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England To Kick Off Summer With Victory

May 22, 2018

The cricketing summer begins when England host Pakistan at Lord’s for the opening Test of their series.

The Three Lions endured a miserable winter in Test matches, suffering a 4-0 hammering at the hands of Australia in the Ashes. They surrendered the urn without a great deal of fight, extending their winless record down under to 10 matches.

England then collapsed in the first Test of their series against New Zealand. Joe Root’s men were skittled for 58 in their first innings, one of their lowest scores in the longest format of the game. It could have been worse for the Three Lions, who were at one point 27-9.

They’ve made a couple of adjustments to their line-up for the summer ahead as Jos Buttler has come back into the fold, with James Vince dropping out of the side. Buttler has starred in the Indian Premier League, although he has not thrived during his previous games for the Test team.

Root has made the decision to move up permanently to number three in the order. Mark Stoneman has retained his place as the opener alongside Alastair Cook. However, both men have a point to prove ahead of the series.

Pakistan beat Ireland in the first match of their tour, defeating the minnows in their inaugural Test by five wickets. It was not a clean performance, but good enough to secure a five-wicket triumph for Sarfraz Ahmed’s men.

We’ll now break down the key men for both sides using the latest betting odds.

Root has to lead the way

Top England Batsman

Root has made the call to establish himself at number three in the order. The captain has been reluctant to bat at three in the past, preferring his role at four to escape the potential of the new ball. However, due to England’s batting issues, Root has made the move to three a permanent one, although that was his position in the Three Lions’ humiliating innings in Auckland. Root has been a model of consistency for England and has rightfully established himself as one of the four leading batsmen in world cricket alongside Virat Kohli, Kane Williamson and Steve Smith.

Root has lost ground to his contemporaries due to his inability to convert fifties into centuries. The 27-year-old has made 13 hundreds and 39 fifties in Test match cricket, while he has failed to reach three figures after surpassing fifty for the past eight times. England cannot afford to have their leading man to continue not to make big centuries that could be match-winning efforts. He has the chance to establish himself as the leading batsmen in the world when facing Kohli later this summer and Smith’s absence due to his one-year suspension. Root will be desperate for a strong start to the term, therefore back him at 3/1  with Betway to lead the way for England in their opener.

Top Pakistan Batsman

The Green Army have lost two key men from their last tour of England as Misbah-ul-Haq and Younis Khan have both since retired. As a result, there is not a great deal of experience in the batting ranks to face off against James Anderson and Stuart Broad. Babar Azam came into the fold after the series and has the potential to become a quality player in the middle order for Ahmed’s men.

He averages over 50 in one-day cricket, notching seven centuries in his 41 matches. However, Azam has not be able to translate his form in the limited-overs format into the Test arena. The 23-year-old has made five half-centuries in his 24 innings, with a top score of an unbeaten 90. Azam has the talent to fire, but will be tested by the skill of the England bowlers. He made a fifty against Ireland in the second innings when his side were in dire need of runs. Back him to continue to fire at odds of 9/2  with Betway.

Top England Bowler

The Three Lions will look to Anderson to lead the way once again over the summer as he closes in on Glenn McGrath’s record for most wickets by a seam bowler in Test cricket. The 35-year-old is 33 wickets away from surpassing the Australian and should he remain fit, he will certainly surpass the total over the course of the summer. Anderson’s consistency since his emergence into the England team 10 years ago has been the staple of the attack.

There’s not a better bowler in swinging conditions that the Lancastrian. England would have been lost without him during the winter as the rest of the attack struggled, while he remained as potent as ever even in difficult conditions. Anderson has had time to find his rhythm playing for Lancashire in the County Championship. He took his best innings haul of 7/42 at Lord’s last time out and will be desperate for a similar performance. Back him to lead the wicket column at odds of 9/4  with BetVictor.

Top Pakistan Bowler

Mohammad Amir has been passed fit to face England in the opening Test. Pakistan need his experience more than ever as they enter Lord’s as the rest of the attack have barely featured in Test cricket for the Green Army. Amir has not quite found his form in the longest format since his return from his ban.

In 2010 he looked an exciting prospect, but his involvement in the spot-fixing scandal knocked him out of action for five years. He has been inconsistent since, although Amir did notch five wickets against Ireland. The tourists need him at the peak of his powers so back him to lead the way with the ball at odds of 9/4 with BetVictor.

Match Verdict

England have won their last two matches at Lord’s by comfortable margins. Pakistan enter the series low on experience, especially in seaming conditions. Expect the Three Lions to expose the deficiencies in their batting unit, despite their own problems. Take England to win the contest and kickstart their summer on a high note. Back them with Betway to clinch the victory at odds of 9/20 .

Tips Summary

England To Beat Pakistan 1st Test
Thursday 24th May 2018  – Monday 28th May 2018
Odds: 9/20

Joe Root To Be Top England Batsman
Thursday 24th May 2018  – Monday 28th May 2018
Odds: 3/1

James Anderson To Be Top England Bowler
Thursday 24th May 2018  – Monday 28th May 2018
Odds: 9/4

Babar Azam To Be Top Pakistan Batsman
Thursday 24th May 2018  – Monday 28th May 2018
Odds: 9/2

Mohammad Amir To Be Top Pakistan Bowler
Thursday 24th May 2018  – Monday 28th May 2018
Odds: 9/4

  • cricket
  • England
  • Joe Root
  • pakistan
  • Sarfraz Ahmed

    About the author

    Eric Roberts
    Eric Roberts

    Sports Journalist

    Eric has been a sports journalist for over 20 years and has travelled the world covering top sporting events for a number of publications. He also has a passion for betting and uses his in-depth knowledge of the sports world to pinpoint outstanding odds and value betting opportunities.