Injury-hit When Pakistan takes on an out-of-control England in the third and final Test in Karachi starting on Saturday, they risk becoming the first team to sweep a series at home. The Babar Azam-led home squad is up against a team in excellent form, England, who have won eight of their last nine Test matches thanks to an aggressive style of play.
On their first Test tour of Pakistan since 2005, England won the first game in Rawalpindi by 74 runs before overcoming adversity to win the second game, which was played on Monday and ended in Multan, by just 26 runs. Injuries to Pakistan’s three key fast bowlers have made matters worse, with world-class spearhead Shaheen Shah Afridi already out of the series due to a knee condition.
Replacement While Naseem Shah is still recovering from a shoulder ailment suffered before to the second Test, Haris Rauf suffered a quadriceps injury to his right during the first Test. Under-pressure Despite facing a clean sweep on Thursday, Azam maintained a brave face. We lost both games because we failed to take advantage of important opportunities, according to Azam.
However, the guys are hungry to rebound, and we have a solid record in Karachi, so I have a strong feeling that we will. The fact that England had to defend a 355-run mark while playing on a field that favoured spinners on the first two days but slowed down on the third and fourth made their triumph in Multan hard-earned.
Built on ‘Bazball’
After the home team required 157 to win on the fourth day, express pacer Mark Wood took 4-65, including the important dismissals of Mohammad Nawaz (45) and Saud Shakeel (94) for the victory. Despite the fact that they haven’t travelled since 2005 due to security concerns, the victory earned England their first series victory in Pakistan in 22 years.
Despite dismissing Pakistan in each of their first three innings, England’s successes have been based on their aggressive batting style, known as “Bazball” after new coach Brendan McCullum. While setting lofty goals has given the bowlers the opportunity to eliminate the opposition thus far, skipper Ben Stokes is being realistic.
After the triumph in Multan, Stokes remarked that it was difficult to win on the subcontinent. “One thing we do is try to remain present. Simply try to constantly be in the present. The series is over, and Karachi’s National Stadium is set to have another spin-friendly surface, so England may replace Will Jacks with the talented, uncapped 18-year-old leg-spinner Rehan Ahmed.
To provide experience to a struggling batting order, Pakistan is considering bringing back former skipper Sarfaraz Ahmed, while spinner Mohammad Wasim Junior may make his debut in lieu of Mohammad Ali, who went without a wicket in Multan. Pakistan has never lost every game in a series at home against anyone, while England’s only 3-0 clean sweep in the subcontinent occurred against Sri Lanka in 2018.