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Simon Hughes: Joe Root is the best player of spin in world cricket

23 Oct | BY Betway | MIN READ TIME |
Simon Hughes: Joe Root is the best player of spin in world cricket

If England can push on to 450 runs, they will win the second Test against Pakistan, says the Analyst - but anything under 400 will end in defeat

The second Test between Pakistan and England in Dubai is superbly poised after two days.

It is difficult to say who will win it.

There is a little more for the bowlers in this pitch, though, so someone will.

At this point, having runs on the board and bowling last (Pakistan) is a significant advantage.

England have done brilliantly to remain in the game up to now.

It was a bad toss to lose but their fast bowlers sustained their attack excellently in sapping conditions, earning the rewards on the second morning that they deserved on the first day and revealing a soft and ill-disciplined underbelly to Pakistan’s lower order that may prove crucial in the final outcome.

And, having lost Moeen Ali and Ian Bell with only 14 on the board, England have rallied impressively to 182-3.

Joe Root has looked almost invincible, with a shot for every situation.

Root is currently the best player of spin in world cricket.

He reads the length, line and angle of spin beautifully, using the depth of the crease excellently – getting either well forward or right back on his stumps if the ball is fractionally short.

He is so busy at the wicket and can manipulate the ball fully 360 degrees so he is hard to tie down.

He fully justifies his ranking as the No. 2 batsman in the world, just behind Steve Smith.

The pitch will last at least one more day and England must make it count. Their aim should be to get through the first session on the third day having lost only one more wicket.

If they make it to lunch 275-4 they will be confident of getting a decent lead, especially if Root is still in. They can then push on and get to 450.

If they reach that, then the nagging accuracy and intelligence of England’s seamers and the X-factor of Adil Rashid can bundle Pakistan’s erratic batting out for under 200.

That would leave England perhaps 130 to chase batting last. They should be able to make that.

But if England score less than 400 and Pakistan achieve a lead of more than 180 in their second innings, the feisty leg spin of Yasir Shah will, on a wearing pitch, prove decisive.

So the third day is the key to the match.

Under 400 all out, England lose. Over 450, they win.

It’s as tight as that.

Pakistan v England second Test betting

READ: Simon Hughes: This is a sanitised version of the real Pakistan