Home Cricket After dismal World Cup debut, Pakistan looks to redeem itself against England

After dismal World Cup debut, Pakistan looks to redeem itself against England

Pakistan's Shoaib Malik takes part in a training session at Trent Bridge in Nottingham, central England, on June 2, 2019, on the eve of their 2019 Cricket World Cup match against England. (Photo by Lindsey PARNABY / AFP) / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE

Pakistan will play England at Trent Bridge, Nottingham, in their second Cricket World Cup 2019 fixture on Monday (today) at 2:30pm.

Trent Bridge is renowned as a batsman’s paradise, with England having twice set the world record for the highest score in a One-Day International — 444 for three against Pakistan in 2016 and last year’s 481 for six — on the very pitch that will be used for today’s match.

But Pakistan’s batsmen had anything but an easy ride in Nottingham as they succumbed to a bouncer barrage from the West Indies that saw them slump to 105 all out and a comprehensive defeat in their opening match of the World Cup on Friday.

The green shirts may have lost their last 11 ODIs but bowling coach Azhar Mahmood says England must not forget his team’s resilient performance in the Champions Trophy two years ago as the sides prepare to meet.

“We are one win away from coming back, and that’s what happened in Champions Trophy,” Mahmood said.

“We lost in Champions Trophy and then we come back hard. So whenever we have lost and we come back stronger, and we have the ability to bounce back,” he added.

Pakistan beat England by eight wickets in the Champions Trophy semi-final in 2017 before a comprehensive victory over India in the final.

Their recent form, however, has been poor, including a 4-0 series defeat by England.

“We’ve lost 11 games in a row but in the five games we lost against Australia, we rested eight to nine players,” Mahmood told a news conference on Sunday.

“So it was young team and we were trying different players, different combinations. Yes, against England we lost four games. But we were not far away. We just didn’t win those crucial moments. They’ve played in England, so they have enough experience and motivation to go and win the game for Pakistan.”

Mahmood dismissed suggestions that if Pakistan win, for the first time since beating South Africa in Johannesburg in January, it would be a major upset. “We can beat them,” he said. “It’s not an upset. We have the ability to beat them.”

England, who launched their quest to win the World Cup for the first time with a 104-run rout of South Africa at the Oval in which fast bowler Jofra Archer starred may now, in the light of Pakistan’s problems against short-pitched bowling, unleash Wood in partnership with the Sussex speedster.

Possible line-ups

Pakistan: Imamul-Haq, Fakhar Zaman, Babar Azam, Shoaib Malik, Mohammad Hafeez , Sarfaraz Ahmed, (capt,wk), Asif Ali, Shadab Khan, Mohammad Amir, Hasan Ali / Mohammad Hasnain, Wahab Riaz

England: Jason Roy, Jonny Bairstow, Joe Root, Eoin Morgan (capt), Ben Stokes, Jos Buttler (wk), Moeen Ali, Tom Curran, Mark Wood, Adil Rashid, Jofra Archer.