Pakistan v England, 1st ODI, Abu Dhabi Match Facts and Predictions
Another trial by spin awaits England
Having suffered a 0-3 blanking in the Test series, England now head into the ODIs eager to make amends and regain some of their lost pride. On the other hand, Pakistan who have been in splendid form in all forms of the game, will look to add more to their wins tally.
Pakistan: While they have been on top of their game in the Test format, the World Cup semi-finalists have also been very successful in the One-day arena. Since January 2011, Pakistan have played 33 ODIs and have lost only 7 matches, including a loss to India in the 2011 World Cup. Since 2011, Pakistan have secured series victories against Sri Lanka, New Zealand, West Indies, Zimbabwe, Bangladesh and Ireland apart from winning six games in the World Cup. They also won the only ODI against Afghanistan recently.
Coming to the current series, the Pakistan squad for the five ODIs against England is a very balanced one with the right mix of fine batsmen, quality allrounders and world class bowlers. While Younis Khan and Misbah-ul-Haq bring their experience into play in the middle order, Pakistan also have talented batsmen like Imran Farhat, Asad Shafiq, Umar Akmal and Azhar Ali.
The presence of all-rounders like Mohammad Hafeez, Shahid Afridi and Shoaib Malik provides the added strength to both batting and the bowling departments although Afridi of late is better known for his exploits with the ball than the bat. In the bowling division, Pakistan have plenty to choose from – fine bowlers like Saeed Ajmal, Abdur Rehman and Umar Gul are the main pillars in the bowling department while the likes of Aizaz Cheema, Junaid Khan and Wahab Riaz can also be counted upon to deliver. Overall, Pakistan have a quality side which knows how to perform well in Asian conditions and unless England do something different from the Test series, Misbah’s team are clearly the favourites to take the series.
Recent games: Pakistan played against Afghanistan in an ODI and won by a comfortable margin of 7 wickets with 77 deliveries remaining. Shahid Afridi was the star with the ball, picking up 5/36 while Younis Khan (70*), Imran Farhat (52) and Misbah (40*) did well with the bat.
England: England have been a quality Test side in the last couple of years, barring the series loss against Pakistan. However, the same cannot be said of them in the 50-over format as they have been struggling to feature as one of the top sides in ODIs. Out of 30 ODIs since Jan 2011, England have lost 16 and have only won eleven. In the World Cup, England won 3 matches and lost 3 with one tied game against India. As far as bilateral series are concerned, England managed a series win against Sri Lanka, winning at home against India and losing to the same side while touring the sub-continent and losing to Australia.
Looking at England’s line-up for the series against Pakistan, the arrival of young blood like Craig Kieswetter, Jos Buttler and Jonny Bairstow makes the batting order look sightly refreshing when compared to the Test series. While Alastair Cook, Jonathan Trott and Kevin Pietersen have an important role to play at the top of the order, Eoin Morgan, who has been a quality ODI player, occupies a crucial position in the middle order.
As far as allrounders are concerned, England have Stuart Broad and Tim Bresnan, who have served the country well with both the bat and the ball in the past. The spearheads in the England bowling line-up are Graeme Swann and James Anderson while skipper Cook can also choose from the likes of Steven Finn, Samith Patel and Jade Dernbach. Overall, England have a well-balanced ODI side but considering their not-so-good form in the limited overs format and their inability to perform in Asian conditions, Pakistan hold edge in this series.
Recent games: England recently played a practice match against the England Lions at Abu Dhabi. After bowling out the Lions for 91, England set themselves a nominal target of 231 to get some batting practice, which they achieved in 45.5 overs. Finn and Dernbach picked up 3 wickets apiece while Trott (75*), Cook (68), Pietersen (41) and Bopara (36) found form with the bat.
6: The number of ODIs that England have lost in the UAE. They have played a total of 13 ODIs and have won 7.
107: The number of runs Shahid Afridi requires to become the 7th Pakistan player with 7000 or more ODI runs.
Still hurting from the whitewash in the Test series, England now have to try and turn their fortunes around in the format where their record is weakest. Even without the events of recent weeks, it would have been a daunting task given their poor one-day record overseas, and few will be surprised if Pakistan exert superiority again.
England’s last two one-day series overseas ended 6-1 (in Australia) and 5-0 (in India). Throw in another poor World Cup and it’s hardly a record to instil confidence. Then there is the prospect of facing at least 40 overs of spin per innings. With all the games being day/night encounters, England’s quicks will not be able to exploit any early-morning moisture either.
That factor further diluted the value of England’s warm-up against the Lions, where Jade Dernbach and Steven Finn skittled the second team for 96 during a day game. Meanwhile, Pakistan had a decent workout against a spirited Afghanistan, as Younis Khan and Misbah-ul-Haq took the opportunity to switch into one-day mode. Their experience in the middle order will again be vital.
For England’s batsmen it is a case of trying to learn from the mistakes of the Test series, but not remember the experience so much that it inhibits them. Kevin Pietersen and Eoin Morgan have reputations to salvage while presence of Alastair Cook and Jonathan Trott in the top three is likely to provoke further debate. It will be a series to ask many questions of England.
