The first three Test matches between England and Pakistan have been entertaining, with the home team winning two and visitors one. Hence, England are in the driver's seat with 2-1 lead, but expect Pakistan to come all guns blazing in the fourth and final Test match, which starts on Thursday, with the hopes of getting the series tied at 2-2.
After a win in the first Test, Pakistan were outplayed by England in the second Test, but Misbah Ul Haq's men lost the last game from a winning position. Pakistan should forget what has transpired in the last two games, and just focus on the fourth Test, which matters most.
Misbah considers this Test match as a do-or-die contest for Pakistan as he is aware England have the momentum going into the Oval contest with two back-to-back wins.
"Yes, of course, it is a crucial Test for us. A win will square the series and it will be really good for morale, also for the team, and it is very important for me also," Misbah said.
"Obviously they have the momentum in their own conditions, they are confident but we believe we can come back from any position because this is a do or die Test match for us so we have to really play well."
Though Pakistan have played well in phases during the series, the team has to show character and be consistent in all the five days to draw the series level. Batsmen like Azhar Ali and Sami Aslam have shown decent form, but rest of the batsmen including Misbah need to step it up.
Besides the batting unit, Pakistan bowlers including Mohammad Amir and Yasir Shah have to get their game going as well. Shah, after the 10-wicket haul in the first Test, has not been able to deliver the goods. In fact England batsmen have played him incredibly well.
One of the best things about England in their last two Test matches have been the performance of their batsmen. One or the other have always turned out to play a solid innings to help England come up with a good total, while rest of the batsmen have contributed evenly.
However, Alastair Cook and Joe Root remain the two key players for England in their batting line up. If they score big, Pakistan will be in all sorts of problems. But these English batsmen need to be strongly supported by their bowlers, who need to pick up early wickets and dismiss Pakistan for a lower total to have the upper hand in the fourth Test.
Cook wants his team to continue his impressive ways with both the bat and ball in the fourth Test match.
"We've been consistent the last two games and even when we've been up against it we've played some pretty consistent cricket and we need that same hunger and determination from both batting and bowing units in this game," Cook said.
Where to watch live
The fourth Test match between England and Pakistan at Old Trafford is scheduled to start at 11:00 a.m. local time (3:30 p.m. IST and 6:00 a.m. EST). There is no live TV coverage in India.
UK viewers can tune into Sky Sports 2 and Sky Sports HD 2 to watch England vs Pakistan 4th Test live. Watch Sky Sports will stream the match live in UK as well.
Audience in the US can switch to ESPN3 for the live coverage of England vs Pakistan Test and stream the same on Watch ESPN.
FoxSports will broadcast England vs Pakistan 4th Test match live in Australia., and live streaming on Foxtel Play.