Pakistan suffered a 5-0 defeat against Australia, but their past success against England, including in the 2017 Champions Trophy, should put them in good stead to put that behind and tune up for the World Cup.
The teams will clash in The Oval on 8th May in their first match of the five ODIs series.
After a close victory in the only T20I, England will now take on Pakistan in a full-fledged five-match ODI series which will be the dress rehearsal for both teams for the highly-awaited ODI World Cup.
England won the only T20I by seven wickets, successfully chasing 174, credit to a swashbuckling 29-ball 57-run knock from skipper Eoin Morgan.
Regular openers Jason Roy and Jonny Bairstow are expected to be back for England. While Roy is coming off an injury, Bairstow showed extraordinary form in the IPL and is more than capable of providing England a destructive start.
Joe Root and Eoin Morgan will be the mainstays of the English batting line up, while Moeen Ali and Ben Stokes are their all-rounders. Liam Plunkett and Jofra Archer will provide pace options to the team. Adil Rashid will be their leading spinner.
Pakistan will be without Shadab Khan, Shoaib Malik and Mohammad Hafeez, all of whom are not available for at least the first two ODIs.
Fakhar Zaman and Babar Azam have shown good form in the practice matches, while Haris Sohail is coming on the back of two centuries in the ODI series against Australia. Mohammad Amir will have an opportunity to push for a place in the World Cup squad. Mohammed Hasnain, though, would like to put numbers beside his talent to stop Aamir from clinching his spot.
Date: Wednesday May 8, 2019
Timing: 05:00 PM PKT
Venue: The Kia Oval, London
Weather: Rain is forecast during the morning, clearing later, so there could well be a delayed start.
Conditions / Pitch Report: The Oval has seen plenty of high-scoring ODIs over recent years. The pitch for this game looks a bit green but is expected to play pretty well.
Head to Head:
Matches: 82 | England: 49 | Pakistan: 31 | NR: 2
England: W L W L W (completed matches, most recent first)
Pakistan: L L L L L
England are back to their full strength, playing only a few players who are in the World Cup side for the T20I on Sunday, England should feel confident of their chances with the likes of Ben Stokes, Jos Buttler and Jonny Bairstow joining the team.
England all-rounder Moeen Ali has been ruled out of the first limited over match of the series against Pakistan with a rib injury. Joe Denly might get the chance to applicate him in place of Moeen Ali before the mega event of World Cup to start on May 30.
Jason Roy is also unlikely to feature at The Oval on Wednesday due to a back problem but Jonny Bairstow, Jos Buttler, Ben Stokes and Chris Woakes are all in contention again having been rested for the ODI against Ireland and the T20I win over Pakistan.
Mark Wood is also back with the squad but has not bowled competitively since the final T20I on England s tour of the Caribbean in March and we understand the hosts will leave him out on Wednesday to allow him to get more overs under his belt in the nets.
Meanwhile Jofra Archer made an impressive debut in the Sunday’s T20I and likely to grab his chances now in the 50-over competition as well.
England’s Probable XI:
1. James Vince, 2. Jonny Bairstow, 3. Joe Root, 4. Eoin Morgan (capt), 5. Ben Stokes, 6. Jos Buttler (wk), 7. Joe Denly, 8. Adil Rashid, 9. Jofra Archer, 10. Chris Woakes, 11. Liam Plunkett
The Pakistan squad are without Shoaib Malik who has travelled back home due to some personal reason. Mohammad Amir who has been excluded from the World Cup squad will be looking to make an impact and break into the squad.
Mohammad Amir and Asif Ali. Both were named in the 12 Pakistan will pick from. Haris Sohail and Yasir Shah are the other continuity candidates, with Abid Ali overlooked for now.
The regular openers, Fakhar Zaman and Imam-ul-Haq, should be reunited, while the choice to complete the bowling attack is between Amir and Yasir.
Pakistan’s Probable XI:
1. Fakhar Zaman, 2. Babar Azam, 3. Imam-ul-Haq, 4. Haris Sohail, 5. Sarfraz Ahmed (capt/wk), 6. Asif Ali, 7. Faheem Ashraf 8. Imad Wasim, 9. Hasan Ali, 10. Mohammad Amir, 11. Mohammad Hasnain / Shaheen Shah Afridi
Players to watch:
1. Babar Azam – Batsman, Pakistan
Babar Azam can have a good start to the series if he takes off in a batsman friendly pitch. Babar is a smart player and plays well to the situation. He has been very consistent with the runs for Pakistan and could be one of the most important players in the series.
2. Asif Ali – Batsman, Pakistan
Pakistan needs Asif Ali to be at the very top of his game. And if he manages that, Pakistan are definitely on their way to a victory. Asif Ali’s form is imperative to Pakistan’s success, and the batsman could very well turn the match on its head. Asif Ali could have a good start of series too.
3. Jonny Bairstow – Batsman, England
It is kinda a no-brainer with Bairstow in such good form for England and his IPL 2019 team Sunrisers Hyderabad. Bairstow is a terrific batsman and has really struck form before the World Cup, he looks menacing.
4. Eoin Morgan – Batsman, England
Arguably the most in-form player in this England team, Morgan is capable of a huge knock that could have a big impact in the game and is England’s trump card in the middle-order. Morgan is a natural when it comes to big knocks and could be a lethal player for the England in the series.
Stats and Travia:
- Pakistan haven’t won a bilateral series against England since 2005 (although they did draw in England the following summer). They’ve lost their last four series, home and away, since 2010.
“We have a lot of games before the World Cup and the World Cup is the most important thing. They could play if we really needed them to, but they don’t need to and it gives us a chance to play some of the other guys.”
Trevor Bayliss on the fitness of Moeen and Roy
“”If I have a choice, I don’t have that type of bowler I would definitely pick him [Archer]. Because he is quick, maybe he has that X-factor.”
Sarfaraz Ahmed joins the only debate in town