In a riveting contest between bat and ball in the first ENG vs PAK Test match at Old Trafford, England emerged victorious courtesy of a great batting display in the fourth innings. The duo of Chris Woakes and Jos Buttler showed great discipline to help England win by 3 wickets in Manchester. While the scoreline reads in favour of England, it was Pakistan which had an upper hand for the majority of the Test match only before they succumbed to a 139-run stand between Buttler and Woakes.
With a win in the first Test, England will feel a lot comfortable going in with a 1-0 lead in the second Test match in Southampton. However, skipper Joe Root will still have lots to ponder upon as far as England’s line-up is concerned for the second Test against Pakistan. The think-tank will consider dropping a few of their out of form players in order to resurrect the balance of the playing XI before the forthcoming encounter at The Rose Bowl.
Here’s a look at 3 players who might be dropped for the second Eng vs Pak Test match:
1. James Anderson
England’s highest wicket-taker in Test matches, James Anderson was far from his usual best in the first Test against Pakistan. Playing at his home ground, Anderson struggled with his lines and was taken for runs in most of his spells. Even in the third Test against West Indies, the 38-year old couldn’t deliver for his team’s cause. In his last two appearances, Anderson has claimed a total of three wickets after bowling more than 50 overs. With next Test match starting within three days, England might consider resting Anderson from the team line-up for the second Test.
2. Dominic Bess
The solitary spinner in the English ranks, Dominic Bess failed to create any massive impact in the first ENG vs PAK Test. Bess was inconsistent on occasions and didn’t seem to cause any trouble to the Pakistani batting order. While the opposition spinners were highly effective, Bess could barely claim two wickets in the entire Test. As a result, England might fancy going with an all-seam attack as their playing XI for the second Test.
3. Jofra Archer
Jofra Archer wasn’t at the top of his game in the first Test against Pakistan. Even with his lines and lengths, Jofra was inconsistent and offered runs on pads in a couple of his spells during the Test match. Though he picked up three wickets in the first innings, the paceman didn’t pose a huge threat for the Pakistani batters. For the 2nd Test, Mark Wood might replace Archer as a like-for-like replacement in the bowling attack.