England must beware of Pakistan’s pace, but can claim the first Test
ENGLAND vs PAKISTAN
TODAY – 11.00AM SKY SPORTS 1
UNUSUALLY, England will host opponents that have played a Test series in this country more recently than they have when Pakistan head to Trent Bridge today.
The visitors’ two matches against Australia ended in a creditable 1-1 draw which concluded on Saturday with a three-wicket win over Ricky Ponting’s men.
Having drawn comparisons to Wasim Akram, including from the great man himself,
those fixtures at Lord’s and Headingley brought the name of 18-year-old Mohammad
Aamer to wider attention after he took a total of 11 wickets. Seven of those came most recently in Leeds where the Aussies posted a meagre 88 in their first innings as Aamer claimed 3-20.
He looks a good buy at 43 in Sporting Index’s bowling index. After a month on tour, he’s adapted to the conditions and proven his ability to take wickets in this country against the highest quality of opposition.
Alongside fellow paceman Mohammad Asif, Pakistan boast a fearsome new ball attack the Three Lions must beware of.
The duo were quick to strike against Australia, claiming their first wicket for eight runs at Lord’s and for 20 at Headingley. In England’s last 10 games their average opening wicket stand has been 27.3 runs. As such I’d recommend Hills’ 5/6 for England’s opening partnership to be under 32.5 – just as seven of their previous 10 have been.
With all due respect, back-to-back series against Bangladesh are hardly Test matches at the sharp end of international cricket. England recorded four straight – and convincing – wins at home and abroad but Pakistan will be far tougher.
Pakistan haven’t, though, won a Test series in England since they were world champions in 1992 and are underdogs for the opener at 10/3 on Betdaq.
Their batting line-up displayed a fragility against Australia which the likes of Stuart Broad and Graeme Swann can get stuck into on their home ground. England look the worthy favourites at 5/6, and Andrew Strauss’ men are no better than 8/15 to win the series, just as they did the last time the pair met in a Test series here four years ago.
Buy Mohammad Aamer bowling index at 43 with Sporting Index
England opening partnership under 32.5 runs at 5/6 with William Hill
England to win the opening test at 5/6