Deadline: May 5, 2019 at 7 PM IST
Venue: Sophia Gardens, Cardiff
Sophia Gardens has always been a hunting ground for the batters. However, despite summer making its way in England, rain has been playing spoilsport of late. The clouds will loom over Cardiff throughout Sunday. If anything, these are encouraging signs for the bowlers. There will be some movement through the air, but after all, it is a T20 game.
The average first and second innings scores read 145 and 141 respectively. The highest score is 182 for 5 by England against Australia, while the lowest is 89 all out by Pakistan against England.
Probable XI for England: James Vince, Ben Duckett, Joe Root, Eoin Morgan (c), Joe Deny, Ben Foakes, David Willey, Tom Curran, Adil Rashid, Liam Plunkett, Jofra Archer
Probable XI for Pakistan: Fakhar Zaman, Imam-ul-Haq, Babar Azam, Haris Sohail, Mohammad Hafeez, Sarfraz Ahmed (c & wk), Imad Wasim, Faheem Ashraf, Hasan Ali, Yasir Shah, Mohammad Amir
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. Also look out for promotions to hit a jackpot.
My XI: Ben Foakes (wk), Babar Azam (c), Eoin Morgan, Joe Root (vc), Fakhar Zaman, Imam-ul-Haq, Ima Wasim, Adil Rashid, Mohammad Amir, Jofra Archer, Tom Curran
Key players from both teams have been rested. We are less than a month away from the World Cup 2019 , and it is about time the team management takes good care of their players.
Apart from removing Alex Hales from the World Cup due to disciplinary issues, England have injury concerns. Jason Roy batted for only four overs after suffering a back spasm in Surrey’s win over Essex, while Sam Billings, a backup batter, dislocated his shoulder. From the Pakistan camp, Shadab Khan has been fighting hepatitis. He has been advised to rest so he could play in the World Cup.
This will test the bench strength of both teams. Jofra Archer, who was ignored in the preliminary squad, will get a chance to showcase his talent. He was brilliant on his international debut, against Ireland on Friday. He bowled an absolute ripper to dismiss Aider. Morgan will expect more such deliveries in the upcoming series. This proves that England’s contingency plans are paying off.
There will be no Jonny Bairstow on Sunday. Ben Foakes will continue with his glove work. In fact, it was Foakes who saved England from a certain defeat against Ireland. They were stuttering at 66 for 5 in a chase of 199 runs. Foakes (61*) and Curran (47*) added 98 for the seventh wicket and rescued their team from embarrassment.
Pakistan will be happy to have Fakhar back. He was rested in the ODI series against Australia in UAE. The talismanic opener will be itching to make headlines yet again.
All eyes will be on Amir. Like Archer, he too has not been added in the squad for World Cup. Given the squads will be finalised on May 23, Amir has got a golden opportunity to remind the selectors about his potential.