England and Pakistan both have hurdles to overcome in second Test

by Theguardian

Cricket

The hosts must cope without the input of Stokes while the tourists must bounce back having had just five days to recover from the first Test defeat

They are called Test matches for a reason. They represent the ultimate challenge for any cricketer. Even the one-day wizards from Virat Kohli to Eoin Morgan to Jos Buttler acknowledge that and it may be that those challenges are even more demanding this week – for both sides.

Pakistan, for example, have had to endure the setback of losing a Test match on the last day that they seemed to be winning for the previous three. All their efforts came to nothing as Chris Woakes and Jos Buttler swept aside cricketing logic and the forest of dubious statistics that are churned out whenever there is a fourth innings run chase. Once they start the Tests keep coming and Pakistan may not have the strength in depth of the England squad; those bowlers have to keep bowling. Moreover they are far from home in alien conditions where the instinctive reaction to a fan seeking a photograph ends up sending shivers down the spines of the organisers of this Test series.

Related: Pakistan's pace attack is ready to go again in second Test, says Waqar Younis

Related: England call uncapped Ollie Robinson into squad for second Pakistan Test

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