It was a damp night in London that allowed just 19 overs in the first ODI between England and Pakistan. The action now moves to Southampton, as both sides look to start afresh on Saturday. With the Indian Premier League 2019 edition also reaching its climax, the action in England is sure to keep the cricket lovers hooked up.
Both sides are looking to finalise their team compositions, before the World Cup starts. The damp conditions also give them a chance to test themselves in conditions they might encounter next month.
In the little game time that was possible, England showed that they have superior skills for the conditions. Jofra Archer grabbed his chance to provide another glimpse into what he can do. Chris Woakes and Liam Plunkett also enjoyed a good outing.
England will once again look to test their World Cup squad members, most notably their back-up options. Joe Denly could be given another chance to impress, while the likes of Plunkett and Tom Curran will hope to be in the mix.
Pakistan batsmen looked unsure of their off-stump and struggled against the moving ball. Imam-ul-Haq, who was their best batsman over the last 18 months was beaten innumerable times. The pace, bounce and swing will once again test their top-order.
Shoaib Malik rejoins the squad and should be available for selection, which is a boost for Pakistan. Mohammad Amir will relish another chance to impress, considering how he has fallen down the pecking order.
Fantasy Players to Watch
Jonny Bairstow will look for an explosive start at the top for England. Just like he excelled for Sunrisers Hyderabad in the IPL, he will be key for the hosts.
Babar Azam has shown in Oval that he is Pakistan’s best bet with the bat. His ability to counter the moving ball could be the key for Pakistan’s scores.
Jofra Archer showed in Oval that he is not all about pace. His disconcerting bounce can be an asset for England in Southampton.
There is no reason for both the sides to make any changes to their playing XIs.
England: 1 James Vince 2 Jonny Bairstow 3 Joe Root 4 Eoin Morgan (C) 5 Jos Buttler (WK) 6 Ben Stokes 7 Chris Woakes 8 Joe Denly 9 Jofra Archer 10 Adil Rashid 11 Liam Plunkett
Pakistan: 1 Imam-ul-Haq 2 Fakhar Zaman 3 Babar Azam 4 Haris Sohail 5 Sarfaraz Ahmed (C & WK) 6 Asif Ali 7 Imad Wasim 8 Faheem Ashraf 9 Hasan Ali 10 Shaheen Afridi 11 Mohammad Amir
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