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It's been frustrating past few weeks for the Cricket fans across the globe with many of the matches played in Europe being washed out. It was nothing different a couple of days ago when England and Pakistan were left disappointed following a abandoned game without much cricket played. The two teams will now take on each other at Ageas Bowl, Southampton on Saturday, 11th May. While England are acquainted to playing in these conditions, the World Cup preperations for Pakistan would certainly have taken a huge hit with the first game washed out. They now have one less game to play before making their appearance in the big event. Having said that, four full games is still good enough time to get acquainted with the conditions and Pakistan will like to get started with a win in that respect.
The surface in England are known to be batting paradise, especially in the limited-overs matches and with that respect, England got off to a terrific start in the first match where they had Pakistan two down for just 80 runs on the board in 19 overs. One surprising thing for England was the ommision of Jason Roy and he is unlikely to feature in the upcoming game considering that England would not like risking agrravating is injury with World Cup not too far away.
James Vince is likely to continue operating in the opening position and England are unlikely to make any considerable change to their playing lineup, unless of course, there is a last minute injury. The first ODI was a litmus test for Jofra Archer and even though he got to bowl only four overs, he was by far the best bowler for England. He picked up a wicket and gave away just six runs in his four overs.
Not much has changed since the last match and as was the case last time around, England are an extremely well balanced unit. They bat till number ten and have more than six bowling options with ball. While the absence of Jason Roy may be felt at the top of the order, James Vince is no mug the the bat and can really be a game-changer on his day.
JJ Roy, Jonny Bairstow, JE Root, Eoin Morgan, BA Stokes, Jos Buttler, Moeen Ali, CR Woakes, David Willey, AU Rashid, LE Plunkett.
While Pakistan would have been disappointed with not getting enough match time, they'd be fairly happy with the rain considering the position they were in. They were in a tricky position before the rain arrived and would like to make amends in the second match of the series.
Batting first, Pakistan found themselves two down for 80 runs after the completion of 19th over before the rain arrived. Fakhar Zaman and Babar Azam failed to get going, but Pakistan will be happy with the way Imam ul Haq applied himself and played a 40-odd run knock.
Pakistan's bowling was not tested in the first match, but they have a decent bowling attack consisting of Faheem Ashraf, Shaheen Afridi, Mohammad Amir, and Hasan Ali. With Imad Wasim doing well, it is highly unlikely that Pakistan will miss the services of Shadab Khan. All in all, Pakistan appear to be a good unit, but batting has always been a problem for them and if they can do well in that department, England will have their work cut out.
Imam-ul-Haq, F Zaman, Babar Azam, Haris Sohail, Sarfraz Ahmed, SI Wasim, Asif Ali, Faheem Ashraf, Hasan Ali, Yasir Shah, Shaheen Afridi.
The first ODI was abandoned due to rain and not much has changed since then. Both the sides are expected to field the same eleven at the Ageas Bowl with no real injury concern for any side as compared to their first encounter. While both the sides will be looking to book victories here, getting acquantied to the conditions and getting the combination right will carry more priority. England look a better settled side and have the home advantage which is always crucial in early stages of a series. Considering that and the other above mentioned factors, England are better placed to win the upcoming encounter.
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