The Sophia Gardens Stadium in Cardiff is ready for the first ODI of the series of three matches between England and Pakistan, starting on Thursday (July 08).
Just before the start of the series, the host suffered a major setback as three players and four staff members tested positive for Covid-19. Therefore, the The Council of England and Wales (ECB) had to announce a revised team with Ben Stokes as captain instead of Eoin Morgan with as many as nine uncovered players.
On the other hand, Pakistan is a much stronger side than England’s recent rivals Sri Lanka. Babar Azam and Co. will try to capitalize on the relatively inexperienced English team to score some key points in the World Cup Super League.
In the T20Is played between England and Sri Lanka, the surface at Cardiff provided a lot of help to the seam workers. If a similar course is offered again, bowlers can be expected to dominate the proceedings.
Head to Head record:
Matches Played: 88 | England won: 53 | Pakistan won: 32 | Tied up: 0 | No result: 3
In the absence of a few senior players, England are expected to field all the experienced players from the updated squad. With Captain Stokes, David Malan, James Vince and Craig Overton will get the place. There may be a throw up in between Matt Parkinson and Danny Briggs if England go for just one spinner.
ENG XI: Zak Crawley, James Vince, David Malan, Ben Stokes (c), Dan Lawrence, Ben Duckett (wk), Lewis Gregory, Craig Overton, Saqib Mahmood, Jake Ball, Matt Parkinson / Danny Briggs.
Some famous names like Babar, Mohammad Rizwan, Fakhar Zaman and Imam-ul-Haq will hold the batting responsibility. Just like that, Shaheen Afridi, Hasan Ali and Haras op will lead the rapid bowling attack.
PAK XI: Babar Azam (c), Imam-ul-Haq, Fakhar Zaman, Mohammad Rizwan (wk), Shadab Khan, Mohammad Nawaz, Faheem Ashraf, Shaheen Afridi, Hasan Ali, Haris Rauf, Sohaib Maqsood.