England Vs Pakistan, Match Preview
England put up a near full-strength side against Sri Lanka and dominated a series that could have been used to try new players. They face a stricter assignment now but have had a challenging period to deal with. England’s entire squad that played Sri Lanka has gone into quarantine after seven members tested Covid positive.
After a string of Covid positives, England has pulled out a new squad from the ongoing county championship and is full of fresh faces. Ben Stokes is leading the side and has been rushed back as he is recovering from an injury. Barring Ben Stokes, James Vince, and Dawid Malan is a little more experienced than the rest.
Pakistan is currently third on the ODI Super League table and is likely to pose a more significant challenge than Sri Lanka. They have a good record in England and did well in the T20s last year. The squad has stars from the Pakistan Super League and is packed with talent.
For England, many new players have an opportunity to step up and play a significant role as emergency players. Many players are happy with the sudden call-up and are still in awe of the situation. For others, the tour is a chance to come back into the reckoning. James Vince and Ben Duckett were a part of the set-up and now can get themselves back on the primary side.
Despite all the new faces, England will be happy they have someone as big as Ben Stokes in the side. Ben Stokes has been recovering from a finger injury and was easing his way back to the side with domestic games. However, the situation has prompted an early return to the side, and Ben Stokes has responded happily. He is now leading the side and is a massive ray of hope in a new squad.
England Vs Pakistan, Team News
The Pakistan squad is pretty settled, which is a rare sight. Most spots are fixed, but there could still be some surprises in store. With the Pakistan Super League conclusion, Pakistan may have some new players they’d like to try. Saud Shakeel is one such paper that can make a debut. He was supposed to in South Africa, but an injury prevented his inclusion.
For England, the eleven is as big a question as ever. Guessing their eleven is a tough ask, and there are three players at most who can assure their spots. Ben Stokes, Dawid Malan, and James Vince are likely starters, while the rest of the line-up is debatable. The backup players are pretty talented and have some friendly claims themselves.
The side still has two World Cup winners and the number one T20 batter. They have Phil Sait, who can open the batting, and Ben Duckett, who may wrestle for the opening spot. Saqib Mahmood’s name has been around for a while, and he may finally get a chance in the eleven. Craig Overton is another who has an opportunity to move out of the shadows.
England Vs, Pakistan, Predicted XIs
England (possible): 1 Phil Salt, 2 James Vince, 3 Dawid Malan, 4 Ben Stokes (capt), 5 Ben Duckett (wk), 6 Will Jacks, 7 Lewis Gregory, 8 Craig Overton / David Payne, 9 Brydon Carse, 10 Saqib Mahmood, 11 Matt Parkinson
Pakistan (possible): 1 Fakhar Zaman, 2 Imam-ul-Haq, 3 Babar Azam (capt), 4 Mohammad Rizwan (wk), 5 Saud Shakeel, 6 Shadab Khan, 7 Faheem Ashraf, 8 Hasan Ali, 9 Shaheen Shah Afridi, 10 Haris Rauf, 11 Mohammad Hasnain.
England Vs Pakistan, Players to Watch out For
Ben Stokes was expected to be away from the national side until the India Tests, as England has a busy schedule ahead of them. He, however, has stepped up brilliantly and is now leading the side earlier than he would have expected. Ben Stokes is a player who likes playing under pressure, and with all that’s been going on around him, he will undoubtedly look to step up. He is still away from full fitness, but his experience can come handy.
Shadab Khan is Pakistan’s vice-captain but hasn’t enjoyed his time as a bowler. He has underperformed for Pakistan and will hope to turn things around in England. He had a decent PSL and will look to carry his form into the ODIs.
England Vs Pakistan, Pitch Report
The Cardiff pitch was a little two-paced during the T20s against Sri Lanka. Batting was tough, and England took their time to chase Sri Lanka’s 112. The weather is a little uncertain, and with a slow surface, batting first may be the safer choice.