England vs Pakistan Test Match
England vs Pakistan Test Match

Deadline: August 21, 3 AM

Venue: The Rose Bowl, Southampton

Pitch report

Before the rain-affected second Test, there were as many as 9 totals below 300 runs in 15 innings. To put things into perspective, the batsmen have had a hard time finding their feet – so much so that there have been only 5 hundreds at the venue so far. Power up your team with as many all-rounders and seamers as you can.

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Weather report

In the true sense of the word, the forecast for “Sunday” reads warm and bright. On other days, the rain is likely to play major spoilsport.

Power players

In both matches, Babar Azam could not capitalize on the good start he had. He looks cool for a special innings but eventually finds an edge outside off. Perhaps he hasn’t been lucky enough. He has scored 4 fifties and as many hundreds in his last 7 matches. As far as the series is concerned, he has accumulated 121 runs at 40.3 – only behind Shan Masood, the centurion in the first Test.

Getting dropped in the first Tests against West Indies seems to have affected Stuart Broad, although in a good way. He has sniped up as many as 26 wickets in the last 4 Tests, taking at least 3 wickets per innings. By no means should he be left out of fantasy cricket.

Although England have been positive against Yasir Shah, they have not found a way to survive against him. With 9 wickets, he is the highest wicket-taker for Pakistan in the series.

Chris Woakes has collected the second-most fantasy points in the series, with the help of 103 runs and 5 wickets.

After his magnificent innings of 156, Shan Masood scored 0 and 1. England have been targeting the stumps, that they learned he doesn’t mind leaving the balls outside off-stump all day. That said, he is a class apart player and knows how to rise above difficulties.

Smart picks

Mohammad Abbas has bowled better than what the scorecards suggest. He has taken 5 wickets in 3 innings and his economy of 2.1 is the best in the series.

Mohammad Rizwan likes to be busy, be it while keeping or batting. Under clouds and against the English seamers, his 72 runs last week was an innings of substance.

Zak Crawley grabbed the opportunity with both hands. He batted ahead of Joe Root and steadied the innings with Dominic Sibley, eventually accumulating 53 runs.

Jos Buttler has finally squashed the critics with brave knocks in the first Test. In both innings, he had to weather the storm and rescue England. In all, he has scored 113 runs and pouched 6 catches.

As a matter of fact, Pakistan’s top order has performed better than England’s. Abid Ali made amends with a fine knock of 60 runs, showing resilience despite losing Shan Masood early.

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Probable XIs

England: Rory Burns, Dominic Sibley, Zak Crawley, Joe Root (c), Ollie Pope, Jos Buttler (wk), Chris Woakes, Sam Curran/Jofra Archer, Dominic Bess, Stuart Broad, James Anderson

Pakistan: Shan Masood, Abid Ali, Azhar Ali (c), Babar Azam, Asad Shafiq, Fawad Alam, Mohammad Rizwan (wk), Yasir Shah, Shaheen Afridi, Mohammad Abbas, Naseem Shah

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