Tuesday, August 9, 2016

How Can Pakistan Rebound for the Oval Test?

With England’s incredible win at Edgbaston still fresh in the memory, England and Pakistan now head down to The Oval for the final match of what has been a pulsating four match series. After dismissing Pakistan in little over two sessions on the final day at Edgbaston, some commentators now think that England hold the advantage and will wrap up the series 3-1. In this post, we take a look at a couple of things that Pakistan can do to turn the tables.

Find a Way to Stop Chris Woakes
When England first announced their team for the Lords test match, many were surprised by the inclusion of Chris Woakes, a man who many thought was “a yard of pace” short of being effective at international level. However, the work he’s put in over winter and back at Warwickshire has clearly paid off, with the England quick pickingup 23 wickets so far this series.

With Broad only on 12 wickets, and Anderson on 8, neutralising the threat of Woakes could give Pakistan a great chance of building a big total.

Get Younis Firing
Much of the talk going into the series was about the strength of Pakistan’s middle order; chiefly Misbah-ul-Haq and Younis Khan. Misbah was able to set the tempo from the off, scoring 100 at Lords in the first test. However, Younis is yet to make a score, averagingonly 20 across the three tests in the series, with no half centuries, Pakistan may consider dropping him, the exclusion of Shan Mahsood from the previous test shows the selectors are willing to give players the chop.

Younis’ complex trigger movements and shuffling around the crease have made him a prime candidate for being caught in the slip cordon, and the pace and swing of Anderson and Woakes has had him in trouble on multiple occasions. However, Younis is highly experienced in English conditions, and has over 9,000 test runs to his name. The Oval test is the time for him to step up and show his worth.

Help Yasir Find His Magic Again
Finally, at Lords, Yasir Shah was the difference between the two teams. However, it appears as though England have found a way to neutralised the fantastic young leg spinner. If Pakistan can win the toss, bat and get a big total, then the leg spin of Yasir could come into play on a wearing Oval pitch that usually takes turn. If he finds his magic in the way he did at Lords, then Pakistan have a great chance of levelling the series at 2-2.

No matter what happens at The Oval, the England-Pakistan series has been fantastic, with thousands of English children looking to pick up the sport. As a result, it’s no surprise that retailers such as TalentCricket have seen a huge surge in the numbers of children buying equipment, looking to be the next Yasir Shah or Joe Root. One thing’s for certain, regardless of whether Pakistan or England triumph at The Oval, it has been great for the game as a whole. 

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