With the T20 season finally over, the real test begins as most cricketing nations wear whites to play Test cricket. India are touring West Indies to play a four-match Test series, Pakistan are in England to play four Tests, while Australia are set to tour Sri Lanka by the end of this month.
Among all these cricketing action, the England-Pakistan series promises more excitement than any other series. Here are some reasons why the England-Pakistan series scores over India-West Indies series.
Revenge on England’s mind: England last played Pakistan in the UAE last year and lost the series 2-0. England skipper Alastair Cook, would look to set the record straight by beating Pakistan comprehensively at home. England had fought hard last time and lost the series with luck not favouring them.
England bowlers will be itching to go hard at the Pakistan batsmen, who gave them a hard time on the flat pitches of UAE. Pakistan too would come hard at England and not go down without a fight. It could be a hard-fought series.
On the other hand, West Indies have hardly troubled India over the last few series’, which the latter has won comfortably. India is favourite to whitewash West Indies 4-0. It should not come as a surprise if India does so.
Mohammad Amir factor: The last time Mohammad Amir toured England, he was involved in spot fixing that saw him face a ban from international cricket. Amir will target redemption by bowling his heart out to help Pakistan win the series. England supporters are not likely to go easy on Amir. Hence, it would be more of a battle of mind games when Pakistan take on England in the first Test. Will Amir succeed or not? That will be the top-most question on the fans’ mind.
Real contest between bat and ball: Over the years, West Indies pitches have turned slow which Indian spinners would relish to bowl on. Hence, a possibility of a match ending within three or four days or a dull draw is very much on the cards.
While the England pitches will offer great seam movement and bounce that bowlers will enjoy bowling on, it will also be a great test of the batsmen’s skills and temperament. Hence, the England-Pakistan series promises a mouth-watering contest between bat and ball.
Competitiveness: England is one of the best teams in the world. Pakistan, on the other hand is quite competitive in this format and unpredictable too. They can be menacing at times or feeble on the other. It would be difficult to discount Pakistan. The two will not leave any stone unturned to get on top of the other.
On the other hand, West Indies are not the same force as they are in T20 cricket. Hence, a dominant India will look to cash in on West Indies’ vulnerability and run away with a series victory rather comfortably.