Pakistan England Test match
Pakistan and England will need to be consistent in the four-match Test series.Reuters

The spot fixing scandal of 2010 marred the last Test series involving Pakistan in England. Mohammad Amir, one of the players involved, was banned for five years, but he will once again be seen in Pakistan whites as the two teams battle it out in a four-match Test series, which starts on Thursday.

No doubt, all eyes will be on the left-arm pacer, who will want to grab the right headlines with his on-field performances. Amir has been brilliant since making his international comeback in New Zealand in the ODI format earlier in the year, with the pacer following that up with splendid performances in the Asia Cup and World T20. Those shows would have given him immense confidence to strike gold in England. He is yet to play a Test match after his return to international cricket.

However, this series is going to be a different matter altogether, considering he will be back in the nation, where his career nearly came to an abrupt end. One would not be surprised if Amir gets a volatile reception in England. The pacer has to be ready for it, and silence them with his performances.

Pakistan will bank on his quality with the ball, considering the red cherry moves quite a bit in England. If he gets his line and length right, Amir has the pace and swing to dismiss any top order England batsman. Besides the tall bowler, Pakistan will also need Wahab Riaz to perform, if they are to make early inroads.

England will be a confident unit coming into this Test series. They are always a tough side to beat at home, as Sri Lanka witnessed last month losing 2-0. With Alastair Cook always reliable and Joe Root in good form, England have a solid batting lineup. The hosts will also bank on runs from Alex Hales and Jonny Bairstow.

England might have a solid batting order, but they are a good bowling side as well. Stuart Broad and his ability to move the new ball will play an important role in the series. In bowling-friendly conditions, Broad is a lethal bowler. With James Anderson set to miss the first Test with a shoulder injury, Broad will need to shoulder responsibility to help England get off to a great start. They have a great support bowlers in the form of Steve Finn and Chris Woakes as well. The question remains how will Pakistan batsmen cope against these bowlers.

Pakistan's experienced stars -- Misbah-ul-Haq and Younis Khan – will be the batsmen to watch in the series for the visitors. Misbah was one of the consistent performers for Pakistan when England travelled to UAE for the Test series last year, scoring 352 runs. The visitors will hope for a similar batting effort from the batsman. But, other players like Mohammad Hafeez Sarfraz Ahmed and Azhar Ali, who has looked in good touch in the tour matches, need to contribute with the bat as well.

Complete schedule for four-match Test series

1st Test –England vs Pakistan

Date – June 14

Time: 11 am local time (3:30 p.m IST, 6 a.m ET)

Venue- Lord's, London

2nd Test –England vs Pakistan

Date – June 22

Time: 11 am local time (3:30 p.m IST, 6 a.m ET)

Venue- Old Trafford, Manchester

3rd Test - England vs Pakistan

Date – Aug. 3

Time: 11 am local time (3:30 p.m IST, 6 a.m ET)

Venue- Edgbaston, Birmingham

4th Test –England vs Pakistan

Date – Aug. 11

Time: 11 am local time (3:30 p.m IST, 6 a.m ET)

Venue- Kennington Oval, London

TV listings: India: Star Sports. Pakistan: PTV Sports. England: Sky Sports. US: Willow TV. South Africa: Supersport. Middle East: Ten Network. 

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