The highly anticipated Test series between Pakistan and England gets underway tomorrow morning at the Rawalpindi Cricket Stadium. Brendon McCullum’s side will be looking to end off what has been a brilliant year under the Kiwi on a high. Cricket punter Lwanele Poswayo has you covered with a prediction and the best bets for this historic Test.
When it comes to the first match of any series, I usually go with the players that are in form. Imam-ul-Haq has been in great form and has an unbelievable record at home. He has scored 370 runs in 3 matches at an average of 74 and I expect him to take full advantage of an England bowling attack that is not suited to these conditions. He also has scores of 157 and 111* in his two innings at the Rawalpindi Cricket Stadium.
In the previous Rawalpindi Test earlier in the year, there were three centuries made by openers and I expect Imam to be one of them once again.
There are a number of good options in the Pakistani batting lineup but there is a lot of value in backing the left-handed opener at 5.00.
I have to go with Root mainly because of his consistency and his record in sub-continent conditions. He has failed to go past 40 in his last seven innings in Asia after scoring at least 186 in three of the previous five innings. He’s due a big score in these conditions and I expect him to deliver for his team.
Pakistan have remained unbeaten in Rawalpindi (W2, D2) since cricket returned to this country in 2019. This venue is known as a batsmen’s paradise with the recent game ending in a draw, with Pakistan posting 476-4 and 252-0 in their second innings while Australia were bowled out for 459. I expect more of the same, especially with England’s bowling lineup lacking pace in the absence of Mark Wood, and not being suited to these conditions.
I suggest going for a draw as there’s value there or you could take the safer bet which is Pakistan or draw.
Pitch and Conditions
The pitch at this venue has been a good track for batting like most sub-continent pitches. In the initial days of the match, the pacers can get some assistance. The spinners can certainly play a part in the latter stages of the match. However, it is certain that the batters will enjoy themselves at this venue. The average first innings score since 2019 is 322.
*Most recent matches first.