Alastair Cook and Mohammad Aamer are two big names associated with the Pakistan in England tour © Getty Images
Alastair Cook and Mohammad Aamer are two big names associated with the Pakistan in England tour © Getty Images

Good news for all the traditional cricket lovers. After a lot of hard-hitting, ball-smashing in a 20-overs-a-side cricket involving variously-coloured jerseys and sponsor-inspired team names, national sides are up for some bat and ball game in white clothes. After a rather one-sided Test series between Sri Lanka and England, one of the much awaited series awaits as Pakistan take on England at the latter’s den. The series definitely is of much importance for Mohammad Aamer, who will look to rebuild his image, which ruined on English soil. On the other hand, there is Alastair Cook, who is in all likelihood to make the series his own and break a few more records. Though the whole world is all eager to watch the Cook-Aamer duel take place, there is certainly more to the series. FULL CRICKET SCORECARD: England vs Pakistan 2016, 1st Test at Lord’s

Pakistan will face England in England after five years. A lot of things have changed over time. Though Pakistan is ahead of England in the ICC Test rankings, the hosts look to be the more promising side. Pakistan, conventionally, is growing,  with a strong bowling while they lack a settled batting line-up. The hosts’ squad consists of names like James Anderson and Stuart Broad- two of the most accomplished contemporary bowlers. Pakistan’s matter of concern is their opening partnership. With the squad at their disposal, Misbah-ul-Haq will have to go with Mohammad Hafeez and Shan Masood at the top. Pakistan will want these two to click.

The experienced middle-order is expected to be the key for Pakistan batting, but to ensure victory, a complete performance is required. This series is their chance to settle for a permanent opening pair for a considerable time to come based on the performances and that is one point that the team and the followers must look forward to. READ: Alastair Cook playing mind games with Mohammad Aamer to sidetrack his rhythm

Pakistan are known for the talented pacers they have produced over the years, as a result of which quality spinners like Yasir Shah do not get the amount of limelight they deserve. Breaking the conventions, Yasir can team up with Aamer and become one the most successful spin-pace pairs. Aamer’s talent cannot be questioned, for the player, in his limited appearances, has 51 Test wickets. On the other hand, Yasir’s career graph shows that England has been one of his favourite opponents. With Aamer’s fierce pace opening the bowling for Pakistan, it can very well be Yasir to pick up crucial wickets when there is a bit of turn on the pitch. It will be interesting to see how Yasir performs on English conditions.

With Anderson not being available for the first Test, Broad gets the chance to lead England’s bowling attack. The squad for the match, which otherwise looks young, makes Broad one of the most experienced player. Broad can be the perfect answer to Pakistan’s skillful bowling and can convert the instability of the top-order to get some early scalps.

It will be interesting to see how and if Cook uses some of the latest additions. Toby Roland-Jones and Gary Ballance were surprise selection for the Lord’s Test. They along with Jake Ball will be rearing to have a go, if given a chance. Anderson’s injury gives an opportunity to either Roland-Jones or Ball to make their international debuts.

Moreover, this series comes with Pakistan’s chance as a team to revamp their image as well as their stature in world cricket currently. An overseas series win at this stage can help Pakistan maintain the respect they are currently enjoying in the longer format of the game. My editor Abhishek Mukherjee might say the Cook-Aamer factor has to be ‘the thing’ about this tour, looking at both the players’ form and the latter’s past, but surely, there is a lot, lot more, that makes this series a must watch.

(Paulami Chakraborty, a singer, dancer, artist, and photographer, loves the madness of cricket and writes about the game. She can be followed on Twitter at @Polotwitts)