Pakistan will take on the World Cup favourites England at Nottingham on the very wicket on which England once scored 444 against Pakistan followed by 481 against Australia.
Pakistan had a disastrous start to their World Cup campaign getting bundled up for 105 against the West Indies and announced in front of the world that they are vulnerable against short pitched stuff. Seeing the action between Pakistan and the Windies, England’s assistant coach, Graham Thorpe said earlier that there were interesting things to watch and they might consider playing both Jofra Archer and Mark Woods, who can bowl at over 90 milers per hour.
On the other hand, England had a memorable outing against South Africa in the World Cup opener as they defeated them by 104 runs, defending a target of 311. England did not have the extravagant opening partnership and kept losing wickets at regular intervals, but they managed to post a decent score on the board, which must have added to their already high morale.
Pakistan had a relatively decent series against England ahead of the World Cup, though they lost it by 4-0, but their batsmen put inspiring show during the campaign. However, their confidence must have been shattered with the debacle against the two-time World Champions. They will be worried about the expected venomous bouncers from England’s pacers and, however, still be looking to bounce back in the World Cup and ending their 11-match long losing streak.
The only positive for Pakistan from the previous game was Mohammad Amir’s three wickets, which means he is probably back in the form. He will be much confident against England and if he gets going from one end, it will be a huge gain for the Men in Green. Moreover, Pakistan are likely to make a couple of changes, including Asif Ali and Shoaib Malik in place of Haris Sohail and Imad Wasim to add some flamboyance and experience in the line-up.
It will be an interesting contest, the fans will have to wait and see which Pakistan side turns up today, the one that blows away the opposition or the one that destroys themselves.
Pakistan: Fakhar Zaman, he sets the tone of Pakistan’s inning right at the top, if he fires today, Pakistan are likely to do well.
England: Jofra Archer, the pacer has been in phenomenal touch, Pakistan will have to tame him.
England are the clear favourites, the only factor in Pakistan’s favour is their unpredictability.