England aim to up the ante against Pakistan

England responded from their defeat to Pakistan at Lord’s in emphatic fashion in the second Test.

Alastair Cook’s men levelled the series at 1-1 by securing a 330-run victory over the tourists at Old Trafford inside four days.

The Three Lions dominated the match from the off as Joe Root blasted a double-hundred to set up the win in a return to form at the crease.

England will now attempt to take the lead in the series at Edgbaston, and are backed at 8/13 in the latest cricket odds to notch their second victory over Pakistan this summer.

The home side were rocked by the performances of Misbah-ul-Haq’s men in the first Test, particularly the leg-spin of Yasir Shah.

The 30-year-old was outstanding at the home of cricket, putting every England batsman under pressure, while putting himself on the honours board with figures of 6/72, and 10/141 in the match.

Misbah was also at the top of his game, despite his advancing years. The veteran scored 114 in the first innings to put his team in control, resulting in their 75-run win.

England were boosted by the return of James Anderson and Ben Stokes in their line-up at Old Trafford after the duo missed the Lord’s match due to injury, with Jake Ball and Steven Finn struggling in their absence.

Anderson brought much-needed control to the Three Lions’ bowling attack, but he played second fiddle to Chris Woakes, who continued from his excellent display in the opener where he notched 11 wickets.

The Warwickshire man was on the verge of failing in his Test career following an unsuccessful tour of South Africa, but proved his worth replacing Stokes in England’s series win over Sri Lanka.

With Anderson and Stokes sidelined at Lord’s, he produced two brilliant innings of top-quality bowling to almost drive his side to victory, falling narrowly short of the feat.

Should he continue to thrive as England’s third seamer then Cook and his team have an excellent chance of easing to two wins over the tourists at Edgbaston and The Oval.

Root returned his peak form at Old Trafford, overcoming two poor dismissals at the home of cricket, which exposed his team’s fragile middle order.

The 25-year-old notched his highest score in Test cricket to put Pakistan under pressure with a delightful error-free knock, and continued his fine form in the second innings to ensure that England claimed the victory.

He and Alastair Cook were the foundation of the 330-run win, and if they are able to maintain the high standard of their play the Three Lions will see out the series.

However, concerns remain over the rest of the batting line-up apart from Jonny Bairstow. James Vince is likely on his final chance following a string of failures since his coming into the team, while Gary Ballance and Alex Hales are also in dire need of runs to justify their places in the side.

Cook’s men look well placed to take command of the series at Edgbaston, but still have plenty of work ahead of them to become a formidable outfit.