Pakistan to punish pathetic England at Headingley

The first Test of the summer really couldn’t have gone much worse for England.

Outbatted, outbowled and outfielded – the Three Lions were put two the sword by Pakistan, who were rampant as they claimed their second victory at Lord’s in three years.

Attention now turns to the second and final match of the series at Headingley – where Joe Root’s men must improve fast to save face.

We have taken a look at the best cricket betting odds ahead of the Test.

England under the cosh

Defeat at Lord’s made it eight Tests in a row without a win for the Three Lions.

While losing away from home was one thing, a loss – and such a heavy one at that – is a very difficult pill to swallow on home turf.

There were very few bright spots for Root and coach Trevor Bayliss – other than at a push, fifties for Alastair Cook, Jos Buttler, and debutant Dom Bess.

But make no mistake – this was a hammering, and a vast improvement is needed if the hosts are to get anything out of this series.

One head has already rolled, with opener Mark Stoneman cast aside and Keaton Jennings recalled – though there are murmurings that Stuart Broad will lose his place too.

Any changes feel like rearranging the deckchairs however – England need their big performers to step up, and fast.

Captain Root is back on home soil, as is Jonny Bairstow. The pair tend to do well in front of their Yorkshire crowds, and as senior players, have to put their hands up.

Given England’s top order woes, having number five Bairstow as England’s top first innings batsman at 5/1 looks a shrewd call.

Young Pakistan side shows no fear

I’ll hold my hands up – when I saw Pakistan’s young side before the first Test, I thought their inexperience would be their undoing.

Instead, they played without fear – something this jaded England side look crippled by.

I imagine it’ll be more of the same in Leeds as they hope to pick up a famous series victory, their first in England since 1996.

Mohammad Abbas picked up the man of the match award and showed England’s far more experienced bowlers the benefits of bowling straight.

His bowling partner Mohammad Amir took four wickets in the second innings and has found a groove too.

After England’s woes against left-armers over the winter, he could be in the money again here.

I like the look of him to be named man of the match, at 14/1.

Pakistan to seal a famous series victory

In truth, I was close to siding with Pakistan last week, before thinking the home comforts of Lord’s would see England through. How wrong I was.

I won’t be doing that again this time around.

England look shot of confidence – their batsman can’t score runs, and their bowlers can’t take wickets.

Something serious has to change in this side before they begin to get results, and I don’t see that having happened within the five days between Tests.

As the away side, Pakistan are still long-shots for this one – and their 3/1 to seal victory here looks a great bet.









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