England opt to bat against Pakistan in Lord's Test

Marco Green
May 24, 2018

To a background of boardroom farce and clunkily inept public statements, the worldwide summer has arrived in England, the curtain-raiser a showdown with Pakistan at Lord's starting this Thursday.

The pressure will be on Joe Root, though, knowing that if England failed to perform at home, it will be a massive boost of confidence for the No. 1 Test side in the world, India, who will be visiting in July for a full tour.

"It's not easy for a youngster playing his first Test, it was a crucial knock of 74 runs and as a captain I am very confident he will continue performing well like that".

Chief among these is the strength of their batting.

Jack Leach played against New Zealand and looked promising but he was ruled out with a broken thumb and England have called up uncapped 20-year-old Dominic Bess.He has taken only 63 first-class wickets and although he is a useful batsman and fine fielder, England may not select Bess at Lord's if they opt for an all-seam attack. Asad Shafiq, babar Azam, Sarfraz Ahmed (c), Shadab Khan, Faheem Ashraf, Hasan Ali, Mohammad Amir, Mohammad Abbas. "He knows that when he gets out there he will give absolutely everything for England". You can also follow CricketCountry's LIVE SCOCRECARD HERE.

Meanwhile the reintroduction of Jos Buttler to the wilds of Test cricket is an exciting move.

One man who may feel a little fortunate to still be in the side is Mark Stoneman, who has endured a miserable start to the County Championship season but who impressed those who mattered sufficiently during England's hard winter.

For at least seven members of the tourists" side, Thursday's opening fixture of a two-Test series will be the first time they have played aa match at the "home of cricket'.

James Anderson, 35, and 31-year-old Stuart Broad are still the mainstays of a pace attack which struggled to make inroads in the Australian top order. Pakistan, seventh in the test rankings, rarely enjoy English conditions and a young team captained by wicketkeeper Sarfraz Ahmed is likely to include only four players who took part in their last series in England two years ago. We don't have to wait much longer to find out.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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