Pakistan were still relatively well-placed despite England’s fightback on the third day
Former England captain Michael Vaughan believes that the home side will have to be on the top of their game, inorder to win the ongoing first Test against Pakistan in Manchester.
Pakistan, on top for most of this match, were 137-8 in their second innings at stumps on the third day with a lead of 244 runs.
While speaking to Cricbuzz, Vaughan said that the opening partnership, between Dom Sibley and Rory Burns, will be crucial to England’s chances.
“You need a confidence-boosting 30/0 from the openers and if they get to that level, I think England will have a chance,” said Vaughan.
He also heaped praise on Pakistan bowlers, Mohammad Abbas and Shaheen Afridi, and the importance of their spell with the new ball.
“This new ball partnership of Abbas and Shaheen Afridi is magnificent and it’s going to be so difficult because Abbas will wobble the ball and it will go either way. If England bat out of the crease, Rizwan will stand up to the stumps to get them back in it,” he said.
“I think the initial six-over burst that Abbas will produce, maybe more, will potentially decide the Test match,” he added.
He also stressed on the importance of having a well-settled batting pair when Pakistan leg-spinners, Yasir Shah and Shadab Khan, come on to bowl in the second innings.
“If England have two players in by the time the leg-spinners come on, they have a chance. If they have got two new players against the leg-spinners, they have absolutely no chance,” he concluded.
Only twice have a team chased more than 200 to win in the fourth innings of a Test at Old Trafford, with England making 294-4 against New Zealand in 2008 and 231-3 against the West Indies at the Manchester ground in 2004.
Former Pakistan off-spinner spoke to Cricket Pakistan in an exclusive interview23/Sep/2020