By George Marrable
- England and Pakistan will play five ODI’s and one T20
- Series begins on Wednesday at the Ageas Bowl, Southampton
SOUTHAMPTON, UK – Captain Eoin Morgan will take control of the England cricket team this week, as the side prepare to take on Pakistan in the ODI and T20 series.
Morgan will take charge of the side for five ODI’s and one T20, with the first ODI starting in Southampton on Wednesday. England will head into the series on a high, especially after their recent performances in one-day cricket. The young side swept past Sri Lanka earlier this summer without even losing a game.
But Pakistan will pose them a different challenge, despite only sitting ninth in the ODI rankings. Even though England will head into the game with confidence, they will be wary of Pakistan, knowing what they are capable of after the test series.
In the batting lineup, there were no doubts that England had the capabilities to be a force in world cricket. The likes of Jason Roy, Alex Hales, Joe Root and Jos Buttler are all proven danger men in one-day cricket, and have continued to provide the runs for England.
Hales and Roy, in particular, both have a lot to prove this series. After a spell of spectacular performances against Sri Lanka, Jason Roy could put himself in the frame for a test call up with another good series against Pakistan.
The former, however, has a lot to prove in the coming week after a poor test series. But ODI is undoubtedly Hales’ strongest form, and will be confident of finding himself in the runs.
Despite their batting strengths, it always seemed to be the bowling that let England down in ODI cricket, with the bowlers being dismantled less than 18 months ago in the ODI world cup. But it has all changed since then.
Chris Jordan has found his form once again, and has become a specialist towards the end of the innings, and Adil Rashid’s time in the Big Bash has done his bowling a world of good.
But the brightest spark of England’s bowling is all-rounder David Willey. The left-arm bowler offers a different option at the beginning of an innings, and his raw pace creates a new dimension to the England bowling attack. He will be a big miss for England after picking up an injury, putting him out of the entire series.
Pakistan, on the other hand, will not be so confident heading into the series. Despite their test exploits, they do not have the experience of Misbah-Ul-Haq and Younes Khan to rely on, with the pair not playing ODI cricket.
Instead, they will be captained by Azhar Ali, who will feel a massive weight of expectation on his shoulders. Along with Mohammed Hafeez and Yasir Shah, the three will be regarded as the key players for Pakistan in this series.
However, England may look at Mohammed Irfan as one of the biggest dangers in the Pakistan side. The bowler will tower over the tallest of batsmen, standing at 7ft 1inch. And, on bouncy English pitches, could play a key role in their bowling attack.
England will be the more confident of the two sides, and should comfortably win the series against a week Pakistan ODI side.
The ODIs start at the Ageas Bowl, Southampton on 24 August.
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