The Indian Premier League 2019 edition came to a wonderful conclusion as Mumbai Indians defeated Chennai Super Kings. Action will now turn to the ICC World Cup preparations. Favourites England have started with a 12-run win in Southampton to take a 1-0 lead in the five-match series against Pakistan. Bristol will host the third ODI on Tuesday.
The ‘Green Caps’ have lost nine of the 12 ODIs they played in 2019, winning just two. Of bigger worry is the fact that they are winless in eight games now, including the washout of the first ODI of the series. For England, it is a case of juggling the squad and finding the right World Cup mix.
The ICC World no. 1 unit have shown their batting prowess in the second match. All the batsmen showed their worth, but it was Jos Buttler who made an unbeaten 55-ball 110 that stole the show. They were harried with the ball, but picked up in the death overs. David Willey took 2 for 17 in a three-over spell to swing the match back in favour.
Jofra Archer remains the surprise element and it will be interesting to see if England unleash him. He is still trying to book his World Cup ticket and might need another solid game to do so.
The visitors showed grit in Southampton and proved that their top-order will be handy in batting conditions. Fakhar Zaman’s innings of 138 scared England to the point of worrying about the result. Even Asif Ali’s blitz in the slog overs was a good sign.
However, concerns still hover over their bowling attack which looked toothless. The absence of a 90 plus MPH bowler is strange, considering Pakistan always have one. Senior pros Shoaib Malik and Mohammad Hafeez could be pressing for starts.
Fantasy Players to Watch
Jos Buttler has been in imperious form across all formats. His name features five times in the top-10 fastest ODI centuries by English batsmen, which speaks of his power-hitting.
Fakhar Zaman can be lethal when he strikes form and in Southampton he looked the same. With Bristol expected to provide a similar track, the Pakistan opener will chance his bat again.
Eoin Morgan is in incredible form over the last 12 ODIs. His 522 runs have come at an average of 87 and a high score of 103. The England Captain is never far from making runs, which makes him a definite fantasy pick.
England will be thinking hard over the possibility of playing Archer.
England: 1 Jason Roy 2 Jonny Bairstow 3 Joe Root 4 Eoin Morgan (C) 5 Jos Buttler (WK) 6 Ben Stokes 7 David Willey 8 Moeen Ali 9 Jofra Archer 10 Adil Rashid 11 Liam Plunkett
The visitors might include Shoaib Malik and Mohammad Hasnain.
Pakistan: 1 Imam-ul-Haq 2 Fakhar Zaman 3 Babar Azam 4 Shoaib Malik 5 Sarfaraz Ahmed (C & WK) 6 Asif Ali 7 Imad Wasim 8 Mohammad Hasnain 9 Hasan Ali 10 Shaheen Afridi 11 Mohammad Amir
Join Dream11 today and compete in real money fantasy cricket contests for the England vs Pakistan series! Click the banner below for more details!