Mark Wood returns to England side for Multan Test against Pakistan

Ollie Pope to continue keeping wickets in second Test which is likely to be affected by smog

Mark Wood has ben included in England's quad for the second Test against Pakistan. Getty
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England bolstered their bowling attack for the second Test against Pakistan which begins in Multan on Friday.

Ben Stokes replaced injured all-rounder Liam Livingstone with fit-again fast bowler Mark Wood in the only change to the squad for the match, with Ollie Pope retaining the wicketkeeper's gloves.

Livingstone was forced to return home after sustaining a knee injury in his debut Test in Rawalpindi, where England pulled off a remarkable 74-run victory on the final day of a high-scoring game that epitomised the team's attacking approach to Test cricket.

Wood missed the first Test as he continued his recovery from a hip injury.

Regular keeper Ben Foakes, who missed the opening match due to illness, is available but captain Stokes said Pope, who made 108 in the first innings in Rawalpindi, will continue behind the wicket because of his superior batting.

"I'll still keep saying that he [Foakes] is the best keeper in the world," Stokes said on Thursday.

"It must sound silly to not be picking him but you've got to see the conditions we face here. Pakistan is a very hard place to come and win. Adding Mark Wood into the side gives us the best opportunity to take 20 wickets.

"That's what we came here to do. We came here to try and win the game of cricket and not be conservative."

There are other factors for Stokes to consider a well. While bad light affected the opening Test, fog and smog are likely to be an issue in the second Test.

Multan has been affected by fog and smog ahead of the Test, with Stokes unsure whether the match will start on time every day due to weather conditions.

"Yesterday [Tuesday] at 9.30am, we couldn't even see the ground [due to fog]," Stokes said.

"So probably have to take that into consideration, if we feel like that is going to be the case for every day in the Test match.

"That's probably going to have to be a later decision and we're going to have to think about some decisions."

Pakistan captain Babar Azam hoped more life in the pitch than the first match here England blasted 500 runs inside 75 overs on the first day.

"Looks like it will assist the spinners, and you can expect some reverse swing too," Azam said. "We've nearly finalised the 11 players for the match but we need to take a look at the pitch first."

Updated: December 08, 2022, 11:42 AM