Match Preview – Pakistan vs England, England in Pakistan 2022/23, 3rd Test

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England have already completed a run against the setting sun on this tour thanks to their emphatic win in the first Test in Rawalpindi, but this week they are back at the scene of the most iconic robbery of them all. Twenty-two years, almost to the week, have passed since they last played a Test in Karachi… as Graham Thorpe struck with the National Stadium already darkened and Pakistan’s fielders powerless to intervene. The winning run was pushed to fine leg. past them through the darkness.

On the face of it, the circumstances of this rematch lack the urgency that was on show for Nasser Hussain and his men, England already up 2-0 in the series and entitled to coast through Christmas after their toil Were. But that’s not really the mindset of Ben Stokes and his merry men. They have been building up their own intensity since the start of this remarkable run in June – eight wins in nine Tests now, and each one of them a Humdinger – and have lived up to their stated intention of playing for a result that could Well, then we better gear up and see what variations on the theme they come up with this time.

It certainly takes two to tango, and Pakistan will still be reeling from the narrowness of their losses in both games – especially in Multan, when a minor umpiring decision against Saud Shakeel came in the fourth afternoon, right after Time when he could have been poised to make quite a name for himself. But on both occasions, the thrill of Pakistan’s chase came down to smartly weighted targets which Stokes was prepared to hang on to – through a bold declaration in Rawalpindi, then effectively an auto-complete second in Multan. Through the innings, where England lost five wickets for 19 runs, the nominal target of 355 mattered less than the desire to be interested.

It’s only ingenious if it works, of course – and by the time Mark Wood got busy that fourth afternoon, there was probably a tinge of vanity in the air. And yet, there’s really no way to quibble with England’s current modus operandi; A living, breathing embodiment of the late great Shane Warne’s most enduring mantra, that you have to be prepared to lose in order to win. In taking draws off the table, they’ve backed their matchwinners to do just that, and they’ve got heroes galore, from the tireless performances of the fast bowlers to the precocious stylings of Harry Brook.

And who knows, maybe this week, there will be another special story to relate. By the end of the first day in Multan, mystery spinner Abrar Ahmed had already taken seven wickets for good, and Pakistan looked well set in reply, with England regretting not blooding their teenage leggie, Rehan Ahmed was. And although the weapons at Stokes’ disposal proved more than sufficient in the end, he has decided not to miss the opportunity a second time, in keeping with his zeitgeist.

Ahmed’s impending debut provides a fascinating insight into the current mindset of this team. On the one hand, it’s such a dash – the guy is barely 18, and has played a total of three first-class matches – but on the other, it’s a completely calculated risk. As related to Rob’s lead-up to the series, the plan was always to include him in the tour, but without fanfare – so as not to drown the moment in publicity – and, crucially, not before Brendon McCullum played his character. A chance to be judged up close and personal.

And it seems McCullum liked what he saw – Ahmed’s blistering 10-ball 26 in the warm-up match in Abu Dhabi was every bit as revealing as the eight costly and wicketless overs that preceded it. Was. With full license to rip off his variations, and with attacking fielders no doubt armed to the teeth, it is unlikely to be a dull moment when his big moment finally arrives. But spare a thought, when it does, for the luckless Matt Parkinson, a permanent journeyman in the previous England regime, and a man who perhaps should have made his debut in similar circumstances on the tour of the Caribbean in spring. The cowardice of his permanent non-selection, compared to this audacious call-up, marks a sea-change in England’s dressing-room approach. But at least Parkinson will always have the option of concussion at Lord’s.

England’s carefree mentality even extended to the six-hitting contest on the eve of the Test – a ploy, Stokes explained, to keep the players’ minds fresh rather than make them count down the days until their flight home – usually by one Clear admission from someone who has put mental health at the forefront of his leadership. The downside for Stokes is that he lost to none other than his coach, McCullum, and as a forfeit, will have the pleasure of waiting on Brook at the team’s pre-match dinner.

However, after two heavy losses, Pakistan may lack the same level of looseness in their camp.

form guide

Pakistan LLLWL (Last Five Tests, Most Recent First)
england WWWWL

in the headlines

There’s no guarantee that Pakistan captain Babar Azam will have to bow out on his own terms if he refuses to name a team before the toss, but azhar ali After the Karachi Test, he would not be seen in Pakistan colors again, after announcing his impending retirement at the age of 37. He is set to fall short of 100 Tests (assuming he plays, it would be his 97th) but he passed 7000 Test runs during the Australia series in March confirmed his place at number 5 on his country’s all-time run-scoring charts. Azhar did not play in Multan after a disappointing performance in Rawalpindi – his 67 in two innings meant he was the only member of any team’s top three to miss out on a century – and a finger injury as Pakistan They were hampered by failing to bat for a draw on the final day. Nevertheless, his place in the record books is secure after a 12-year international career that reached a personal pinnacle with his triple century against the West Indies in Dubai in 2016.

