ITDC INDIA EPRESS/ ITDC NEWS Pakistan and England will square off at Trent Bridge on Monday for the second match of their respective campaigns at the ICC ODI World Cup. Both sides have had vastly different build-ups and starts to the tournament.
While England crushed South Africa by 104 runs in their first match, Pakistan were blown away by the bowling attack of West Indies for a mere 105 runs in their maiden game. West Indies went on to win the match by seven wickets, with over 36 overs to spare. Pakistan and England had played a five-match ODI series last month in England, which the hosts won 4-0. Coming into the match on Monday, Pakistan have lost 11 straight ODI games.
Pakistan will be hoping for inspiration from Babar Azam, arguably their best batsman. Azam, who averages 51 in his ODI career, had hit two fifties and a hundred in the recent ODI series against England. While Pakistan lost that series decisively, the side had put up a commendable batting performance, going past 340 in three matches.
With the pitch at Trent Bridge expected to be flat, hard-hitting batsman Asif Ali could be included in the side as could veteran all-rounder Shoaib Malik. Pakistan's bowling will be dependent on fast bowlers Wahab Riaz and Mohammed Amir to make inroads against the rampaging England batting line-up.
England will be expecting a repeat performance from Jofra Archer, after his three-wicket haul against South Africa in their first match. Former England batting star Kevin Pietersen told Sky Sports, "Archer can knock over the top order of every single team. He can then come in the middle of the innings and get a couple of wickets from short-pitched deliveries and then at the death, he is a fantastic bowler."
England could be tempted to include paceman Mark Wood to partner Archer, given Pakistan's poor performance against short-pitched bowling by the West Indies fast bowlers in their previous game. England will have very few worries about their batting as four of their top five batsmen went past 50 in their game against South Africa.
Pakistan coach Azhar Mahmood conceded that his side expected a 'bouncer barrage' from England on Monday. Mahmood told mediapersons, “When teams come from the subcontinent, the other teams will use those sort of tactics. All the teams will bowl short against us, so we are practising, and we've done it before, so I think we need to move on and concentrate on the next game.”
The England-Pakistan match at Trent Bridge starts at 3pm (IST).