England vs Pakistan 2020, 2nd Test Southampton, Predicted XIs:
England will be without Ben Stokes for the second and third Tests against Pakistan, both in Southampton. Stokes will be in New Zealand for family reasons and will take no part in the series, the ECB had informed.
Stokes’ absence means James Anderson might get another crack in the series. Nasser Hussain had called for Chris Woakes to play ahead of Anderson but now that Stokes is out, Anderson should get another crack. Anderson recently had to dismiss retirement rumours following an indifferent outing in the first Test. Anderson had got only six wickets in the last three Tests.
“It’s been a frustrating week for me personally," Anderson told reporters via videoconference. “I’ve not bowled very well and felt out of rhythm. For the first time in probably 10 years I got a little bit emotional on the field.
“I got a bit frustrated and let it get to me a little bit. It reminded me of when I first started playing, when you get frustrated and a little bit angry, you try and bowl quicker and quicker and it doesn’t help," he added.
Stokes’ absence also means England will strengthen their batting by bringing back Zak Crawley. This means Joe Root could go down the order to No. 4.
Meanwhile, Pakistan could consider bringing pacer Sohail Khan, but Shadab Khan’s value with the bat could help him hold on to his position. It won’t be a surprise if Pakistan go unchanged.
England Possible playing XI
Dominic Sibley, Rory Burns, Zak Crawley, Joe Root (c), Ollie Pope, Jos Buttler (wk), Chris Woakes, Jofra Archer, Stuart Broad, Dom Bess, James Anderson.
Pakistan Possible playing XI
Shan Masood, Abid Ali, Azhar Ali (c), Babar Azam, Asad Shafiq, Mohammad Rizwan (wk), Shadab Khan, Yasir Shah, Shaheen Afridi, Naseem Shah, Mohammad Abbas.