ABU DHABI: Pakistan will be aiming to carry the recent Test momentum into second game of the four-match One-Day International (ODI) series against England as it bids to gain crucial points on the ICC ODI Team Rankings.
Win in first game of the series, courtesy to Hafeez’s ton and pacers excellent performance, Pakistan will be on a high, as it is always good to begin the series with one-up.
Eighth-ranked Pakistan is currently sitting on 88 points as compared to sixth-ranked England’s 100 points. With England, plus seven other top-ranked sides as on 30 September 2017, set to qualify directly for the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019, the only way Pakistan can move up the order is by winning matches against the higher-ranked sides.
As such, a 4-0 series win against England will earn Pakistan five points, while a 3-1 victory will mean a gain of three rankings points. It will earn only one point if the series ends in a two-all draw.
An England series win will mean Pakistan will lose points. If England sweeps the series, like it did in 2012, then Pakistan will drop to 86 points, while it will concede one point if England wins 3-1.
As far as England is concerned, it can rise to as high as 102 points, but will slip behind Bangladesh in seventh place by a fraction of a point, if it loses 4-0 and Bangladesh wins the third ODI against Zimbabwe on Monday.
Pakistan’s last series win against England was on home turf in December 2005 when it won 3-2.
The series permutations are:
Pakistan 4 England 0 – Pakistan 93 points England 95 points
Pakistan 3 England 1 – Pakistan 91 points England 96 points
Pakistan 2 England 2 – Pakistan 89 points England 99 points
Pakistan 1 England 3 – Pakistan 87 points England 101 points
Pakistan 0 England 4 – Pakistan 86 points England 102 points
After Pakistan’s seasoned campaigner Younis Khan’s abrupt retirement decision, it would be a little difficult for skipper Azhar Ali to re-shuffle his boys to fill Younis’ shoe.
However, PCB chairman approved inclusion of Iftikhar Ahmed on request of team management who will join team within two days.
However, there are chances that swashbuckling opener Ahmed Shehzad will make a comeback, while Bilal Asif will be sent down the order for tomorrow’s match.
Pakistan ODI squad:
Azhar Ali (captain), Mohammad Hafeez, Ahmed Shehzad, Shoaib Malik, Sarfraz Ahmed, Babar Azam, Yasir Shah, Wahab Riaz, Mohammad Irfan, Anwar Ali.
England ODI squad:
Eoin Morgan (captain), Moeen Ali, Jos Buttler, Alex Hales, Adil Rashid, Joe Root, Jason Roy, James Taylor, Reece Topley, David Willey, Chris Woakes.