England vs Pakistan 2020, 1st Test, Manchester: England likely to remain unchanged XI for the series opener

Pakistan takes in England at Manchester in first three-test series. Men in green have done a huge favour to English cricket by agreeing to play in a biosecure environment. They have been in England for over a month as per the set guidelines during COVID. Now as they are all set to play the biggest challenge for them would be to keep the energy levels and maintain the enthusiasm for the next three weeks.

Needless to say, they have to be on top of their game in every department to beat England over the three-match series. They have a quality bowler in Abbas leading their bowling charge and have the support of Shaheen Afridi, Naseem Shah which makes them a dangerous bowling outfit as they know how to swing the ball. They have got adequate backup with Wahan in reserves. They have to bowl by thinking of taking all 10 wickets as after taking 6-7 wickets WI struggled to take remaining wickets which end up with England getting a sizable score.

Pakistan fielding which is always the talking point has to create chances galore and have to hold most of them. Now coming onto their batting in Azhar Ali and Asad Shafiq they have two of their best test players and it’s their responsibility to ensure they will rally the other top-order batsman to ensure England reach around 300-350 runs to give them a realistic chance. They have to repeat the process consistently for all 15 days of series to give themselves a chance.

Their record in England is very good so that should give them confidence. Coming to England they have already match practice and will look to continue their domination but would be aware of Pakistan’s unpredictability which can be left them surprised. Ben Stokes should be able to bowl now. Looks England will go in with one spinner in Bess which means Crawley would be back in place of Chris Woakes if there could be any change.

Weather has been quite hot at Manchester for last week or so in that case Pakistan might go with the idea of 2 spinners. Unlike the previous series, the weather is expected to be much better. How the batting pans out for both sides will decide the outcome is of series and in that case, the team who will score the hard, ugly and tough runs will come out top.

All said we all are in for a hard-fought series, slightly more than Eng-WI one.