Would you expect that twist on the 5th day of the 1st Test match? England has a reputation for producing some of the most nail-biting matches in recent years including the 2019 Headingley Test and the 2019 ICC Cricket World Cup Final. Pakistan has yet again won the hearts much to their disarray. They need to regroup quickly and revise their batting strategies as well as knocking off the English tail. Can Pakistan finally manage to overcome all these hurdles, or will England clinch the series?
Who are the favourites?
After a batting fiasco by Pakistan in their second innings, England took the chance of chasing 277 led by Jos Buttler and Chris Woakes. At least one of England's batsmen have stood up when required the most in recent times. Pakistan has not managed to knock England's batting order cheaply in recent times. There are a few reasons why England will be the hot favourites to win this Test match and clinch the series-
1) The bench strength of England is superior to that of Pakistan. They have players with similar skill sets to replace the regular ones.
2) Potent first-change bowlers- Chris Woakes and Jofra Archer are the perfect first-change bowlers to complement the likes of Broad and Anderson. With minimal loose balls, they will make the Pakistani batsmen work harder for runs with their immaculate accuracy and prowess.
3) England has momentum on its side. The last time a team managed to beat England in England in a Test series was Sri Lanka in 2014. They have managed to keep every visiting team quiet.
4) England is much more experienced in these conditions. Also, their record at the Rose Bowl in Tests is enviable this century.
Scorecard Predictions for Day 1
1) If Pakistan wins the toss and elect to bat first, they will manage to score 250/10 in about 85 overs and England will score 10/0 in their 5 overs.
2) If England wins the toss and elects to bat first, they will manage to score 300/7 at the end of Day 1.
Expect the captain winning the toss to bat first even if there are some cloud covers and a green top. The average first-innings score is 273. Also, another factor is that the average fourth-innings score is 180 which prompts the skipper winning the toss to bat first and put the opposition under pressure in the last innings.
Match Winning Chances
England will be buoyed by its performance at the same venue twice against the West Indies. Expect no difference this time around as well. They are better equipped to clinch the 1st Test and move 1-zip going into the 2nd Test match.