England will sweep Pakistan series despite Stokes absence - Vaughan

England will sweep Pakistan series despite Stokes absence - Vaughan

Former England captain Michael Vaughan predicted the hosts will sweep the three-test series against Pakistan despite the absence of talismanic all-rounder Ben Stokes for the last two matches.

England v Sri Lanka - Investec Test Series Second Test
FILE PHOTO: Cricket - England v Sri Lanka - Investec Test Series Second Test - Headingley - 23/6/14 Former England Captain and now commentator Michael Vaughan PHOTO: Reuters/ Action Images / Ed Sykes

SOUTHAMPTON, England: Former England captain Michael Vaughan predicted the hosts will sweep the three-test series against Pakistan despite the absence of talismanic all-rounder Ben Stokes for the last two matches.

Stokes was part of the England team which pulled off a thrilling three-wicket victory in the series opener at Old Trafford but is now missing for family reasons.

"He plays a big, big role in that dressing room," Vaughan wrote in a blog, although he had no doubts about the depth in the England squad.

"Even though Ben Stokes is out I think England will be too strong. England will win the series 3-0, that's my prediction."

The Pakistan team led by Azhar Ali dominated much of the opening test in Manchester but Chris Woakes and Jos Buttler launched a superb counter-attack to power the hosts to an unlikely victory.

"Azhar Ali (is) a young captain in terms of test matches but an experienced player in terms of test matches that he's played. I think that was his chance to win a game overseas for the first time," Vaughan said of the 35-year-old.

He also felt England might rest veteran quick James Anderson in the second test beginning on Thursday.

"I'd be surprised if he plays back-to-back games, so I think he will be rested. Maybe Sam Curran will come in for him or Mark Wood," he added. "Zak Crawley will probably come in for Ben Stokes."

(Reporting by Amlan Chakraborty in New Delhi; Editing by Ken Ferris)

Source: Reuters

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