Deadline: May 8, 2019 at 5.30 PM IST
Venue: Kennington Oval, London
The mixed weather in England often tampers with the pitch. The runs will be easy to come by, but the rains have added enough moisture into the wicket. Expect the ball to swing significantly until it has its shine intact.
The average first and second innings scores read 249 and 213 respectively. The highest score registered here is 398 for 5 by New Zealand against England, while the lowest is 103 all out by England against South Africa.
Probable XI for England: Jason Roy, Jonny Bairstow (wk), Joe Root, Eoin Morgan (c), Ben Stokes, Jos Buttler, Moeen Ali, Chris Woakes, Adil Rashid, Liam Plunkett, Mark Wood
Probable XI for Pakistan: Imam-ul-Haq, Fakhar Zaman, Babar Azam, Haris Sohail, Sarfraz Ahmed (c & wk), Mohammad Hafeez, Imad Wasim, Faheem Ashraf, Hasan Ali, Mohammed Amir, Junaid Khan, Shaheen Afridi.
We have opted for a fantasy cricket team on the basis of players’ impact, recent performances, and credit points.
Note that you can, now, change your team after the toss. You can also check players’ performances in the last 5 matches. Tap on the players’ names to get the data while making your fantasy team.
My XI: Jonny Bairstow (c & wk), Babar Azam, Joe Root, Fakhar Zaman, Eoin Morgan, Ben Stokes (vc), Haris Sohail, Moeen Ali, Adil Rashid, Shaheen Afridi, Jofra Archer
The last time Pakistan played at Oval they reduced India to nothingness, in the final of the 2017 Champions Trophy. They were the last-ranked team at the start of tournament, and as fate would have it, they ended up being the best. Anything can happen with Pakistan. They are both the favourites and dark horses. England know that very well, and will not let the visitors off the hook.
England’s win on Sunday in the only T20I was comprehensive. They were ordinary with the ball, but captain Morgan went all guns blazing in a 174-run chase. England were scoring at just over 7 RPO when he took the crease, and yet, they managed to fold the chase with 4 balls remaining. Such was Morgan’s impact, that he blasted 57* off 29.
Before that, Vince (36) and Root (47) had laid a foundation for the win. Of all the bowlers who completed their 4 overs, only Imad Wasim conceded 6 RPO, taking a solitary wicket of Vince.
Imam-ul-Haq and Haris Sohail scored hundreds against Australia in UAE, while Fakhar Zaman has scores of 76, 101, and 52 in two List A matches and one T20 respectively on this tour – let us not forget that he bludgeoned a hundred in the Champions Trophy final we discussed. Then there is Babar Azam. Come to think of it, both teams have staggering batters. It all depends on how they bowl.
England have two spinners in Moeen and Rashid, and both are of different varieties. Meanwhile, Shoaib Malik has returned home due to personal reasons and is expected to play in the second ODI. The all-round duties thus fall on Hafeez. His off-spinners are handy in the middle overs.
Both teams have quality pacers. Given there is a tinge of grass on the wicket, the pacers will take centre stage. England have Woakes, Plunkett, and Wood, while Pakistan have Amir Junaid, and Shaheen Afridi. The key is to bowl full and exploit the swing.