About the Match
England drew level in the ongoing test series against Pakistan as they secured victory by 330 runs in the second test; the two teams will face each other in the 3rd Test at Birmingham starting from 3rd August, and will fight tooth and nail to get the upper hand. While Pakistan won the first test by 75 runs in a thrilling contest that saw the bowlers from both sides excel, the second test was dominated by the English batsmen, who declared at 589 batting first and went on give more room to the bowlers to win the match. The upcoming match will see heroics from both sides and whichever team can keep a cool head above its shoulders in crunch situations, will emerge victorious here.
Cook and Joe Root played important roles in anchoring the innings after choosing to bat first; while the captain scored a well-made 105, Root posted a brilliant 254 and won player of the match award, helping England declare at 589 with help from Chris Waokes, Jonny Bairstow and Ben Stokes. Cook then came back in the 2nd innings to score an unbeaten 76 while Root scored another 71 runs, posting a massive target of 565 for Pakistan.
Woakes’ inspired performance saw him take a total of 7 wickets in the match at an average economy of just above 3 runs per over; he is in excellent form and can be a vital asset here. Anderson made a comeback with a 3-wicket haul and an economy of 2.5 runs per over; along with other like Ali, who took 5 wickets, Stokes and Stuart Broad, the English bowling unit can pose a stiff challenge yet again.
In the first test, the English batting line-up crumbled against the Pakistani spin and pace but now they have picked themselves up; with a deep squad consisting of batsmen like Alex Hales, Ballance, Vince, Root and all-rounder Woakes, Cook can surely look forward to a favourable result this week.
Misbah-ul-Haq continues to lead from the front but he needs better support from other top-order batsmen like Shan Masood, Azhar Ali, Younis Khan Mohammad Hafeez. In the second test, the batting line-up put up a dismal show, getting all-out for just 198 runs in the first innings and then failing to build partnerships in the chase for a massive target of 565. Misbah, Hafeez, Ali and Masood can surely do a better job in the upcoming match while players like Sarfraz Ahmed and Shafiq can steady the middle order to give a fitting reply to England in the next match.
Fast-bowlers Wahab Riaz, who took 3 wickets at an economy of 4 per over in the 2nd test, Rahat Ali and Mohammad Amir can stifle the opponents while spinner Yasir Shah, who took 10 wickets and helped Pakistan win the first test, is in tremendous form to comeback with vital dismissals yet again.
Amir has been putting up economical spells and can outwit the English batsmen with his ruthless bowling; the batsmen will be determined to make a comeback and with the strong bowling outfit that can pull off surprises anytime, Pakistan can surely cause an upset and win again.
Both teams have won one match each and they will leave no stone unturned to take a lead here; while Pakistan looked out of sorts in the 2nd test, we feel they will cleverly use the resources to grab the headlines yet again with a much-needed victory here