ENG VS PAK – This article brings to you the preview, team news and top Funtasy picks for the 1st Test between England and Pakistan.
Pakistan had an enthralling UK tour in 2016 when they managed to draw the 4-match series 2-2 despite carrying the ‘underdogs’ tag.
Two years later, the Sarfraz-led side having defeated Ireland in what was a historic Test, is all set to face England in the first of two Tests commencing on 24 May at Lord’s Cricket Ground.
England Team News
While Jos Buttler was a notable inclusion in the Test squad for the impending Test series, James Vince who batted at No. 3 over the winter has been dropped. Also, Moeen Ali was shown the exit doors in virtue of his poor performance down under last year.
Somerset off-spinner Dom Bess has earned his maiden Test call-up following an incredible run in first class cricket. An untimely injury to Somerset team-mate Jack Leach made way for Bess as the lone specialist spinner.
Besides, England have already named their 12-member squad for the upcoming Test.
Squad: Joe Root, James Anderson, Jonny Bairstow, Dom Bess, Stuart Broad, Jos Buttler, Alastair Cook, Dawid Malan, Ben Stokes, Mark Stoneman, Chris Woakes, Mark Wood.
Pakistan Team News
The team back in 2016 led by Misbah Ul Haq comprised of Younis Khan, Mohammad Hafeez and now-injured Yasir Shah. Since most of the senior players have departed following the previous England tour, Pakistan are struggling to find the rhythm with novices in the side.
Top order batsman Babar Azam blossomed initially, but has failed to make any major impact of late. He recorded as many as 4 duck in 2017, averaging a paltry 16.27.
Another batting linchpin Azhar Ali is probably riding Pakistan’s hopes right now, but has projected a string of low scores in recently concluded tour matches. Coach Micky Arthur confirmed Mohammad Amir’s fitness for the upcoming Test.
Although the 12-member squad has already been announced, picking one of Hasan Ali and Rahat Ali could be a major hurdle.
Squad: Imam-ul-Haq, Azhar Ali, Haris Sohail, Asad Shafiq, Babar Azam, Sarfaraz Ahmed (C & WK), Shadab Khan, Faheem Ashraf, Mohammad Amir, Mohammad Abbas, Rahat Ali, Hassan Ali
Top Funtasy Picks
England: Joe Root / James Anderson – Both Joe Root and James Anderson can be as lethal as anything in home conditions against any give opposition.
Pakistan: Babar Azam / Mohammad Amir – Babar Azam has been the best in business for Pakistan across formats, though his numbers lately don’t do justice to talent. Mohammad Amir needs no introduction when it comes to fast bowling in seaming conditions.
Punt Pick: Dom Bess / Hasan Ali – Having been drafted the side in place of injured Jack Leach, Dom Bess could make his international debut. Pakistani fast bowler Hasan Ali picked up a minor injury in the previous tour game, but his strong credentials might make you gamble on him.
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