England v Pakistan, 2nd Test – Old Trafford from 11:00 live on Sky Sports

The Scene

England and Pakistan lock horns in the second Test of four to be played between the sides. After Sunday’s dramatic conclusion to the first Test, Pakistan take a one-nil lead into the Old Trafford Test match, and will be confident of pushing the hosts once more – this despite the home sides excellent recent record at this ground –  they’ve won seven and drawn two of the last nine Tests played here. The tenth match, England’s last defeat here, was against Pakistan back in 2001. On a ground that offers pace, bounce and spin for the bowlers yet still rewards batsman who have sound techniques, this should be another cracking duel. One final note; Pakistan have won six of the last seven Tests between the sides, the other being a draw – some record.

Conditions

Britain has been basking in 33 degree heat this week, but this heat wave should move on by Friday. They might be some showers around tea on the first day, but otherwise we are looking OK for a non-weather affected Test.

The Venue

Here’s a list of sides 1st innings scores at Old Trafford in Tests since Pakistan’s 2006 tour, along with the winner/result of each Test in bold text

2014 – 1st inns –  152 (IND), 2nd inns – 367 (ENG) – ENG

2013 – 1st inns – 527 (AUS), 2nd inns – 368 (ENG) – DRAW

2010 – 1st inns – 419 (ENG), 2nd inns – 216 (BAN) – ENG

2008 – 1st inns – 381 (NZ), 2nd inns – 202 (ENG) – ENG

2007– 1st inns – 370 (ENG), 2nd inns – 229 (WI) – ENG

2006 – 1st inns – 119 (PAK), 2ns inns – 461 (ENG) – ENG

Batting in the 1st innings of the match in this period – Average 328

Batting in the 2nd innings of the match in this period – Average 307

NOTE – (we’ve ignored 3rd and 4th match innings for the purposes of this column which has been written for each sides 1st innings of the Test)

Form Guide & First Inns Runs

Here are England‘s last ten  1st innings scores in Tests, plus result in brackets –

272 (L) 416 (D) 498/9d (W) 298 (W) 342 (L) 323 (W) 629/6d (D) 303 (W) 306 (L) 242 (L) – Average 362

Here are Pakistan‘s last ten 1st innings scores in Tests, plus result in brackets –

339 (W) 234 (W) 378 (W) 523/8d (D) 215 (W) 138 (L) 417 (W) 557/8d (W) 332 (D) 351(L) – Average 348

Teams

Despite a loss that was in the main down to the failure of England‘s batsman, we can expect only changes with the ball to England’s starting XI. With three additions to the squad – Stokes (below), Adil Rashid and James Anderson – it is likely only Stokes and Anderson will come in, probably for Steven Finn and Lords debutant Jake Ball. Moeen Ali’s second innings fourth ball swipe only adds to the growing clamour suggesting he could be replaced by Yorkshire’s Rashid. Moeen now averages over 41 a wicket now in Tests and his economy rate of 3.7 suggests he’s struggling to play a holding role. Rashid played 3 Tests against Pakistan in the UAE last year, but 8 wickets at 69 apiece doesn’t suggest his inclusion will overly improve things.

Pakistan are almost guaranteed to be unchanged. Misbah-Ul-Haq’s historic Lords ton (and celebration) will go down in Pakistani cricket legacy and the rest of the top order will be keen emulate their leaders success. Openers Shan Masood and Mohammed Hafeez both had one failure and one start and at least showed they have some form to help set a platform. Younus Khan scraped his way to a 33 & 25 despite looking out-of-sorts. Shafiq (below) continues to look a class act and wicket-keeper dasher Sarfraz’s 45 in the second innings was crucial in Pakistan’s win. Rahat Ali, so often outshone by Mohammad Amir and Wahab Riaz, snuck up on the hosts with 3-47 in England’s chase. Amir and Riaz shared 5 wickets and looked to be finding more rhythm as the Test went on.

Ones To Watch

Ben Stokes returns to the England squad after injury curtailed his international involvement earlier this summer. He has since been playing a specialist batsman for Durham and returned with the ball in this weeks county championship match v Lancashire in which he bowled 33 overs and took 3 wickets.

Old Trafford is a ground that can favour leg-spin and in Yasir Shah, Pakistan have undoubtedly the world’s best right now. A ten-wicket MOM haul at Lords on a pitch that was hardly a bunsen burner, Shah could easily add to his 86 Test wickets that he’s racked up in just 13 Tests. In 4 matches v England he’s now claimed 25 wickets at 18 apiece and is a proper match-winner.

Runs Markets

Whoever bats first, I recommend backing any OVER RUNS around the 315-318 mark..

Top Batsman Market

Joe Root played two terrible shots to get out in the first Test, in particular his dismissal of 48 in the first innings led to a mini-collapse. He will be keen to start making those big contributions that became so common through 2014-2015 and should be backed at 3.75 to top score in England‘s first innings here.

We backed Asad Shafiq at 11.0 in the Lords first innings (only for him to be second top scorer) and then he top scored in Pakistan’s second digs – unlucky or what. His price has tumbled to 7.50 but let’s try him again, as he looked technically excellent in the first Test.

Prices correct at time of writing.

By @herefordrich.

Eastbridge now fully licensed in the UK!

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