The second ODI of the four match series between Pakistan and England will be played at the Sheikh Zayed cricket stadium in Abu Dhabi.
Pakistan, having won the first ODI, will look to take an unassailable lead in the series by putting up another solid show today. Younis Khan’s retirement has left one spot open in the side which will most probably be filled by Mohammad Rizwan who has been a good performer off late. On the other hand considering how much Bilal Asif struggled at the top in the first ODI, Pakistan could also bring in Ahmed Shehzad and put Bilal Asif in the lower and middle order. Pakistan called in Iftikhar Ahmed as a replacement for Younis Khan but he is unlikely to be thrown into the thick of things straight away. The rest of the team is likely to remain the same as Pakistan would not want to tinker too much with winning combination.
Pakistan need to repeat their performance of the first ODI because they were clinical in most areas of the game apart from the top order worries but unfortunately that has always been the case with Pakistan. They would be hoping that the top order can buckle up and provide a proper foundation in the beginning especially if they are made to chase a total of over 250. Azhar Ali and Malik missed out in the first ODI but their innings will be crucial for Pakistan from here on wards in the series.
England don’t change their side often, even after they are defeated, as they always look to play a set outfit. Jos Buttler is under severe pressure to perform as Bairstow is also waiting in the wings. Buttler was a touch unlucky in the first ODI as he dismissed courtesy a run out. England would be hopeful that their opening fast bowler Reece Topley can provide wickets upfront once again and trouble the Pakistan batsmen. Captain Morgan will have to lead form the front once again with the bat and provide stability to the middle order. The Barmy Army also have Liam Plunkett and Chris Jordan waiting for their chance but it remains to be seen that will the tour selection committee give them an opportunity and change the dynamics of their bowling attack somewhat.
England made the right call by batting first in the opening ODI but good bowling restricted them to a low total. They should bat first if they have the opportunity and score a good total because Pakistan are never comfortable chasing and tend to panic quickly in the innings.
Pakistan squad: Azhar Ali (captain), Ahmed Shehzad, Mohammad Hafeez, Iftikhar Ahmed, Shoaib Malik, Babar Azam, Mohammad Rizwan, Sarfraz Ahmed, Anwar Ali, Aamer Yamin, Yasir Shah, Zafar Gohar, Wahab Riaz, Mohammad Irfan, Rahat Ali, Bilal Asif
England squad: Eoin Morgan (captain), Moeen Ali, Jonny Bairstow, Sam Billings, Jos Buttler, Chris Jordan, Alex Hales, Adil Rashid, Joe Root, Jason Roy, James Taylor, Reece Topley, David Willey, Chris Woakes, Liam Plunkett