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England Look to Seal Series Against Pakistan as Bowlers' Graveyard Awaits

Cricketnext Staff | Updated: May 17, 2019, 10:18 AM IST
England Look to Seal Series Against Pakistan as Bowlers' Graveyard Awaits

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Having been a batting powerhouse in the last few years, England will look to wrap up the five-match One-Day International series when they take on Pakistan in the fourth encounter on Friday (May 17) at Trent Bridge.

Nottingham has been a graveyard for the bowlers and the home team will look to deliver the knockout in the arena that has produced some high-scoring affairs in recent times.

Two of the last three ODIs at Trent Bridge have seen record totals being amassed. It was Pakistan who were on the receiving end in August 2016 when England plundered 444 for 3, before blasting 481 for 6 against their arch-rivals Australia in June 2018.

England however will be without their skipper Eoin Morgan who has been banned from the fourth ODI because of maintaining a slow over-rate in the Bristol game. Vice-captain Jos Buttler, who was rested for the last match, will make his return and lead the side.

For now, in-form Jonny Bairstow is expected to miss out on this game so that the likes of James Vince and Joe Denly can get opportunity to impress. Vince, who has been in superb form in the domestic circuit, was part of the playing XI in the first ODI that got washed out. Meanwhile, despite being in the XI for the last game, Denly didn't get chance to bat and only bowled one over.

The last two games will also be important for all-rounder Ben Stokes who has been struggling of late. Stokes didn't make any impact in IPL 2019 and has hardly got a chance to bat in this series.

While their batsmen have been in terrific form, England bowlers have constantly been leaking runs. In their defence, the tracks that they are being offered are as flat as they come, and the one in Nottingham is going to be even worse. The hosts will most likely include Jofra Archer, who was rested for the previous two games, and Mark Wood to strengthen their bowling attack which has allowed Pakistan to score over 350 in the last two matches.

Pakistan are yet to win a match on this tour but they will be happy with the way their batsmen have performed in this series. While it was Fakhar Zaman who almost helped his team chase down 374 in the first ODI, Imam-ul-Haq smashed 151 in the last encounter before England made a mockery of the 359-run target.

The visiting side will be pleased with the way Babar Azam, Asif Ali, Haris Sohail, skipper Sarfaraz Ahmed and Imad Wasim have put their hands up in the absence of Mohammad Hafeez and Shoaib Malik. Hafeez however is expected to be fit and might play in the remaining two ODIs.

Just like England, Pakistan too need to sort out their bowling. They have failed to make early inroads and that has proved really costly. The likes of Shaheen Afridi, Junaid Khan, Hasan Ali, Imad and Yasir Shah will have to up their game, while Faheem Ashraf's spot looks in jeopardy.

The chances of rain in Nottingham are minimal, but one can surely expect heavy pouring in the form of fours and sixes.

Squads

England: Eoin Morgan (c), Moeen Ali, Jofra Archer, Jonny Bairstow, Jos Buttler (wk), Tom Curran, Joe Denly, Chris Jordan, Liam Plunkett, Adil Rashid, Joe Root, Jason Roy, Ben Stokes, James Vince, David Willey, Chris Woakes, Mark Wood.

Pakistan: Sarfaraz Ahmed (c, wk), Fakhar Zaman, Imam-ul-Haq, Abid Ali, Babar Azam, Haris Sohail, Shoaib Malik, Mohammad Hafeez, Imad Wasim, Yasir Shah, Hasan Ali, Faheem Ashraf, Junaid Khan, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Mohammad Hasnain, Mohammad Amir, Asif Ali.
First Published: May 17, 2019, 9:55 AM IST
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2 New Zealand 2547 111
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4 England 3663 105
5 Australia 2640 98
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