After suffering back to back defeats at the hands of Australia and New Zealand, England was considered to be favorites against Pakistan in the home conditions, but it seems that Pakistan had some other plans against the Englishmen. England side led by Joe Root got hammered by 9 wickets in the opening game of the 2 match series.
No one could have predicted that to happen, even cricketing experts had favored the home team considering the experience of test cricket England possesses. It is the first time in perhaps 23 years when England started their home test series with a defeat.
Both the sides will be locking horns in the final decisive test at Headingley, Leeds. England will be desperate to ensure a victory in order to level the series. Pakistan, on the other hand, will look for a major win and will go down the history books if they manage to defeat the England team in their home conditions.
Whatever may be the outcome of the game, the cricket fans would surely get to witness some scintillating performance from the hosts as they will leave no stone unturned to save the game in their home soil.
Let’s look at the 3 players from the England side who can play a crucial role in the final battle between the hosts and the visitors
He is the most experienced person on the England team at the moment. Alastair Cook has played 155 tests for England and has scored 12099 runs with 32 centuries under his belt. He is also 6th in the list of highest run-getters in test cricket.
HIs job is to lay out a solid start for the team. In the previous game, he scored a crucial 70 in the 1st innings but failed to make it big in the 2nd innings. If England wants to save themselves from a crunching defeat at the hands of the visitors, then Cook would have to give his best in the final battle that could help his side level the series.
Root is one of the modern day greats of the game. In 68 test matches, he has amassed 5915 runs at an average of 51.89 with 40 half centuries and 13 centuries. When he gets going, he can turn up to be a nightmare for the opposition bowlers. He might not have impressed the team in the last game as he got out on 4 in the first innings, he will be expected to lead the side from the front in the final faceoff that could save the home team from clutches of defeat.
Though he did score 68 in the 2nd innings, it came off pretty late. With England being 0-1 in the series, the pressure would be on the home side to prevent a shameful defeat in their home soil.
The Burnley express is the best swing bowler in the world at the moment. He becomes lethal when the conditions and the rhythm meet his style. He is one of the few bowlers in the present time who can swing the ball both ways that too at great speeds and decimate the opposition batsmen to low totals.
Till now, he has 535 scalps in 137 test at a stellar strike rate of 56.5. Anderson will have to give in some stellar piece of performance in the final test to save the England from a series defeat at the hands of Pakistan.