England proved their title credentials in the opening game of the 2019 World Cup, crushing South Africa by 104 runs. The form of Ben Stokes and pace spearhead Jofra Archer should fill the hosts with confidence as they take on Pakistan in Nottingham on Monday.
Sarfraz Ahmed’s Men in Green were blown away by West Indies pacer’s short-ball ploy as they folded for just 105 at Trent Bridge. What’s more, England’s recent ODI series whitewash over Sarfraz’s men gives the hosts a clear edge in their encounter on Monday but you can never discount Pakistan at a world event.
The match will be played on the same surface that produced world-record scores of 481 and 444 – both by England – in the last three years. With another high-scoring encounter expected, we take a look at three key battles that could shape the match.
Jofra Archer v Babar Azam
Archer’s three-wicket burst against the Proteas was probably more significant than Stokes’ all-round display against South Africa as he provided the missing ingredient in England’s already brilliant outfit – raw and consistent pace. They way Archer hurried South Africa’s batsmen and got a class batsman like Faf du Plessis off a short ball shows that he is the real deal.
He will once again be the go-to man for Morgan and it will be up to Pakistan’s best batsman – Babar Azam – to keep the lanky quick at bay. While Pakistan have fallen to their 11th straight ODI defeat, the consistent form of Babar has given them some solace. If he gets on top of Archer, it will be game on.
Eoin Morgan v Sarfraz Ahmed
Leadership skills and team selection will be key in this game and both captains have some tough calls to make. Morgan will be toying with the idea of bringing in Mark Wood’s extra pace to beef up the bowling line-up while Sarfraz simply has to bring in hard-hitting and in-form batsman Asif Ali to provide some stability to a fragile line-up.
Also, how the captains marshal their resources on the field and don’t let the game drift away during what could be a high-scoring match will have a major bearing on the outcome. Everything is going perfectly for Morgan and not so for Sarfraz. But it can all change in the blink of an eye.
Jonny Bairstow v Mohammad Amir
England opener Bairstow got out for a golden duck against the Proteas, and will be desperate to make amends on what should be a superb pitch to bat. A quality and in-form batsman like Bairstow can’t be kept quiet for long and England will be banking on him to get a good start.
Looking to stop Jonny in his tracks will be left-arm pacer Mohammad Amir, who finally got among the wickets during the seven-wicket thrashing by the Windies. Amir’s 3-26 was his first two-wicket plus effort in an ODI in two years. A couple of wickets – hopefully Bairstow and Jason Roy – early and that would be half the job done.
The biggest prize in cricket is up for grabs this summer as the top 10 teams battle it out in the 2019 ICC World Cup in England.
As fans, it’s not just watching the best players battle it out to look forward to. Fantasy cricket means you have the opportunity to get involved as well.
Dream11 is the official partner of the ICC tournament’s fantasy league. And we are with you every step of the way with our tips and picks to guide you through each round. Here, we help you navigate through the second round which includes five matches.
Runs expected to flow in England vs Pakistan
While the first World Cup 2019 clash at Trent Bridge saw Pakistan bowled out for a paltry 105 against the West Indies, there is every indication that big totals will be the order of the day when the Men in Green take on hosts England at the same venue on Monday.
The strip to be used in Monday’s clash is the same one on which England have posted two world record ODI totals. They first scored 443 against Pakistan at the venue in 2016 before amassing 481-6 against the Aussies last year.
As such, it makes sense to stack up your Fantasy line up with England batsmen who have been in good form of late.
Jason Roy (9 credits)
The England opener started off his World Cup with a fine 54 against South Africa and will be eyeing a lot more against Pakistan.
The right-hander has been to key to several of England’s giant totals in the past few years with an ODI average of nearly 41 along with a strike-rate of over 106. Roy should relish batting on the potential batting paradise at Trent Bridge against a Pakistan bowling attack which is short of confidence.
Ross Taylor (10 credits)
The New Zealand stalwart is only behind the Indian pair of Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma in the ICC ODI rankings for batsmen for a reason. Taylor has been in sensational form since the turn of 2017 and has been averaging nearly 71 with the bat in the period.
His New Zealand side are up against Bangladesh at The Oval which as a venue has seen the 300-run mark crossed by one team in both matches it has hosted so far.
