Onus on Strauss to step up to help England beat Pakistan

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Andrew Strauss will already hit one century just by walking out to bat against Pakistan in the second Test, but England will hope he leads from the front with another on the scorecards as they attempt to restore parity in the series.

The England captain was one of a handful of batsmen who failed with the bat in the opening Test, with his contributions of 19 and six in Dubai far short of what was required to help ensure a strong start.

England eventually lost by ten wickets and it will be hoped that Strauss and opening partner Alastair Cook will make a better fist this time of building the required foundations for a hefty innings.

Strauss and Cook are readying to complete innings number 100 together as England’s opening partnership and the pressure is more on the captain to post a score.

With his 35th birthday upcoming, the pressure is growing on Strauss to show that he still possesses the talent to star in the Test arena or whether the time is closing in faster than expected that he should hand over the captaincy to the younger Cook.

Meanwhile, a defeat in Abu Dhabi would decide the result of the series with a Test to spare and the onus is on Strauss to prevent this from occurring.

Strauss has not scored a century with the bat since facing Australia in Brisbane in November 2010 and has only managed to surpass 50 once in his last 12 Test innings.

England are 9/4 to win the second Test, with Strauss priced at 5/1 in the cricket odds to be England’s top run scorer across the two innings.

Punters are given the added incentive to back an England victory as all losing stakes on Test match outright bets will be refunded if Strauss does top score for England.

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Craig Kemp

Craig has written for Ladbrokes since the 2010 World Cup, having previously gained a Media & Sports Journalism degree and contributed to publications including the Racing Post. His main areas of interest are horse racing and UFC, but he is also an avid X Factor gambler and likes nothing more than indulging in a spot of Hip Hop Karaoke.