After three Tests, England are currently leading 2-1 with Pakistan and everything is still certainly all to play for ahead of the fourth and final clash at the Kia Oval. Trevor Bayliss has changed the mentality of this England squad and Alastair Cook, who recently became England’s record run scorer in, will try to inspire his troops to glory in what could be a particularly close encounter.
If Pakistan play at their very best, this could be a tricky contest for England. As all cricket fans know, Bayliss’ men aren’t exactly reliable against spin bowling – and Pakistan have two of the best spin bowlers in the business in their ranks. On their day, the tourists are capable of exploiting England’s sometimes shoddy top order; particularly if neither Cook nor Joe Root can get England going early on in the innings.
Above Photo: England captain Alastair Cook (R) and Head Coach Trevor Bayliss are pictured before the start of a team training session at the Oval in London on August 10, 2016, on the eve of the start of the fourth Test cricket match between England and Pakistan. Photo Credit: AFP / GLYN KIRK / GETTY IMAGES
However, it would be foolish to suggest that England are underdogs for this particular clash – in fact, they are probably expected to emerge victorious and secure a crucial home series win as they try to close the gap at the top of the Test rankings. And if Root is in imperious form, England will fancy their chances of success. The Yorkshire star is by far and away England’s most influential player; as shown by his impressive total of 330 in the third Test match of the series.
As of August 9th, England are priced at 10/13 in Coral’s preview for the fourth Test and the omens are certainly in their favour. Their key figureheads are performing incredibly well and everybody played a key role in England’s come-from-behind victory in the previous Test match. It looked like Bayliss’ men were set to fall short once again but England defied the odds to record a memorable success.
It is hard to think of a better Test side in world cricket than England right now and a victory would cement their position as one of the top nations on the planet. Cook and co are still riding high on Bayliss’ early success and England are looking strong ahead of the next Ashes series. Because let’s be honest, everybody wants to be in good form for matches against Australia and England have an urn to defend.
But for now, it is all about the fourth and final Test match. England or Pakistan? You decide – but if Root can get his eye in early on, he could determine the destiny of the clash – THAT’S how influential he can be. When Root is good, he’s really good and Pakistan should be wary of his threat. However, England cannot afford to get complacent or else the tourists may sneak a famous series victory…