Pakistan vs England: 1st Test Preview & Betting Tips

After an exciting T20 World Cup, Test cricket is back in the spotlight this week as two big series get underway. The Aussies will take on West Indies starting Wednesday but arguably the more exciting of the two series sees Pakistan hosting England in a three Test series starting on Thursday.

We’ll have a full preview and betting tips for all three games throughout the series, kicking off with the 1st Test below. 

Pakistan vs England 1st Test Betting Tips


The home side will be looking to get one back after their English opponents were too good for them in the recent final of the T20 World Cup. Pakistan will also be looking to improve on their Test championship rankings and current World Test ranking, where they currently rank 5th and 6th respectively. 

They have a 4-3-2 record through 9 Tests in this cycle of the ICC World Test Championship, so a home series against a highly ranked opponent is a perfect opportunity for them to catapult themselves up the rankings. 

Predicted XI: Imam ul-Haq, Abdullah Shafique, Azhar Ali, Babar Azam (c), Mohammad Rizwan, Salman Agha, 

The Pakistani top order has stabilised over their past few series to the point where their top five could now easily be in the conversation for best in the world, especially on home soil. Led by skipper Babar Azam, the Pakistanis have four of the top 25 and the averages of their top five when playing in Pakistan read 79.4, 74.0, 83.4, 48.7, 50.3.

Hard to believe after that, that Pakistan’s pace bowling attack is where their true strength lies. Left-armer paceman Shaheen Afridi is currently the No.3 ranked Test bowler in the world  and he’ll be supported by star youngster Naseem Shah. However, the home side will be without reliable paceman Hassan Ali for this Test as well as frontline spinner Yasir Shah.


England is currently ranked all the way down in 7th place in the World Test Championship standings due to their 4-0 Ashes defeat at the hands of Australia last summer. They are, however, arguably the in-form Test side in the world at the moment, having won back-to-back series against New Zealand and South Africa which included record breaking performances. 

Predicted XI: Ben Duckett, Zak Crawley, Ollie Pope, Joe Root, Ben Stokes, Harry Brook, Ben Foakes, Ollie Robinson, Mark Wood, Jack Leach, Jimmy Anderson. 

England will be  without a few key players heading into the 3 Test series including Johnny Bairstow and Stuard Broad, their squad is still incredibly strong though and the absence of Broad makes room for speed demon Mark Wood. Wood was one of the standout bowlers at the T20 World Cup and should relish the pacy Pakistani wickets. 

Combined with Jimmy Anderson and Ollie Robinson, the English pace attach now seems a lot more balances and should be able to extract a variety out of this pitch. 

Match Prediction 

Love the value of Pakistan here. Sure, on the road you could probably only consider them a mid-tier Test team at the moment, but they are a different beast at home. As you can see by the home batting averages of their top five, Pakistan know their conditions well and as such, have only lost three of their last 17 Test series on home soil and have only lost one Test to England at home since 1961.


Babar Azam is the No.3 ranked Test batsman in the world at the moment and his game goes to a new level at home. He averages 47.3 in Test cricket but on Pakistani soil that average skyrockets to 83.36. His four career Tests against England have all come away from home, but that hasn’t stopped him averaging a massive 65.8 against the Poms. 

Babar Azam 50+ (1st Innings)



Source link