Live Updates

  • 3:30 PM IST

    We are all in readiness to begin Day 1 of the first Test between England and Pakistan. The England players make their way onto the field, followed by Shan Masood and Abid Ali.

  • 3:30 PM IST

    The players from both the sides take a moment of silence in respect of those who have lost their lives due to Covid-19.

  • 3:27 PM IST

    Joe Root, the England skipper, says that it was nice to have some time away from the bubble. States that they have made most of their practice period. Adds that they are playing an unchanged squad from the last Test match. Goes on to say that Stokes is not 100 percent fit and they did not want to risk him bowling. Adds that they are aware on not winning the first Test match of a series and they are working hard on improving that.

  • 3:26 PM IST

    Azhar Ali, the Pakistan skipper, says that they will bat first. Adds that they wanted to be clear in their heads and they cannot do anything about the weather. States that they are playing 2 spinners with Shadab coming in as an all-rounder. Is thankful to ECB to provide good facilities to them. Goes on to say that they have prepared themselves well. Adds that they love playing in England and they will miss the crowds.

  • 3:12 PM IST

    England (Playing XI) – Rory Burns, Dom Sibley, Joe Root (C), Ben Stokes, Ollie Pope, Jos Buttler (WK), Chris Woakes, Dom Bess, Jofra Archer, Stuart Broad, James Anderson.

  • 3:12 PM IST

    Pakistan (Playing XI) – Shan Masood, Abid Ali, Azhar Ali (C), Babar Azam, Asad Shafiq, Mohammad Rizwan (WK), Shadab Khan, Yasir Shah, Mohammad Abbas, Shaheen Afridi, Naseem Shah.

  • 3:12 PM IST

    Toss – Up goes the coin and it lands in favour of Pakistan. They have chosen to bat first.

  • 3:12 PM IST

    Pakistan, on the other hand, are playing their first Test in the post-Covid era and will look to begin well. They have a good bowling line-up and they will fancy their chances. Their batting is a little weak though and they will want that their batting comes good in testing conditions. They have won 3 matches in England in their previous two series and will be hoping to perform well. Their coach, Misbah-ul-haq, has hinted that they will play 2 spinners, along with three pacers. An interesting clash awaits us.

England vs Pakistan 2020, Live Cricket Score And Updates, 1st Test, Day 1, Manchester: PAK Off To A Steady Start
The two teams will play a total of three Tests. (AFP)

Hello and welcome to CricketCountry’s live coverage of the opening day of the first Test between England and Pakistan at Old Trafford, Manchester.

PREVIEW 

England know another sluggish start to a Test campaign could prove costly as they go in search of a first series win over Pakistan in a decade.

Wednesday sees a three-match contest get underway with the first Test at Old Trafford.

And while England can point to recent series victories over most of their rivals, their last such success against Pakistan was back in 2010. That campaign, however, was overshadowed by a ‘spot-fixing’ scandal at Lord’s which led to bans and jail terms for then Pakistan captain Salman Butt as well as pacemen Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Amir.

England have lost the first Test in eight of their last 10 series — including during last month’s 2-1 win over the West Indies that marked international cricket’s return from the coronavirus lockdown.

It is a statistic they are all well aware of, with in-form England pacemen Chris Woakes admitting: “I’d love to be able to put my finger on it and I’m sure the management and the team would as well. It’s not coincidence but it’s almost, it is just a coincidence that we can keep losing that first Test match.

“But we want to put that right,” he added, with the eyes of the global cricket community set to turn to Manchester in the absence of any other major international fixtures outside of England amid the pandemic.

Both of Pakistan’s past two series in England — 2016 and 2018 — ended in draws, which should encourage the tourists this time even though they go into the first Test on the back of just a couple of intra-squad warm-up fixtures compared to their ‘match-hardened’ hosts.

‘Complete bowler’

“We’ve had good preparations and team bonding,” said Pakistan coach Misbah-ul-Haq. “Still we feel there is always a slight nervousness when you just play Test cricket after a long, long time (away),” he added ahead of his side’s first Test in six months.

Misbah accepted that how his batsmen coped with James Anderson and Stuart Broad — who now both have more than 500 Test wickets each after Broad reached the landmark against the West Indies — would go a long way to determining the outcome of the series.

But the former Pakistan captain was also excited by a pace attack that includes the youthful promise of teenage rising star Naseem Shah as well as the accurate Mohammad Abbas, and towering left-armer Shaheen Shah Afridi.

Naseem has impressed Pakistan fast-bowling great turned bowling Waqar Younis and Misbah so much when they saw him in action in Lahore, the coach said they had no qualms about fast-tracking a “complete bowler” into Pakistan’s side in Australia last year.