Time: July 10, 3:30 PM IST
Venue: Lord’s, London
First things first, rain is forecasted for Saturday in London.
The pitch has been favourable for batters in the ongoing English T20 League. Essex chased down 184 runs against Middlesex, and the highest score registered is 223 for 7 by Surrey. However, given the weather, the pacers are likely to get enough movement.
England wouldn’t tinker with their winning XI. Everything went their way, and in addition, they will be eager to get more World Cup Super League points and seal the series.
Probable XI for England: Phil Salt, Dawid Malan, Zak Crawley, James Vince, Ben Stokes (c), John Simpson (wk), Lewis Gregory, Craig Overton, Brydon Carse, Saqib Mahmood, Matt Parkinson
Pakistan may make a change in their bowling setup, adding Mohammad Hasnain at the expense of Hasan Ali.
Probable XI for Pakistan: Imam-ul-Haq, Fakhar Zaman, Babar Azam (c), Mohammad Rizwan (wk), Saud Shakeel, Sohaib Maqsood, Shadab Khan, Faheem Ashraf, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Hasan Ali/Mohammad Hasnain, Haris Rauf
We have opted for a fantasy cricket team based on the recent performances, overall impact, and credit points.
Players to watch out for
Saqib Mahmood’s lateral movement constantly posed threats to the Pakistani batters. At Lord’s, he is likely to get more movement. He might as well take the five-wicket haul that he deserved in the last match. As a matter of fact, he has been in brilliant form this English summer. He had taken 8 wickets in 4 games of the English T20 League and 10 wickets in the two County matches before that.
Usually, a player’s domestic figures are far superior to his international performances. However, that is the other way round for Dawid Malan. He transforms into a run-machine when he dons England’s coloured clothing. His last two scores for England read 76 and 68*.
Before the duck at Cardiff, Babar Azam’s scores against England in the last 5 matches read 51, 15, 115, 80, and 63. To put things into perspective, it was a rare failure.
Fakhar Zaman has two hundreds, four fifties, and four scores between 30 and 49 in England.
Zak Crawley had gone on a pair against James Anderson in County Cricket before he joined the England squad. That perhaps pushed him to focus more on the ball, and the result was a spectacular 58* off 50. He timed the ball effortlessly.
Lewis Gregory’s capability to bowl in the corridor of uncertainty has fetched him the duty of bowling in the powerplay. He does not put a lot of pace on the ball, but his floating deliveries produce enough swing to keep the batters on the back foot. He will be difficult to deal with under the clouds.
When they weren’t edging the ball, they were either playing eye-catching shots or running each other out. Pakistan’s innings was full of drama.
They, however, seemed to have taken England’s second-string side lightly. Perhaps they had made preparations keeping Chris Woakes, Sam Curran, among others in mind but had little to no awareness about the likes of Mahmood and Gregory. They went too hard at them, and by the time they could hold the fort, they had found themselves in trouble.
They could not do much with the ball. There was hardly any swing in the afternoon.
All in all, Pakistan seemed out of sorts or rather underprepared. The lines that England bowled were spot on, and if the conditions favour them, Pakistan are likely to falter again. Given the conditions, batting first won’t be easy.