England is back to their home conditions and is coming back after two Test series loss- The Ashes and the two-match Test series against New Zealand.
The team will be looking to start off well against the inexperienced Pakistan team.
Though Stoneman and Cook didn’t fire at New Zealand, it is just four Test matches ago since the double century for Cook. Root will play at number three this time and will be eager to convert his starts which is haunting him for a long time now. With Malan, Bairstow, Stokes and Buttler to follow, England looks like a strong line-up.
Coming to their bowling department, They would have gone back to Moeen Ali in the absence of Jack Leach, who broke his thumb recently but it looks like Dom Bess, the 20-year-old will get a chance on Thursday and most likely will join Chris Woakes, Stuart Broad, Mark Wood, James Anderson. At least on papers, England looks like a strong team.
Two years back, when their team produced a brilliant display to win the Test at Lord’s climbed to the top of the ICC rankings, but now the team is placed at no.7, blame the injury and the retirement of their core players.
The relatively inexperienced team will largely depend on their captain Sarfaraz Ahmed, Mohammed Amir, who is 100% fit now. Other than that, there are many new faces who either will debut on Thursday or debuted against Ireland. Most likely, the visitors will prefer to go with the same line-up that defeated Ireland.
England: Alastair Cook, Mark Stoneman, Joe Root(c), Dawid Malan, Ben Stokes, Jonny Bairstow(w), Jos Buttler, Chris Woakes, Stuart Broad, Mark Wood, James Anderson, Dominic Bess
Pakistan: Azhar Ali, Imam-ul-Haq, Haris Sohail, Asad Shafiq, Babar Azam, Sarfraz Ahmed(w/c), Shadab Khan, Faheem Ashraf, Mohammad Amir, Mohammad Abbas, Rahat Ali, Sami Aslam, Fakhar Zaman, Saad Ali, Usman Salahuddin, Hasan Ali