Just a few days after playing a five-match ODI series, England and Pakistan renew their rivalry at Trent Bridge in Nottingham for a match of the ICC 2019 Cricket World Cup. It was here that West Indies bundled Pakistan out for 105 to register a thumping win. If the conditions remain similar, we may witness another such short encounter. But if conditions are better for batting, a high-scoring clash is on the cards.
When and where to watch
The game begins at the usual time of 10:30 AM local time, 9:30 AM GMT and 3 PM IST. Live coverage in India of this match would be provided by Star Sports network on their channels Star Sports 1, Star Sports 2, Star Sports 1 HD, Star Sports 2 HD and a host of vernacular channels with commentary in their languages. Hotstar is the platform for live streaming on the internet with commentary in various languages.
There is very little that England can improve upon their performance against South Africa in the opening game of the World Cup. Jonny Bairstow would like to get over his golden duck and score big against Pakistan. Similarly, Joe Root would also be looking for a longer stint than in the SA game.
Otherwise, everyone else seems to be in great form, be it Jason Roy, Eoin Morgan, Jos Buttler or Ben Stokes. If the lower order gets an opportunity to bat for a longer time in the game, the likes of Moeen Ali may want to leave their mark on the match with the bat also.
Jofra Archer seems to have lived up to the expectations and bowled a terrific spell in the South African innings at the start. He would love to continue this form, as will others like Chris Woakes and Liam Plunkett. Woakes would obviously want to pick up a few wickets and Nottingham, among the most helpful ground for swing bowlers in England, may just be the place for him to lead the way. Plunkett's reputation of being a good bowler in the middle overs will get tested if Pakistani batsmen get set. Then, he may have to justify his place in the team ahead of others like Mark Wood and Tom Curran.
For Pakistan, their batsmen had a forgettable day against the extra bounce produced by the Windies bowler. They will be tested with similar tactics by the likes of Archer with speed and Plunkett with height. A lot would depend on Babar Azam and Imam-ul-Haq, the two quality players in the line-up. Pakistan may bring back Shoaib Malik to add experience and calmness in the middle order that was missed in the first game. The casualty may well be Imad Wasim or Haris Sohail.
On the other hand, their bowlers will have the opportunity to prove their true worth. Despite what the commentary from the likes of Junaid Khan may suggest, the bowling wasn't the problem in the first game. The batsmen gave too small a target to defend. Hence, the attack may be the same in this match also. Mohammad Amir and Wahab Riaz generated good bounce on this ground during their first match. If they bowl first, we may see a proper demonstration of their skills. On the other hand, if Shaheen Afridi comes in, it will be a great opportunity for the youngster.
England are clearly the hot favourites to win this match. But with Pakistan, even the most unanticipated turnaround is not far away. Who knows, the men in green may just take the hosts by surprise.
England: Jason Roy, Jonny Bairstow(WK), Joe Root, Eoin Morgan (C), Jos Buttler, Ben Stokes, Moeen Ali, Adil Rashid, Chris Woakes, Liam Plunkett, Jofra Archer
Pakistan: Imam-ul-Haq, Fakhar Zaman, Babar Azam, Mohammad Hafeez, Shoaib Malik, Asif Ali, Sarfaraz Ahmed(C & WK), Shadab Khan, Hasan Ali, Wahab Riaz, Mohammad Amir