the first two Exams towards West Indies, Ollie Pope gave a superb account of himself within the third and last match with a stroke-filled 91 that drew comparisons with former England middle-order batsman Ian Bell. In opposition to Pakistan in Manchester, he solely enhanced his status additional with one other chic 62.

Jos Buttler (wk): Jos Buttler has had a reasonably torrid time behind the stumps within the earlier Take a look at towards Pakistan. He spilled two possibilities towards opener Shan Masood who went on to make 156. The wicket-keeper made up for these failures with a superlative batting effort within the second innings by scoring 75, whilst England efficiently chased down the 277-run goal. The match-winning knock will maintain his nearest competitor — Ben Foakes — on the sidelines for a short time longer.

Chris Woakes: Perpetually below the shadow of James Anderson and Stuart Broad and Stokes, Woakes has showcased his intrinsic worth to his group along with his match-winning all-round efforts in Manchester.

Dom Bess: The off-spinner could have picked up only a wicket every in each innings at Previous Trafford, however he would possibly play a more integral half, particularly within the second innings in Southampton.

Stuart Broad: After being ignored for the opening Take a look at of this summer time towards West Indies, Broad has made a stellar return to the England group, selecting up 26 wickets within the subsequent 4 matches at a median of 12.38. He bowled England again into the sport within the second innings towards Pakistan, by eradicating opener Shan Masood, who was coming off a superb century, earlier than returning to select Mohammad Rizwan and Shadab Khan in fast succession. Even within the second Take a look at, he regarded menacing, working via Pakistan’s middle-order with a four-wicket haul in an impressed spell of seam and swing bowling.

James Anderson: The grand previous man of worldwide cricket, who turned 38 final month, continues to plug away indefatigably. With 593 Take a look at wickets, he’s on the cusp of a uncommon private landmark.

Mark Wooden: There might be a temptation to unleash Mark Wooden, particularly if this Take a look at is performed out on the freshly laid-out strip. Wooden featured at this venue within the opening match of the summer time towards the West Indies final month.


Shan Masood: His dismissal to James Anderson within the first innings of the earlier Take a look at might simply open a can of worms. However Shan Masood has proven sufficient glimpses of his expertise and the fast strides that he has made as an opener during the last 18 months.

Abid Ali: The opener was labored up by England’s pacers within the first innings in Manchester, earlier than succumbing to a brutish inswinger from Archer. Within the second essay, he frittered away a wonderful alternative, when he holed out within the deep off the bowling of Dom Bess. Scores of 16 and 20 don’t showcase Ali’s true potential. Nonetheless, a gritty 60 below treacherous situations within the earlier match would put him in a superb way of thinking.

Azhar Ali (c): The Pakistan Take a look at captain is below intense stress for failing to encourage his group both as a captain or as a batsman. Having scored simply 38 runs from three innings on this tour attests to his poor kind.

Babar Azam: Pakistan’s finest batsman has promised lots, however in some way, has not fairly set the stage on fireplace. He did get off to a splendid begin on this sequence, scoring a luxurious 69 within the first innings at Previous Trafford. Whereas he regarded good in Southampton, the England seamers, notably Broad, examined him with a nagging fourth stump line.

Asad Shafiq: Very similar to his captain, Pakistan’s second-most skilled batsman has additionally regarded a pale shadow of his often pristine self. He wants to come back good in Southampton if Pakistan harbour hopes of ending this tour on a good keel.

Mohammed Rizwan (wk): Rizwan lastly confirmed his expertise with a fire-fighting 72 below hostile situations on the Ageas Bowl. Pakistan’s bowling coach Waqar Younis heaped reward on his wicket-keeper batsman. “Situations have been powerful, Rizwan performed a courageous, optimistic, and calculated knock. It’s not simple batting with the tail, however he added small partnerships and acquired Pakistan to a complete the place all of us have been feeling assured and have been within the recreation,” Younis mentioned.

Shadab Khan: The all-rounder’s return not solely provides selection to Pakistan’s bowling assault, nevertheless it additionally provides them depth to their batting.

Yasir Shah: The Previous Trafford Take a look at was dominated by pacers. However Yasir Shah confirmed guile and impeccable management to spin an internet round England. He completed with eight wickets — 4 in every innings — to go together with a preventing 24-ball 33 within the second innings that gave his group a sensible likelihood of going for a win. Though the leggie didn’t have a lot to point out for within the truncated second Take a look at, he stays an important cog in Pakistan’s bowling assault.

Shaheen Afridi: The left-arm pacer bowled with loads of coronary heart, however with no luck by any means in Manchester. Nonetheless, he confirmed talent and management whereas bowling below overcast situations on the Ageas Bowl.

Naseem Shah: Like Afridi, 17-year-old Naseem Shah, too, has not picked truckloads of wickets on this tour to this point. Nonetheless, he did bend his again and clocked spectacular speeds.

Mohammad Abbas: Abbas has been actually spectacular, bowling with pin-point accuracy and nagging size. He could not have the tempo of Afridi or Shah, however he has an fascinating motion and bowls with a wobbly seam that has put England’s batsmen below strife.

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