Pakistan is all set tour England to play three Tests and three T20Is in the month of August and September. The visitors will start the tour with three-match Test series that is slated to begin from 5th August.
On the other hand, England is currently hosting West Indies for a three-match Test series and will be looking to maintain their home dominance. Captain Joe Root will be hoping that new players picked for the home summer can perform against teams like West Indies and Pakistan.
Pakistan have announced 20-member squad for the three-match Test series. Veteran pacer Sohail Khan has been recalled into the national side due to his excellent record in English conditions. Besides Sohail Khan, uncapped players like Haider Ali and Kashif Bhatti have earned their maiden call-ups to the national side.
In the batting department, the onus will be on the experienced trio of Azhar Ali, Asad Shafiq and Babar Azam to do the bulk of the scoring. The big positive for Pakistan before the Test series is Azhar Ali notched up a splendid ton in an intra-squad game played at County Cricket Ground at Derby. Wicket-keeper Muhammad Rizwan smashed century and half-century in the game played at Derby. Shan Masood, Asad Shafiq and Imam-ul-Haq also got runs in the warm-up game.
In the bowling department, the side will be relying on Mohammad Abbas, Shaheen Shah Afridi and Naseem Shah to make crucial breakthroughs. Pacer Sohail Khan, Musa Khan and Leg-spinner Yasir Shah are other premier bowling options for the three-match series.
On the other hand, England will be looking to get off to a positive start against Pakistan. Captain Joe Root will be hoping that the side can brush off their inconsistency with the bat and post competitive scores in the three-match Test series. The home side will need to guard against complacency against unpredictable team like Pakistan.
Opener Rory Burns will under pressure to do well in this Test series. Left-hander has not been able to produce big runs since returning from ankle injury this season His opening partner, Dominic Sibley has been slow but effective in producing big scores. He smashed a splendid ton at Manchester to help England level the three-match series.
Captain Joe Root made his comeback in the second Test and registered scores of 23 and 22 respectively. Since Jan 2018, Root has accumulated 2084 runs in 29 Test matches at an average of 39.32 with four centuries and fifteen half-centuries to his name.
All-rounder Ben Stokes was the standout performer with the bat in the second Test played against West Indies at Manchester. He smashed a composed 176 runs in the first innings to help England post more 450 runs.
In the second innings, he was promoted to open the innings to get quick runs for the side. He smashed 78 not out off 57 balls with the help of four fours and three sixes.
In the bowling department, James Anderson might be slotted into the playing XI in place of either Dominic Bess or Sam Curran. After being dropped for the first time in home Test since 2012, Stuart Broad put in splendid bowling performance and claimed six wickets in the match. It was also due to game-changing spell that West Indies went from 242 for 4 to 287 all out.
Chris Woakes, who came in place of Mark Wood, also made a strong return with the ball in hand. He bowled well and picked up five wickets in the match.
The opening game of the Test series between Pakistan and England will be played at Manchester from 5th August. The second game of the series will be played at The Ageas Bowl in Southampton from 13th to 17th August. The third and final game of the series will be played at Ageas Bowl from 21st to 25th August.
The culmination of the one-day series will see Pakistan take on England in a three-match T20I series. All three matches will be played at Old Trafford at Manchester. The dates for the game will be 28th August, 30th August and 1st September.