ICC World Cup 2019 – Pakistan vs England: Green Shirts Hope To Bounce Back Against Favorites
Pakistan would be hoping to get off the mark in the ICC World Cup 2019 with a win vs hosts England on Monday. Nasser Hussain’s famous words, “Pakistan Cricket: One minute down, next minute up!” during the ICC Champions Trophy 2017 final vs India have never been needed to ring true with more intensity before.
The next challenge for Pakistan is on the same Nottingham pitch vs England. They were so comprehensively torn apart by the West Indies here. The buoyant host nation are expected to unleash Mark Wood along with Jofra Archer in a double-pronged pace attack.
And Pakistan know what to expect on Monday.
“We didn’t handle the short-ball really well so we practice a lot [because] we know it will come,” said Azhar Mahmood, Pakistan’s bowling coach. He says that in South Africa, they had the same sort of issues.
Azhar adds that when people come from the subcontinent, other teams will use that sort of tactics. “All the teams will bowl short against us so we are practicing. So I think we need to move on and concentrate on the next game.”
Pakistan vs England: Fans’ Frustrations
Pakistan has been in England for the past two months and fans are left bemused by Azhar’s words. Fans believe that two months is a sufficient amount of time to get used to the English conditions and tackle the bounce of the English wickets.
Data from the Cricinfo website shows that 54 wickets fell in the first three days of the World Cup. Of them, 23 of the balls were pitched short. Fast bowlers have bowled 454 balls short or short of a length in four matches.
Among the most exciting quicks so far is Archer, who took 3-27 against South Africa in England’s opening-day win. He bowled at an express pace of up to 93 miles per hour (150 kph).
This trend is unlikely to last, though, as pitches get more worn down and slower. Pakistan will be among the teams hoping that change comes quickly.
Clinging To Past Hope
Azhar isn’t worried. He pointed out the Pakistanis lost their first game at the 1992 World Cup and went on to win it. They lost the first game at the 2017 Champions Trophy staged in England and went on to win that, too.
“We’re preparing for Pakistan at their best,” Morgan insisted. “Only two years ago they were the best side in the Champions Trophy, they turned us over, they turned India over. We’ll be preparing as best we can for their A-game.”
Certainly, Pakistan should never be counted out in tournament cricket, but the team’s current situation looks grave while they’re on a run of 11 straight completed losses in ODIs. Amid that unwanted run was a 4-0 ODI series loss to England in the weeks running up to the World Cup.
Few would bet against it becoming 12 losses in a row, with top-ranked England having hit the two biggest ODI totals ever and both were at Trent Bridge 444 against Pakistan in 2016 and 481 against Australia last year.
Team News For Pakistan vs England
Asif Ali might be recalled by Pakistan for his power-hitting down the order, while Wood could come in for Liam Plunkett to give England that extra pace in the attack.
England: (possible) 1 Jason Roy, 2 Jonny Bairstow, 3 Joe Root, 4 Eoin Morgan (capt), 5 Ben Stokes, 6 Jos Buttler (wk), 7 Moeen Ali, 8 Tom Curran, 9 Mark Wood, 10 Adil Rashid, 11 Jofra Archer.
Pakistan: (possible) 1 Imam-ul-Haq, 2 Fakhar Zaman, 3 Babar Azam, 4 Shoaib Malik, 5 Mohammad Hafeez, 6 Sarfaraz Ahmed, (capt,wk), 7 Asif Ali, 8 Shadab Khan, 9 Mohammad Amir, 10 Hasan Ali / Mohammad Hasnain, 11 Wahab Riaz
Pitch and Weather Conditions
It rained heavily the day before the game, but the clouds are expected to clear for match day. The pitch – the same one on which England have twice broken the record for highest ODI score, most recently reaching 481 for 6 against Australia last year – is expected to be especially flat. However, Morgan insists it was quite different from that wicket in how it is expected to behave.
Match 06: England v Pakistan
Venue: Trent Bridge, Nottingham
When: Monday, 3 June
Time: 02:30pm PST, 9:30am GMT