Pakistan and England will face off in the second Test of their three-match series on Friday in Multan. England leads the series 1-0 after beating the host by 74 runs in the first Test.
ENG VS PAK PREDICTED XI
England has already named its playing XI and has made one change from the previous match with pacer Mark Wood replacing the injured Liam Livingstone.
England Playing XI: Zak Crawley, Ben Duckett, Ollie Pope (wk), Joe Root, Harry Brook, Ben Stokes (c), Will Jacks, Mark Wood, Ollie Robinson, James Anderson, Jack Leach.
The host will have to contend with injuries as well. Fast bowler Haris Rauf has been ruled out of the series after picking up an injury in the first Test. Pacer Naseem Shah’s participation is also doubtful as he has a shoulder niggle. Pakistan could include spin bowling all-rounder Mohammad Nawaz in the eleven for Rauf while Mohammad Wasim could make his Test debut in case Naseem isn’t fit. Faheem Ashraf could also get a look-in as third pacer while also adding batting depth.
Pakistan Predicted XI: Abdullah Shafique, Iman-ul-Haq, Azhar Ali, Saud Shakeel, Babar Azam (c), Mohammad Rizwan (wk), Agha Salman/Faheem Ashraf, Mohammad Nawaz, Mohammad Ali, Mohammad Wasim, Zahid Mahmood.
England (last five Tests): W W W L W
Under captain Ben Stokes and coach Brendon McCullum, the red-ball side has won seven of its last eight Test matches. A win in Multan would seal the series and would be the new leadership group’s first Test series win away from home.
Pakistan (last five Tests): L L W L D
Babar Azam faces the prospect of a second consecutive Test series defeat at home after Pakistan lost to Australia 0-1 earlier this year. A loss in Multan would also dent the host’s chances of qualifying for the World Test Championship final.