England go into todays’s 2nd Test against Pakistan at Headingley, with Mark Stoneman out, and Keaton Jennings in. That is one definite change, with Chris Woakes possibly in line for a recall, and Ben Stokes is also struggling with an injury.
England’s main problem would seem to be a lack of form, and the subsequent confidence crisis that ultimately will follow such a dismal run in form.
Such is England’s form of late, it seems to be a massive leap of faith for any punters wishing to back England at odds of 4/7 with Betfair. The draw is 4/1, with Pakistan at 16/5.
England can still win this series, and a win for Joe Root’s side wouldn’t be a massive shock, after all they do have a fairly decent home record over the past few years. It’s just, can you trust them at such a short price?
The possible recall of Woakes in English condition – where he has an outstanding record – will no doubt strengthen England and increase their chances of finishing the two match series on level terms, but will it help England build a side capable of winning outside of England (an area where Woakes has a poor record)? Probably not.
The captain is looking for a response in the second Test.
— England Cricket (@englandcricket) 27 May 2018
Similar to the inclusion of Keaton Jennings, they look like short term fixes, rather than long term ones. But with Joe Root’s honeymoon period as captain well and truly over, and possible pressure building on Trevor Bayliss’ position as head coach of the Test team, surely England will play safe and bring Woakes back for Wood, rather than Stuart Broad or James Anderson, as suggested by Michael Vaughan.
I can totally see where former England captain Vaughan is coming from (he has suggested that too many players are comfortable in this England team), but in England’s current plight, it would be a brave call for Root to drop a guy with over 400 Test match wickets in Broad, or England’s all time record wicket taker in Anderson.