Former England skipper Michael Vaughan feels that England has the ability to sweep the three-match Test series against Pakistan despite the absence of top-quality all-rounder Ben Stokes. Vaughan, in his latest blog, made a confident prediction that the hosts would defeat the visitors in the ‘raise the bat’ Test series.
Stokes, who was a part of the England team which pulled off an exhilarating three-wicket triumph in the first Test at the Old Trafford, has flown back to his home town in New Zealand to meet his family.
“He (Stokes) plays a big, big role in that dressing room. Even though he is out, I think England will be too strong. England will win the series 3-0, that’s my prediction,” wrote Vaughan.
Vaughan said that Pakistan had the chance to win the series opener as they had dominated so much in the Manchester Test.
“Azhar Ali (is) a young captain in terms of Test matches but an experienced player in terms of Test matches that he’s played. I think that was his chance to win a game overseas for the first time,” wrote Vaughan on Azhar Ali’s captaincy.
The cricketer-turned-commentator also felt that England might rest veteran pacer James Anderson in the second Test.
“I’d be surprised if he plays back-to-back games, so I think he will be rested. Maybe Sam Curran will come in for him, or Mark Wood and Zak Crawley will probably come in for Ben Stokes,” said the 45-year-old.
Vaughan’s assessment regarding Sam Curran and Zak Crawley did come true as England picked both the players in the second Test against Pakistan which started on Thursday (August 13) in Southampton. However, Vaughan’s prophecy regarding Anderson wasn’t correct as the highest wicket-taker for England is playing the second Test.