England v Pakistan: 5 player battles to look forward to in the second Test
Contests between two teams are often down to the individual battles that players from either side get involved and more often than not, the outcome of those battles have a huge bearing on the outcome of the game.
In the first Test between England and Pakistan at Lord’s, the visitors won some of the key battles in the game and eventually won the game in a canter.
Tomorrow, they take on the hosts in the 2nd and final Test at Headingley and the crucial game will again throw up a range of fascinating battles.
It is a crucial game for England since they need to win the Test match, so as to avoid a series defeat in the 1st series of their summer.
On the other hand, a victory or draw for Pakistan will result in a series win for them in England since 1996. The battle will be intense and here is a look at the 5 most gripping individual battles in store at Headingley.
#5 Ben Stokes v Asad Shafiq
In the 1st Test match at Lord’s, Pakistan’s No. 4 Asad Shafiq scored a brilliant 59 and was one of the factors behind the visitors’ excellent show in their batting effort.
His stroke-making and technical proficiency saw him negate the threat posed by most England bowlers.
However, when he was looking good for a big score, he was bounced out by a brutal bouncer from England all-rounder Ben Stokes and the contest between these two is again going to be a big flashpoint when the teams clash at Headingley for the 2nd Test.
England bowled poorly in that innings and the match slipped away from them, as Pakistan made 363, but Ben Stokes was the only bowler who troubled the batsmen.
He was England’s best bowler and he would like to continue with his fine bowling form at Headingley. His battle with Shafiq will, however, be one of the big battles of the game.