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Watch out for…
The entertainer is back. Shahid Afridi can lay claim to being the most effective one-day spinner in the world and he prepared for the series by taking five wickets against Afghanistan. England know what to expect, but such were their struggles against anything that turned in the Test matches that Afridi could be in for another bumper haul. Runs are a bonus from Afridi, but he can still change a match on his own.
Steven Finn was the one significant bright spot to emerge from England’s 5-0 defeat in India last October as he bowled with eye-catching pace on some unresponsive surfaces. He was unlucky not to play in the Test series against Pakistan but should still be preferred ahead of James Anderson with the white ball. Alongside the likes of James Pattinson, Pat Cummins, Umesh Yadav and Marchant de Lange, Finn is part of the future of international fast bowling.
There have been suggestions that Pakistan may play just one quick bowler – Umar Gul – but they could find room for Wahab Riaz and still have plenty of spin options. Umar Akmal had the wicketkeeper’s role against Afghanistan while Shoaib Malik, on the insistence of Misbah-ul-Haq, is back in the side as another allrounder.
Pakistan (possible) 1 Mohammad Hafeez, 2 Imran Farhat, 3 Asad Shafiq, 4 Younis Khan, 5 Misbah-ul-Haq, 6 Umar Akmal (wk), 7 Shoaib Malik, 8 Shahid Afridi, 9 Saeed Ajmal, 10 Umar Gul, 11 Wahab Riaz
England will once again jiggle their one-day batting order as Craig Kieswetter moves to the middle order and Pietersen opens. If Tim Bresnan is deemed fit to resume full duties after his elbow problems, Jade Dernbach, who took 3 for 21 against the Lions, will struggle to make the starting XI. Jos Buttler’s hand injury has denied him an ODI debut.
England 1 Alastair Cook (capt), 2 Kevin Pietersen, 3 Jonathan Trott, 4 Ravi Bopara, 5 Eoin Morgan, 6 Craig Kieswetter (wk), 7 Samit Patel, 8 Tim Bresnan, 9 Stuart Broad, 10 Graeme Swann, 11 Steven Finn
Pitch and conditions
Expect the surfaces to turn throughout the series and there is unlikely to be much pace to work with. The weather shouldn’t pose any problems although (by UAE standards) the evenings can be a little chilly.
Stats and trivia
This will be England’s first one-day international in the UAE since April 1999, when they beat Pakistan by 62 runs in Sharjah.
The Cook-Pietersen combination will be England’s 12th opening pair in ODIs since Andy Flower took over as coach (although two of those were one-off partnerships against Ireland).
In 2011, Shahid Afridi took 45 ODI wickets at 20.82 and Saeed Ajmal bagged 34 at 17.08. Ajmal had an economy rate of 3.48
“He’s excited about it; I’m excited about it – and when he’s in full flow in the Powerplay it’s going to be hard to stop him. KP is unique in his own way and he’s certainly got the class – he averages 50 in Test cricket and 40 in ODIs.”
Alastair Cook is confident Pietersen’s move back to the top of the order will work
“It’s a different ball game … in one-dayers, you have flat pitches – but I still hope that my spinners do well. England are a good side. Having lost their last series 5-0 doesn’t mean that they are a bad side.”
Misbah-ul-Haq was very respectful of England
Pakistan v England ODI Series
England v Pakistan 1st ODI Match Full Scorecard
England 57/2 (12.5 ov)
England won the toss and elected to bat
- Pakistan v England ODI Series – 1st ODI
- ODI no. 3238 | 2011/12 season
- Played at Sheikh Zayed Stadium, Abu Dhabi (neutral venue)
- 13 February 2012 – day/night (50-over match)
|England innings (50 overs maximum)||R||B||4s||6s||SR|
|AN Cook*||not out||38||40||5||0||95.00|
|KP Pietersen||b Shahid Afridi||14||36||1||0||38.88|
|IJL Trott||b Shahid Afridi||0||1||0||0||0.00|
|Total||(2 wickets; 12.5 overs)||57||(4.44 runs per over)|
|To bat RS Bopara, EJG Morgan, C Kieswetter†, SR Patel, SCJ Broad, GP Swann, JM Anderson, ST Finn|
|Fall of wickets 1-57 (Pietersen, 12.4 ov), 2-57 (Trott, 12.5 ov)|
|Mohammad Hafeez, Imran Farhat, Asad Shafiq, Younis Khan, Misbah-ul-Haq*, Shahid Afridi, Umar Akmal†, Shoaib Malik, Saeed Ajmal, Umar Gul, Wahab Riaz|
|Toss England, who chose to bat|
|Player of the match tba|
|Umpires Ahsan Raza (Pakistan) and SJA Taufel (Australia)
TV umpire HDPK Dharmasena (Sri Lanka)
Match referee JJ Crowe (New Zealand)
Reserve umpire Zameer Haider (Pakistan)
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