England have finally started playing some attractive cricket in the UAE against Pakistan, who dominated the Test series. England, who lost the first ODI, have come back strongly as they defeated Pakistan in the last two ODIs to take a 2-1 lead in the four-match ODI series.
Hence, the fourth and final ODI between Pakistan and England in Dubai promises to be an entertaining one as the men in green have to defeat the Three Lions to draw the series level. England, on the other hand, have a chance of clinching the ODI series in Dubai, which could give the visitors a slight edge in the T20 series, which starts on 26 November.
However, England cannot afford to think too much ahead and should just concentrate on the fourth ODI, where Pakistan will be keen to show improvement. Pakistani batsmen have to deliver the goods in Dubai if they are to have any chance of winning the fourth ODI as they have been poor in the ODI series.
The first and the second ODI witnessed Pakistan top order fall like a pack of cards as they were tottering at 41 for the loss of three wickets and 80 for six wickets down respectively. Their batsmen showed some improvement in the third ODI, but failed to convert their starts into meaningful scores.
On the contrary, England have ticked all the boxes in the ODI series with both the batsmen and bowlers coming up with some impressive performances. Under the leadership of Eoin Morgan, England have looked a different unit with some youngsters in the team.
The English pace battery, despite resembling a fresh attack, have been impressive in the series. Chris Woakes and Reece Topley have been the most impressive with 8 and 5 wickets respectively. Apart from their bowlers, batsmen such as Alex Hales, who scored a match-winning century, and James Taylor have played the Pakistan bowlers without discomfort.
With England resembling a confident unit, the task is not going to be any easy for Pakistan, who had come into this ODI series in a positive mood. Their last two matches' loss must have changed their mood in the camp, but they have players who can lift their game to help Pakistan draw the series level.
Experienced campaigners such as Shoaib Malik, Mohammad Hafeez and Wahab Riaz need to get their act together or face the music in the fourth and final ODI in Dubai.
Pakistan squad: Azhar Ali (captain), Mohammad Hafeez, Ahmed Shehzad, Shoaib Malik, Sarfraz Ahmed (wk), Mohammad Rizwan, Babar Azam, Yasir Shah, Wahab Riaz, Zafar Gohar, Mohammad Irfan, Rahat Ali, Anwar Ali, Amir Yamin,
England squad: Eoin Morgan (captain), Moeen Ali, Jonny Bairstow, Sam Billings, Jos Buttler (wk), Chris Jordan, Alex Hales, Adil Rashid, Joe Root, Jason Roy, James Taylor, Reece Topley, David Willey, Chris Woakes, Liam Plunkett
Pakistan vs England 4th ODI schedule
Date – 20 November
Time – 3pm local time (4:30pm IST, 11am GMT, 4pm PKT)
Venue - Dubai International Cricket Stadium
TV listing - Ten Cricket (India), PTV (Pakistan), Sky Sports (the UK), and Willow TV (the US)