3rd ODI Match Preview: Fiery England targets whitewash against Pakistan

To think Pakistan would be defeated in such a shameless manner is not what everyone would have expected. Twice the batting did not click and twice they were humiliated. For a team where batting isn’t known for, this has been easily their best top-three batsmen. But the manner of losing their wickets is just not so them. Will Pakistan be able to do differently in the 3rd ODI Match?

In the last ODI series against South Africa, the top-three scored about 76 percent of the team total. In these two games alone, the top-three averages just under 13. It is crystal clear that their top order’s failure has been a huge factor. Chasing 247 wasn’t a huge deal, but they should have chased it. If any one of the top three had scored a fifty, the game would have been Pakistan’s. But this is no excuse. 

Salt and VInce match saving knock in 2nd ODI

What about England? They have been exceptional. They have been brilliant in all departments. All the eleven guys that have played both ODIs so far have performed against a good Pakistan side. Ben Stokes couldn’t be happier to start with a series win as a captain. 

There are still seven other guys on the bench. Whether they will be given a go or not will depend on the English management. But the amount of depth in their squad is just as outstanding as India’s. 

Now with the series gone, the final ODI is still an important one. The World Cup Super League is still important as it serves as a direct qualification to the 2023 World Cup. England will be making the most of their chance and Pakistan will at least look to gain those final 10 points. That is why these games are not labeled as “dead rubbers” anymore. There is still much to play for. 

Match Details:

  • Date: July 13, 2021
  • Timing: 05:00 PM PKT
  • Venue: Edgbaston, Birmingham 
  • Weather: The temperature is expected to be around 13 degrees celsius, cloudy but no rain threats.   

Conditions / Pitch Report: 

Edgbaston ground has a history of high-scoring games. The pitch is going to be batting-friendly with batsmen looking to score big. Dark clouds will hover over the stadium early on, however. Bowlers may find some fun there. 

Head to Head:

Matches: 90 | England: 55 | Pakistan: 32 | Tied/ No-result: 03

Form Guide:

England: W W W W L   (Most recent first)

Pakistan: L L W L W 

Team News:

1. England

For two games in a row, the team has done tremendously well against such a side. England was happy with winning the series. They may give some of the other guys a chance. Though not too many changes are expected since the last 10 points for the WCSL are there to grab. 

England’s Probable XI:

1. Phil Salt, 2. Dawid Malan, 3. Zak Crawley, 4. James Vince, 5. Ben Stokes (C), 6. John Simpson (wk), 7. Lewis Gregory, 8. Craig Overton, 9. Saqib Mahmood, 10. Matt Parkinson, 11. Brydon Chase

2. Pakistan

Pakistan batsmen had found it rough, in particular their captain Babar Azam. The batting has been very disappointing from the top-order. There has been only one fifty partnership in this series. All-rounders Faheem Ashraf and Shadab Khan haven’t played their best and may be left out for Mohammad Nawaz and Usman Qadir. The rest of the side remains the same unless Sarfaraz comes in for Rizwan. 

Pakistan’s Probable XI:

1. Fakhar Zaman, 2. Imam ul-Haq, 3. Babar Azam (c) 4. Mohammad Rizwan/ Sarfaraz Ahmed (wk), 5. Saud Shakeel, 6. Sohaib Maqsood, 7. Shadab Khan/ Mohammad Nawaz, 8. Faheem Ashraf/ Usman Qadir, 9. Hasan Ali, 10. Shaheen Afridi, 11. Haris Rauf

Also read: Second-string England beats Full Strength Pakistan

Hasan Ali celebrating wickets in 2nd ODI Match
The bowlers stood up, but what happened to the batsmen?

Players to watch in 3rd ODI Match:

1. Lewis Gregory, All-rounder (England)

Another Englishman who represented Peshawar Zalmi in the PSL, Lewis Gregory’s crucial all-around performance dragged England to a series victory. His 40 from 47 balls dragged England out from 160-7 to 247. Then he picked three wickets, including one at the top, to bowl Pakistan out for 195. Proving to be a good seam-bowling all-rounder for England in the future, he will be looking to keep playing that role to help out England whenever he is given a chance. 

2. Imam ul-Haq, Batsman (Pakistan) 

For the first time in his career, Imam’s average dropped below fifty after his back-to-back failures. He and Fakhar Zaman have an opening average of 46.27, easily the best for any opening pair for Pakistan. Both the batsmen have been out of touch this series, in particular Imam. He was dismissed the very first ball to a delivery by Saqib in the first ODI before he was caught behind for one by Lewis. Imam must stand up to play his role in getting Pakistan a steady yet good start in this final ODI.

3. James Vince, Batsman (England)

Eighteen ODIs played and averaged only 25 so far, James Vince still shows he has a lot of offer for the English side. Making his debut in 2015, James Vince had an up-down career with England. The top-order batsman averages between 24 to 28 in his international career across all three formats. He was part of the World Cup-winning squad where he served as a second fiddle to Jason Roy at the opening slot. Now with one more innings to play this series, Vince will want to make the most of his chance.

4. Hasan Ali, Bowler (Pakistan)

Since his return to the Pakistan side this year, Hasan Ali is the leading wicket-taker in the world with 45 scalps at a brilliant average of 15.53. He has taken five five-wicket hauls and one ten-wicket haul. On Saturday, he picked his fourth five-wicket haul in ODIs, his first since 2017. Add to that 31 he scored in a game that was out of their hands. On the ground where bowlers can enjoy with a bit of help from the weather, Hasan needs to stand up yet again for Pakistan to restrict England to something where Pakistan can chase or defend. 

Stats and Trivia:

  • This will be the first ODI match at Edgbaston since the 2019 World Cup semi-final, where England chased down Australia’s total to qualify for the final.
  • Fakhar Zaman’s series strike rate of 50.89 is the lowest of his career to date so far.

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