Pakistan v England TipsRay Corniche - 10:10, 22nd October 2015
After England won back the Ashes during the summer they now head to the UAE to face an altogether different challenge against Pakistan. Tom Powell picks out his best outright bets for the tour and will also be on hand with his selections from every single match...
Pakistan v England 2nd Test (Thurs, 07:00, Sky Sports 2)
Joe Root Top England Batsman @ 3/1
Yasir Shah Top Pakistan Bowler @ 81/50
After the enthralling end to the last Test we'll be hoping for a result as the two sides head to Dubai for the second meeting of the series. The match betting looks about right with Pakistan favourites, though if England win the toss and bat first then it could be worth backing the tourists in running with the toss likely to be very important in this Test. My two selections are based on the fact we're likely to see a spin friendly pitch with Joe Root England's best player of spin and heading into the match off the back of two innings scores of 85 and 33 not out as England chased an unlikely victory on day five of the first Test. Elsewhere, Pakistan have Yasir Shah returning from injury and he's perhaps the main reason they are favourites to go one up in the series given he's taken 61 wickets in 10 Tests already in his career including four five-wicket hauls.
I expected the betting to be a lot closer in terms of who will come out on top in the series betting. England obviously go into the series having won the Ashes and with English cricket on the whole going in the right direction. England's Ashes victory moved them up to third in the Test world rankings and ahead of Pakistan. The hosts will give England a tough examination and were in fact 3-0 winners when the sides last met in the UAE but England look better prepared this time around. Admittedly they are still short of a specialised spinner, with Moeen Ali part-time at best and Adil Rashid underplayed and inexperienced. But batting-wise they look capable of racking up some big totals with a line-up that bats strong all the way down to Mark Wood who could possibly come in as late down the order as number 10.
Pakistan won't serve up any surprises, they are a strong side on the pitches we will see and arguably do deserve to be favourites but a best price 91/100 looks a touch short. There last Test series saw them win impressively in Sri Lanka but before that they could only draw with Bangladesh and haven't played a huge amount of Test cricket other than that, so back the visitors to pull off a shock.
Elsewhere I think captain Alastair Cook looks good value to top score for England at 7/2. Joe Root is deservedly favourite at 3/1 but these pitches require patience and I think Cook is perfect for that. He's a decent player of spin and showed signs of being back to his best with some decent knocks in the summer against New Zealand and then Australia.