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With the three-match series now in favor of the hosts 1-0. The visitors will be looking to bounce back in order to stay alive in the series. The first test was a close encounter and the visitors put up a great fight but the 139 run partnership between Chris Woakes and Jos Butler took the game away from Pakistan. It would be interesting now to see how the visitors approach the task and there is no doubt that the match would be closely contested.

It is to be noted that it was the first time since November of 2018 the English team has started a series with a win. This only means that it's now an added advantage that the visitors now get more dangerous as going into the series as per their trends. As we mentioned in our preview for the first test, the Pakistan pace attack was of high caliber and should consider them really unlucky as they could not finish it off in their favor. 

According to recent reports, the English star all-rounder Ben Stokes will not be available for the remaining two matches due to some personal reasons and already made his way to New Zealand. The visitors would be preying on to use this opportunity with the absence of the in-form Stokes. 

Pitch and Conditions

The teams will now be moving from Manchester to Southampton to play the remaining two matches. The Southampton pitch is almost similar to the Manchester one as we saw in the match against West Indies. This would mean the fast bowlers could be having a good time in the first few days and once the pitch deteriorates the spinners will play a vital role. 

As per the weather reports, there could be showers throughout the duration of 5 days.

Probable Playing Xl

With the absence of Ben Stokes in the remainders, Zak Crawley could make into the playing Xl and also the rotation policy of England means that James Anderson would be making way for Sam Curran.

Probable XI: Dom Sibley, Rory Burns, Joe Root (c), Zak Crawley, Ollie Pope, Jos Buttler (wk), Chris Woakes, Sam Curran, Dom Bess, Stuart Broad, Jofra Archer.

Asad Shafiq could not create an impact in the first test with scores of 7 and 29 and now this being a must win situation for the visitors. He may have made way for the experienced Fawad Alam.

Pakistan would not be looking to make a lot of changes with their team as they did a have near perfect first test and will look to get the over line this time around.

Probable XI: Shan Masood, Abid Ali, Azhar Ali(c), Babar Azam, Fawad Alam, Mohammad Rizwan (wk), Shadab Khan, Yasir Shah, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Naseem Shah, Mohammad Abbas

Players to watch out for

 

1) Shan Masood

Shan Masood
Shan Masood (Image Credits: ESPNCricinfo)

The 30-year-old anchored the first innings for Pakistan with his career-best knock of 156 at the top order and he looked in-despicable throughout the innings. The Left-hander was scoring at ease and was able to rotate strike as well. Showing he was in great form. But, the second innings was completely opposite as he was dismissed for a duck.

The big question would be can Masood repeat the kind of innings when the team needs it the most.  He has an average of 33.62 in Test cricket and has played only 21 matches for the team. The Opener’s inconsistency can be because of the inexperience. But know that the he knows the conditions and showed he can play innings like those. Pakistan would be wanting him to deliver.

2) Yasir Shah

Yasir Shah
Yasir Shah (Image Credits: CricketCircle)

The Leggie is the highest wicket-taker in the series so far with 8 wickets. The English batsman did struggle to play him off. The English captain too was questioned by the leggie. Jos Butler seemed in great touch in both the innings but the experience of Shah outsmarted him both the times.

There is no doubt that the 34-year old is of high potential as he has a whopping 221 wickets to his name in just 40 matches he has played. The English team if they want to wrap things fast they will need to have a plan to play him off as he could prove a real danger.

3) Rory Burns

Rory Burns
Rory Burns (Image Credits: CricGem)

The English Opener seemed in disarray both the innings with his timing being completely out of the sorts throughout. With scores of 4 and 10 in the first test. He does a lot to prove in the second test if he is to cement his place as the Opener. 

There is no doubt on his potential as he is considered a specialist Test player for his temperament and ability to play long innings. The 29-year old averages 34 in test cricket and 1227 runs to his name in the 19 matches he has represented England.

Match Details

Match: England vs Pakistan, 2nd Test of 3-Match series

Venue: The Rose Bowl, Southampton

Date and time: 13 August 2020, 15:30 IST

Prediction

The visitors indeed put up a very good fight and it seemed it was all over for the hosts when they were down for 117 for the loss 5 in the second innings. Pakistan would be motivated with their performance which almost took them over and also the absence of Ben Stokes and lack of form of the English openers may turn out to be costly for the home team.

Cricwizz prediction: Pakistan to win the second test, Level the series 1-1