Pakistan v England: Predicting the sides’ best batsman and bowler

England face their first challenge since claiming the Ashes this summer, taking on Pakistan in the UAE, where they lost 3-0 last time they visited.

The hosts are a formidable outfit in their adopted conditions, having never lost a Test series there since moving from their homeland.

Ahead of the first Test, here is who Ladbrokes News thinks will take top bowling and batting honours for each team in the series:


Series Top Runscorer – Alastair Cook @ 11/4

Joe Root is the golden child of the English batting lineup at the moment, but the skipper has a proven record in sub-continental conditions.

Cook has 1460 runs in 32 knocks playing in Asia (excluding the candy-from-a-baby outings against Bangladesh). There are five hundreds amongst that haul and his average of 50.34 in that time makes him one of just four men to reach that figure in the history of English Test match cricket.

Series Top Wicket Taker – Moeen Ali @ 7/2

For a man that seems to be endlessly treated as a stop-gap solution for England, Ali is given his fair share of responsibility in the side.

Asked to act as main-line spinner and a counter-punching number eight during the Ashes, the silky Worcestershire-man will likely open the batting with Cook while dovetailing with Adil Rashid in the field.

Expect this to be the series when Mo finally shakes the infuriating “part-time” spinner tag.


Series Top Runscorer – Younis Khan @ 3/1

In the time that Pakistan have made the UAE their cricketing home, two players have scored considerably more runs than the rest.

It’s of little surprise that the side’s senior statesmen, Younis Khan and Misbah-ul-Haq, are those men. Khan edges the tally with 1652 runs to Misbah’s 1618 and the 37-year-old is likely to underpin the hosts batting card once again.

Series Top Wicket Taker – Yasir Shah @ 11/10

When England suffered a 3-0 whitewash in this series last time they visited it was the spin of Saeed Ajmal that humiliated them.

The veteran mystery spinner is no longer on the scene, but has been replaced by the equally inscrutable legspinner Yasir Shah.

Shah has taken 61 wickets in just 10 Test matches during his career, taking 12 and 15 wickets in his two home series’ to date.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Matt Wiggins

No idyllic sound comes close to leather on willow for Matt, whose previous experience includes stints with Spin Magazine and Surrey County Cricket Club. It's not just cricket that interests him though, with football, golf, tennis and any American sport not played on ice all high on his list of favourites.