Just when the series against Pakistan was to kickoff, the pandemic broke through England’s bio-secure bubble, claiming seven victims. England hurriedly put together a second-string squad led by Ben Stokes for the white-ball series. Riding high on a series win against South Africa, Pakistan was expected to run through depleted England. However, things panned out differently.
The second-string England convincingly defeated a full-strength Pakistan in the first two ODIs to seal the three-match ODI series. With the series already decided, the upcoming ODI isn’t a dead rubber, as there’s something at stake for both teams. Pakistan is eyeing the ODI Super League points while England is all set to complete a clean sweep and benchmark its bench strength.
|Match||Third of the 3 ODIs|
|Date||Tuesday, July 13, 2021|
|Venue||Edgbaston Cricket Ground, Birmingham|
|Time (IST)||05:30 PM|
|Live on TV||Sony Sports|
|Live on Digital||Sony Liv App|
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The average score at the Edgbaston Cricket Ground is 230. The chasing sides enjoy a better record here, winning 30 of 63 games played here. However, if Pakistan wins the toss, it would prefer batting first. The Men in Green have a deplorable record in running down totals.
Record of teams batting first:
Pakistan has to win the final ODI to salvage some pride, earn ODI Super League points, and put a lid on the criticism it is facing lately. They have much more at stake than the hosts, and hence, are likely to win the contest. Also, time and again, the Men in Green have raised their game when pushed to the corner. However, for this to happen, skipper Babar Azam has to come good.
Babar Azam is due for some big runs and the upcoming ODI could be a stage for his comeback. Babar has had a miserable run of form thus far but he’s too good a batsman to be written off. Dawid Malan has also had a quiet series so far and expected to come into his own. Phil Salt, James Vince, Fakhar Zaman, and Saud Shakeel also have what it takes to score big.
There’re many contenders but Hasan Ali looks ahead. The Pakistan speedster is in fine form, finishing the previous outing with a 5-wicket haul and stroke-filled innings of 31 off 17 balls. England’s bowling mainstay, Saqib Mahmood can also be in the reckoning. Thus far, he has accounted for six wickets in the two ODIs at a staggering economy rate of 3.5.
Philip Salt has impressed in the previous game, scoring 60 off 54 balls. Also, he’s no mug with the keeping gloves.
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