AkasnhLAST UPDATED: Aug. 13, 2020, 1:01 p.m.
Southampton: England will aim to seal the three-match Test series when they face Pakistan in the second encounter which starts at the Rose Bowl here on Thursday.
England has taken the lead in the current series with a dramatic win in the first Test.
Having won the opening Test in dramatic fashion, the England players will be in high spirits. Pakistan had dominated most of the Test become things fell apart for them on the fourth day when England staged a strong comeback thanks to a superb effort with the ball before overhauling a challenging target on a fourth-day pitch with batting heroics from Chris Woakes and Jos Buttler.
It was the first time since 2018 that England managed to win the opening encounter of a Test series. This period spans a total of 7 Test series starting from the 2018 series against India at home.
It was a continuation of their excellent form since the resumption of international cricket amid the coronavirus pandemic. The English team is on top of their game and they have won three of the four Tests they have played since the restart.
Joe Root's side registered a three-wicket victory against Pakistan in the first Test match, where at one stage the visitors looked much stronger than hosts and were in a comfortable position to win the match.
Buttler and Woakes were the saviors for the England team, they battled and put together a winning partnership of 139 runs while chasing the target of 277 runs in the last innings of the match.
Ben Stokes is out of the remainder of this tour and traveled back to his home country New Zealand due to unspecified reasons. The absence of their star all-rounder will be a big drawback for the hosts. Ben Stokes was the hero for England in the series against the West Indies last month and in the second game, he overshadowed the opposition with his 171 runs during England's first innings. Zak Crawley is all set to replace Ben Stokes in the English playing XI.
Moving onto the Pakistan side, they dominated most of the first game, but in the end, they failed to push home the advantage. The morale of the Pakistan players have no doubt taken a beating and they will have to pull up their socks in the second game.
Veteran batsman Fawad Alam has made a comeback to the Pakistan Test squad after a gap of 11 years.
Pakistan will go unchanged when it comes to their bowling attack. Pakistan bowlers were brilliant in the first Test match. The match will start at 3:30 IST at Rose Bowl, Southampton.
Probable XI for both sides:
England: Rory Burns, Dom Sibley, Zak Crawley, Joe Root(captain), Ollie Pope, Jos Buttler, Chris Woakes, Dom Bess, Mark Wood, Stuart Broad, James Anderson
Pakistan: Shan Mahsood, Fawad Alam, Azhar Ali(captain), Babar Azam, Asad Shafiq, Fawad Alam, Mohammad Rizwan, Yasir Shah, Mohammad Abbas, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Naseem Shah
Pakistan Squad: Shan Masood, Abid Ali, Azhar Ali(c), Babar Azam, Asad Shafiq, Mohammad Rizwan(w), Shadab Khan, Yasir Shah, Mohammad Abbas, Shaheen Afridi, Naseem Shah, Fawad Alam, Imam-ul-Haq, Kashif Bhatti, Sarfaraz Ahmed, Sohail Khan
England Squad: Rory Burns, Dominic Sibley, Joe Root(c), Ollie Pope, Jos Buttler(w), Chris Woakes, Dominic Bess, Jofra Archer, Stuart Broad, James Anderson, Ollie Robinson, Sam Curran, Mark Wood, Zak Crawley