Second England-Pakistan Test: Squads, Probable XI, Forecast and Prediction
After a thrilling victory in the first Test against Pakistan, hosts England will look to wrap up the series with a victory in the second match at the Ageas Bowl in Southampton.
We give you the full lowdown for the second Test between the two sides that will commence at 3:30 PM IST on Thursday:
Joe Root (Captain), James Anderson, Jofra Archer, Dominic Bess, Stuart Broad, Rory Burns, Jos Buttler, Zak Crawley, Sam Curran, Ollie Pope, Dom Sibley, Ollie Robinson, Chris Woakes, Mark Wood.
Azhar Ali (captain), Babar Azam, Abid Ali, Asad Shafiq, Faheem Ashraf, Fawad Alam, Imam-ul-Haq, Imran Khan Sr, Kashif Bhatti, Mohammad Abbas, Mohammad Rizwan (wk), Naseem Shah, Sarfaraz Ahmed (wk), Shadab Khan, Shaheen Afridi, Shan Masood, Sohail Khan, Usman Shinwari, Wahab Riaz, Yasir Shah.
A stellar batting effort in the second innings by Jos Buttler and Chris Woakes saw England steal a win from Pakistan.
The duo forged a 139-run sixth-wicket partnership after the hosts were reduced to 117-5. England, however, suffered a big blow as stand-out all-rounder Ben Stokes has been ruled out of the rest of the series due to a hamstring injury.
Seamer Ollie Robinson will replace Stokes in the England squad, however, all-rounder Sam Curran will likely get the nod in the starting XI on Thursday.
Probable Playing XI: Rory Burns, Dom Sibley, Joe Root(captain), Ollie Pope, Jos Buttler (wk), Sam Curran, Chris Woakes, Dominic Bess, Jofra Archer, Stuart Broad, James Anderson.
The visitors will rue the opportunities they missed in the first Test and be keen on levelling the series in Southampton.
Pakistan will look to reinforce their batting lineup and bring in the experienced Haris Sohail in place of Shadab Khan, who had a rather mediocre outing in the first game.
Probable Playing XI: Shan Masood, Abid Ali, Azhar Ali (captain), Babar Azam, Asad Shafiq, Haris Sohail, Mohammad Rizwan (wk), Yasir Shah, Shaheen Afridi, Mohammad Abbas, Naseem Shah.
Showers are expected on four of the five days of the match.
Pakistan were outstanding for 3/4th of the contest but threw the game away in the final quarter.
With Stokes out, England have a big hole in their side that any of the potential replacements might fail to fill.
While Pakistan will certainly feel like they have the upper hand, their hopes are likely to get washed away by the rain, so expect a draw.
Feature image courtesy: AFP / Lee Smith
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