Babar Azam (10 credits)
While Pakistan’s bowlers could be in for a tough day against England, their batting mainstay Babar Azam should put up good numbers. The 24-year-old batsman has been a consistent performer in all formats and his class should see him thrive in the batting conditions at Trent Bridge.
He failed to kick on after getting a decent start in the loss to Windies and will be eager to bounce back from that disappointment.
Jofra Archer (8.5 credits)
The Barbados-born pacer has so far justified the hype surrounding him in England colours with some fiery displays since making his ODI debut.
He looked excellent in the ODI series against Pakistan and then marked his World Cup debut with a superb 3-27 against South Africa. Archer has shown he can translate his T20 prowess into the 50-over game and his express pace should be a handful for Pakistan’s batsmen.
Rashid Khan (9.5 credits)
The Afghanistan leg-spin sensation is a world beater in the limited-overs format and will be licking his lips at the prospects of facing a nervous Sri Lanka batting unit.
He was negated well by the Aussie batsmen in Afghanistan’s World Cup opener but his class should show at some stage of the tournament and the Sri Lanka clash might just be what he needs to get going.
Jasprit Bumrah (9.5 credits)
India are late entrants to the 2019 World Cup party and Jasprit Bumrah is primed to shine as the Men in Blue get ready to open their campaign against the Proteas.
The No1 ranked ODI bowler in the world has looked in good rhythm and wicket-taking form in the IPL and more recently in India’s two warm-up clashes. Should at the very least be economical against South Africa even if he doesn’t get among the wickets.
Ben Stokes (9 credits)
The England star all-rounder looked out of sorts in the IPL for Rajasthan Royals but has taken no time in getting back to his best in international colours. Stokes was the star of England’s fine win over South Africa in the opener with the all-rounder leading the side’s charge with the bat with a superb 89.
He then followed it up with a fine bowling display by claiming two wickets while also pulling off a stunning catch that still has the internet abuzz.
Andre Russell (9.5 credits)
After ripping apart bowling attacking at will during the the recent IPL, Windies all-rounder Andre Russell has brought the same form to the World Cup. Dre Russ is arguably the most in-form game-changer with both bat and ball in international cricket at the moment.
While he did not get a chance to bat, the all-rounder started Pakistan’s collapse with a menacing spell of short-pitched bowling that saw him claim two wickets. Expect him to have a similar impact against the Aussies.
Jos Buttler (9.5 credits)
The talented right-hander failed to fire against the Proteas but a big innings is always around the corner with the kind of form he has been in recent years.
He scored a 50-ball ton against Pakistan in the recent ODI series and can be expected to put in a similar performance when he faces up to the same opposition on Monday.
Captain: Andre Russell
Vice-captain: Ben Stokes
Pakistan‘s opening match of the 2019 World Cup was an unmitigated disaster, blasted away by a fiery Windies pace attack for 105 in Nottingham.
While pundits were expecting a high-scoring match in what has become the most batsman friendly venue in the world, Windies quicks led by Andre Russell and Oshane Thomas went on a short-ball offensive to shock the men in green and give the rest of the teams a formula to succeed in England this summer.
Pakistan’s next match is again in Nottingham. They play hosts and tournament favourites England on Monday and if the concern in the first game was the lack of runs, the opposite might be the case against Eoin Morgan’s hosts as the game will be played on the same pitch on which England made world record scores of 481-6 – against Australia last year – and 444-3 – against Pakistan in 2016.
The forecast for Monday is for clear skies, which means conditions could be ideal for a run fest and England’s unwritten ‘mission’ of becoming the first team to score 500 in an ODI could well get the chance of becoming a reality.
Pakistan have a tough task at hand as they now have to contend with a marauding batting line-up on a high-scoring pitch just days after their batsmen were exposed against the short ball.
However, Pakistan bowling coach Azhar Mahmood played down the prospects of a 500-run game, saying he has enough confidence in his bowling line-up to produce 10 wicket-taking balls.
“I am hearing talk of 480, 500 score on this wicket. England need to play 300 deliveries to score those runs, we just need 10 good deliveries, 10 wicket taking deliveries. Our bowling line-up has ability to bowl England out for under 300,” Azhar said on Sunday.
Even England assistant coach Graham Thorpe said his team will look to score as many runs as possible, not aim for 500.
“If we get into a good position, we’ll try to score as many as we can. But at the same time if it doesn’t happen, you’ve got to put a competitive score on the board to put the opposition under pressure,” Thorpe said.