HomeCricketJofra in for Bess, Wahab for Yasir Shah in...

Jofra in for Bess, Wahab for Yasir Shah in final Test?

- Advertisement -

Given how the second Test panned out, the question that will be uppermost in the minds of two sets of players in the England and Pakistan camps, their coaching staff and countless viewers across the world is will the weather hold?

And the signs aren’t promising as a downpour lashed Southampton on Wednesday and more rainfall is forecast over the week.

- Advertisement -

With more weather-induced disruptions likely, there seems to be a consensus already that the two teams should go into the Ageas Bowl taking the elements into the equation.

There is also a sense that both the think-tanks should opt for enforcers who can drive the game forward with the bat and ball. The objective, say pundits, should be quick runs and wickets so that whatever playing time the game affords is enough to force a result. 

With all the wet weather around, the pitch, in all likelihood, will afford exaggerated movement and both bowling attacks will fancy putting the batters under pressure. 

So how should the two teams line up for the final Test? Former England captain Michael Vaughan believes the think-tank should consider bringing back tearaways Jofra Archer and Mark Wood into the playing XI.

But who should they leave out then? The sense is that England shouldn’t mind going in with an all-pace attack, and, should that happen, off-spinner Dom Bess would be the most likely one to be benched.

Also, expect Mark Wood to make the playing XI in place of left-arm medium pacer Sam Curran. As far as enforcers go, they don’t come much better than Archer and Wood as they both have the ability to hurry batters and breach the stoutest of defences with sheer pace. 

In Contention: Chris Silverwood said the think-tank was considering leaving out Dom Bess to bring back Jofra Archer. (Credits: Twitter/ ICC)

With the surface tailor-made for the quicker men, Bess didn’t get too many overs to bowl in the second Test and with conditions likely to be similar in the third, he will be the first one to take to the sidelines if England opts for an all-pace attack. 

Curran picked up just one wicket in helpful bowling conditions in Southampton and Wood, with all the pace at his command, could be a wise option to consider in his place.

Archer’s return to the playing XI seems a certainty as England’s head coach Chris Silverwood said the think-tank was considering leaving out the Somerset off-spinner to bring back the Sussex speedster.

Though Bess featured in all five Tests, so far, in the English summer, he could only take 7 wickets at an average of 46. “It’s nice to have a spin option in your attack if you want a nice balance but it wouldn’t be the first time we have gone in with an all-seam attack. So, it’s certainly something we’ll consider,” Silverwood, a former England paceman, said.

The 25-year-old Somerset quick has had some critics raising questions over his drop in pace in recent Test matches. Taking a kinder view of that, Silverwood, who knows a thing or two about quick bowling, said, “Joffra firing at those sort of paces is very exciting. All of us watched those spells last year and went ‘wow’. It’s difficult to bowl that pace all the time… It’s about recognising when to do it and when not to do it really. If there’s an opportunity to blow an end up and open the door for us, step on the gas a little bit. These are conversations I’ve had with Jofra.”

Yasir Shah- England vs Pakistan
Spinning a Web: Yasir Shah picked up four wickets each in both the innings in the first Test at Old Trafford. (Credits: Twitter/ICC)

While there isn’t change likely in the English batting line-up, they might be asked to force the pace and leave their bowlers enough time to take 20 wickets.

Pakistan, meanwhile, could consider bringing in Wahab Riaz for Yasir Shah. But would they take the bait? A veteran of many battles who is skilled at operating with both the new and old ball, Wahab deserves a look-in on a surface tailor-made for his ilk. Though Yasir picked up four wickets each in both the England’s innings at Old Trafford, he hasn’t been been that effective at the Ageas Bowl. So, a change might be in order. Sohail Khan is another pace option that the think-tank might consider.

In batting, expect young Imam-ul-Haq to come in for Asad Shafique, who has looked woefully out of touch in the series so far.

With a fair possibility of play starting early in the final Test to ensure enough overs even with stoppages due to bad light, expect a result in the final Test. One hopes the sun will stay out much longer than it did during the ill-fated second Test.

Follow us on Facebook for more sports news & updates

- Advertisement -

15 Highly Educated Cricketers Of All Time

Cricket is a game of passion and dedication. A sport in which one involves themselves in camps and practice since early childhood. Due to...

Do we often under-appreciate Andy Flower? What’s his legacy?

There's a hint of sadness in noting that Zimbabwe has never been a dominant power in world cricket. But nothing could be sadder than...

Why are more and more MotoGP riders using the Noson nasal dilator?

Introduction MotoGP riders or athletes are physically fit and healthy individuals and their muscles are continuously functioning and used during the performance. As a fan...

How Come UFC Fighters Have Cauliflower Ears But Boxers Don’t?

The UFC has come a long way since its early days, wherein the fights seemed like modern-day gladiators due to its brutality and inconsistent...

5 spinners who can be India’s potential finger-spinners

The Indian cricket team has always been proud of its ability to produce world-class batsmen and similarly potent spinners. Though in recent times, the...

IPL 2018: The beautiful Sawai Mansingh Stadium, Jaipur

Being seated in the Sawai Mansingh stadium brings a different world, a world of difference away from the palpable excitement of watching truly India’s...

Top 5 Left Wingers In The World, Based On 2019-20 Season

Owing to the fact that football has evolved a lot since its inception and the tactics have changed a lot, the role of wingers...

The astonishing decline of Mario Balotelli

There was a time when Mario Balotelli was on top of the world.  The Italian talisman had scored two goals in the Euro 2012 semi-finals,...

What can be expected from the 2018 Azerbaijan Grand Prix?

Heat in the air and heat inside the car- that's been the story of the Azerbaijan Grand prix. As F1 parks itself at Baku...

How Suresh Raina Batted India Into The Finals of 2011 World Cup

Its been 9 years, since India won the Cricket World Cup defeating Sri Lanka on 2 April, 2011. The images and visuals of...

IPL 2018: The best from the West Indies

When one of nature's treacherous attacks on mankind- earthquakes- strike, their impact is measured on Richter's scale. When West Indians strike in a tournament...

Ajax XI if they didn’t sell their star players

Based in Amsterdam, AFC Ajax, who incidentally draw their name from the legendary Greek hero of the same name, are the most successful club...

Age Fraud in Indian Cricket: Are players really to be blamed?

There have been times while watching a cricket match when we tend to hear commentators comment on cricketers’ age. We as fans have many...

Big change for India Women’s cricket as BCCI looks to finalise bowling coach soon

We are not even at the halfway stage of the 2018 cricketing season. It clearly seems there's no stopping India's women's cricket team. The...

5 famous players to play for both Leeds United and Liverpool

Leeds United are back in the Premier League after 16 years and will play Liverpool at Anfield on Saturday in their very first match...

- Advertisement -

- Advertisement -