A blistering Test debut that has been seven years in the making. there are strange contradictions that have gone into rehan ahmedArriving as the youngest ever Test cricketer for England, at the age of 18 years and 126 days. Ahmed first announced himself to this batch of players at Lord’s in 2016, when he was called up as a net bowler to help England counter the legspin of Yasir Shah, and other notable victims Ben Stokes was dismissed. And now he looks to have a successful 2022, which began with a role in the England Under-19 World Cup final in Antigua, and has also scored a first-class century and five-wicket haul for Leicestershire. and a taste of the hundred with Southern Brave. Stokes said on the eve of the match, “I’m struggling to find out what he is, whether he is a batsman or a legspinner, which I think is good because it shows how much talent he has.” Is.” And if that’s not the definition of a mystery spinner, I’m not sure what is.

team news

Assuming Pakistan feel poised enough, Azhar will return to play his swansong Test, perhaps in place of Salman Ali Agha, whose 20 not out in the second innings at Multan was enough to save the day for his team. were not Imam-ul-Haq is the other expected absentee, having last suffered a hamstring injury during his second innings half-century. Shan Masood is a ready replacement

Pakistan: (Probable) 1 Shan Masood, 2 Abdullah Shafiq, 3 Azhar Ali, 4 Babar Azam (c), 5 Saud Shakeel, 6 Mohammad Rizwan (wk), 7 Faheem Ashraf, 8 Mohammad Nawaz, 9 Zahid Mahmood/Mohammed Wasim Jr, 10 Mohammed Ali, 11 Abrar Ahmed

Two changes for England as they shuffle the pack after sealing the series in Multan. Ben Foakes returned in place of Will Jacks – the man who had stepped in at the last minute in Rawalpindi when Foakes had failed to recover from illness – meaning Ollie Pope gave up the gloves he had in the first two Tests. Donated with some difference. And to add to England’s slower bowling options in Jack’s absence, Ahmed makes his debut as the legspinning all-rounder – although disappointingly for fans of sports trivia, he will not be sharing the stage with a man who has already Claimed to have taken 64 Test wickets. was even born. James Anderson will be resting his 40-year-old bones for this one, after being hunted for eight more at 18.50 in the first two matches.

England: 1 Zak Crawley, 2 Ben Duckett, 3 Ollie Pope, 4 Joe Root, 5 Harry Brook, 6 Ben Stokes (c), 7 Ben Foakes (wk), 8 Rehan Ahmed, 9 Ollie Robinson, 10 Jack Leach, 11 Mark Wood.

pitch and terms

Another dry surface is set to appear in Karachi, which could offer turn for spinners but not much bounce – not unlike the pitch that was prepared for Australia’s trip in March, although England’s two days The best part is unlikely to have been spent making the 550, as it was on that occasion.

statistics and general knowledge

  • Pakistan have lost only twice in 44 matches since 1955 at the National Stadium in Karachi. England stunned them in the dark in 2000, while South Africa also won by 160 runs in 2007, with Jacques Kallis scoring a century in each innings.
  • Pakistan have never been whitewashed in a home Test series so far, and have lost only two Tests on home soil. four back series Once against Australia (1959), twice against Sri Lanka (1995 and 2000) and most recently against India (2004).
  • After slow starts in Australia and the West Indies, England are gunning for their ninth win of the calendar year 2022, which will be their second joint-second most time — with 2010 and trailing only 11 wins from 13 games in 2004.
  • mention

    “It’s a dry wicket, and a typical Karachi wicket. The weather is a bit hot as well, so we hope it takes spin. We’ve dominated the last few Tests. Both Tests were in our hands but we couldn’t finish them.” can do.” off.” br>Babar Azam issues a rallying cry

    “From past experiences on away tours and coming to the end of them, certainly to me, it feels like counting down the days until you get home. I wanted to make sure we didn’t feel like that. I think That’s a big part of what we’ve done, especially here, we’ve enjoyed every moment we’ve spent together.”
    Ben Stokes Explains the logic behind team hitting sixes in training

    Andrew Miller is the UK editor of ESPNcricinfo. @miller_cricket

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