England, one of the top favorites to win the tournament take on the Men in green from Pakistan in the first Semi-Final clash at Cardiff on Wednesday.
The tournament host England have defied the expectation & played like one of the favorites. In fact, they are the only side to remain undefeated in the tournament. England has been consistent throughout the group stages both with bat & ball and they are the red hot favorites going into the semi final. England have stick on to the winning combination and a possible change in playing XI is expected.
Roy set to be dropped
The only issue for England is that the form of opener Jason Roy. Jason Roy is a type of player who can decimate the opposition once he keeps going but unfortunately he has never got that form back. The opener has scored 51 runs in his past eight one day internationals. England are set to drop Roy and Jonny Bairstow lined up as his replacement.
Morgan on Baristow, ” Jonn is our next man in line. He is a very fine batsman. One thing he does exceptionally well is deal with no baggage. He comes in and wants to prove wrong everyone the whole time. It has been a huge attribute in him scoring runs when he has had a chance”.
Ben Stokes is the man for England in this tournament. He has scored 150 runs in 2 group stage matches including a match winning century against their arch rivals Australia. He has also taken 3 wickets from 3 matches played so far. Pakistan should be aware of the danger possessed by stokes.
Joe Root, Eoin Morgan & Alex Hales have all scored bunch of runs and possess quite a threat to Pakistan. As for as England’s bowling is concern in Mark wood, Liam Plunkett, Adil Rashid & Jake Ball they have a strong bowling unit to bundle out the opposition. Between them they have 22 wickets at an economy of 4.80.
Pakistan have always been a dark horse in the ICC Tournaments. They have recovered strongly after their 124 runs loss against arch-rivals India. They had defeated the No.1 world ranked team in South Africa by 19 runs(D/L method) thanks to the rain interruption. They have crossed the line against sri lanka by 3 wickets to set up clash with England
Opener Fakhar Zaman has been crucial for the Pakistan’s change of fortunes. The Pakistani opener have batted in a positive manner and created a platform for the middle-orders to set up the chase. His scores of 41 & 50 have beautifully set up Pakistani win contrast to Ahmed Shehzad who has dropped after scoring 12 against India.
Hasan Ali has been a major threat to the opposition scalping 7 wickets in 3 matches played so far. With the likes of Mohammad Amir & Junaid Khan who have taken 7 wickets between them at an economy of 4.75 they have controlled the ability of opposition to score freely. The spin-duo of Imad Wasim & Mohammad Hafeez have chipped in with crucial wickets in the middle overs.
Hasan Ali will be the trump card for Pakistan. Pakistan will be hoping Hasan Ali to provide the crucial breakthrough like he did it in earlier matches. Fakhar Zaman & Shoaib Malik are the other two key factors if Pakistan have to trump England.
- Jonny Bairstow, 2. Alex Hales, 3. Joe Root, 4. Eoin Morgan, 5. Ben Stokes, 6. Jos Buttler, 7. Moeen Ali, 8. Adil Rashid, 9. Liam Plunkett, 10. Jake Ball, 10. Mark Wood
1. Azhar Ali, 2. Fakhar Zaman, 3. Babar Azam, 4. Shoiab Malik, 5. Mohammad Hafeez 6. Sarfraz Ahmed, 7. Imad Wasim, 8. Fakim Ashraf, 9.Mohammad Amir, 10. Junaid Khan, 11. Hasan Ali
Conclusion – Advantage England
England will start this match as a favorite as they have the crucial advantage in running between the wickets and fielding.