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England vs Pakistan, 4th ODI Preview: Under-pressure visitors seek to break the shackles at Trent Bridge

The 1992 World Champions need to strengthen their fielding contingent big time to stay alive in the series.

Babar Azam
Babar Azam. (Photo Source: Twitter)

Run-scoring has been as easy as taking a walk in a park thus far for both sides, but the English managed to out-score Pakistan in the 2nd and 3rd ODI. The first game of the series was dedicated to the rain gods, but the following two were a treat for the neutrals to witness.

This is exactly how pitches in England have been playing in the last couple of years. The home side’s resurgence after a paltry performance in the 2015 World Cup was boosted by these tracks and the likes of Alex Hales, Jason Roy, Jos Buttler, Eoin Morgan etc. did the rest. A score in excess of 350 in English conditions involves no element of surprise right now, it’s just a daily routine.

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The 1992 World Champions need to strengthen their fielding contingent big time. Although the hosts ran past Pakistan in the Bristol ODI, it wasn’t completely to the credit of the English excellence. They dropped a couple of sitters in crucial moments, which could’ve had a different impact on the game.

Playing Combinations

England

The English will be riding their luck without skipper Eoin Morgan, who has been suspended for slow over-rate in the 3rd ODI. Jos Buttler will fill in his boots even as Joe Denly is likely to get another chance. Buttler might consider bringing in Archer for this game in place of Willey to strengthen their bowling attack. Roy missed out on a hundred twice this series and will be eager to get those three figures.

Probable XI: Jason Roy, Jonny Bairstow, Joe Root, Ben Stokes, Jos Buttler (c & wk), Moeen Ali, Joe Denly, Chris Woakes, Jofra Archer/David Willey, Tom Curran, Liam Plunkett.

Pakistan

With Mohammad Hafeez yet to recover and Haris Sohail not matching the high strike-rates in the series, Pakistan might be tempted to bring in Shoaib Malik into the XI. Shaheen Afridi created some chances, but things never went his way. Junaid Khan will retain his place in the XI with Mohammad Hasnain probably replacing Faheem Ashraf. Babar Azam is yet to strike gold in this series and will be desperate to get a big one here.

Probable XI: Fakhar Zaman, Imam-ul-Haq, Babar Azam, Haris Sohail/Shoaib Malik, Sarfaraz Ahmed (c & wk), Asif Ali, Imad Wasim, Hasan Ali, Shaheen Afridi, Faheem Ashraf/Mohammad Hasnain, Junaid Khan.

Focus will be on

Jos Buttler (England)

Not many times England managed to put up a 350+ total without Jos Buttler playing a crucial part, but their effort in the previous game should release some nerves for the stand-in skipper, making him more dangerous. He has been right up there among the best batsmen in world cricket right now against the white ball and it would come in as no surprise if he scores another big hundred in the remaining two games.

Babar Azam (Pakistan)

He has been batting well, but Pakistan need Babar Azam to bat for longer durations. He is not the muscular presence who will tonk big sixes and score at a strike-rate in excess of 150, but if he can spend more time in the middle, batsmen like Fakhar Zaman, Imam-ul-Haq etc. can feed on his work. He thus far has registered scores of 16, 51 and 15 in the first three games.

Head to Head

Matches Played – 85 | England won – 51 | Pakistan won – 31 | No Result – 3

Stat Attack

7 – Pakistan have lost all of their previous seven ODI fixtures (Completed games).

Broadcast Details

TV – Sony Six and Sony Six HD

Live Streaming – Sony LIV

Match Timings – 17:30 IST: 13:00 local

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