Another flat track awaits the ongoing three match series. During the first Test, PCB chairman Ramiz Raja hinted that the rest of the series might have the same flavor. Going by the most powerful man in Pakistan cricket, banking on batters is the safest option.
In the last five Tests between the two nations, England have won three and the remaining two have been drawn Tests. In home conditions, Pakistan have in their last four home games, have lost two and drawn two.
The last time a Test was played at Multan Cricket Stadium was in 2006. Pakistan scored 357 in the first innings and in reply, West Indies posted a huge total of 591 in the second. In the third innings, Pakistan scored 461/7 and the match ended in a draw.
On an average, teams score 344 runs in the first innings of a Test as compared to 427 in the second innings. Overall, the first and second innings combined has seen an average score of 389 and the third and fourth has witnessed 251 respectively.
There isn’t much to differentiate between spinners and pacers. Pacers have bagged a large chunk of wickets (204) as compared to spinners (97). In terms of average and bowling strike rate, there is hardly a difference. Pacers have averaged 35.6 and picked up a wicket every 66.7 balls as compared to 38.3 and 69 by spinners.
While you could go for the above team, you can also choose your team from Cricket.com’s Fantasy Research Centre. You can use this tool to build your team with the help of algorithms. Then, based on your preferences, the platform will guide you through creating the ideal fantasy XI.
For small leagues: Babar Azam (c), Joe Root (vc)
For grand leagues: Zak Crawley (c), Mark Wood (vc)
Stats that matter
-In each of his last five Tests, Babar Azam has managed to score over 50 runs in at least one innings of the match. His scores in the last five Tests read: 136 & 4 (vs ENG), 16 & 81 (vs SL), 119 & 55 (vs SL), 67 & 55 (vs AUS) & 36 & 196 (vs AUS).
-In Tests since 2021, Joe Root has played 14 innings in Asia and has scored 890 runs at an average of 63.6. He has three centuries to his name and all three have been 180+ scores. Adding on, after scoring 1700+ runs in 2021, Root this year has breached the 1000-run mark once again. He averages 50.9 with five centuries this year.
Grand league punts
-In his Test career, Zak Crawley has scored 492 runs at an average of 123 against Pakistan. Whereas, against other teams, he has scored 1043 runs at an average of 21.7. In all his four innings against Pakistan, he has a 50+ score. His scores read: 50, 122, 53 and 267.
-Mark Wood has picked up 13 wickets at a bowling strike rate of 34.8 from reverse swing in Tests. On the other hand, Pakistan batters at home since 2021, have the second worst batting average against reverse swing. With his raw pace and skill, Wood can be a handful on these flat tracks.
Here are the Top 10 Criclytics Projections
Pakistan: Abdullah Shafique, Imam-ul-Haq, Azhar Ali, Babar Azam (c), Saud Shakeel, Muhammad Rizwan (wk), Agha Salman, Mohammad Nawaz/Nauman Ali, Naseem Shah, Mohammad Wasim Jr, Mohammad Ali.
England: Zak Crawley, Ben Duckett, Ollie Pope (wk), Joe Root, Harry Brook, Ben Stokes (c), Will Jacks, Ollie Robinson, Jack Leach, Mark Wood, James Anderson.