Hosts have a two-nil lead in the five-match ODI series
Pakistan and England will square off once again in the fourth one-day international (ODI) of the five-match series, at Nottingham on May 17, 2019.
England have an unassailable two-nil lead in the series, courtesy of a one-sided victory in the third ODI. They will be looking to win the series with a game to spare, in the next match.
Pakistan team in focus
Despite the defeat in the third ODI, opener Imamul Haq’s record breaking century was one of the positives for Pakistan.
Imam has had a phenomenal career so far, making more than 1000 runs at an average of 55.90. His century in the last game made him the fastest batsman to score six centuries in terms of innings.
The opener is usually blamed for having a slow strike-rate but his brilliant 151, however, came off just 131 balls, which proves that he is capable of scoring fast.
Fellow opener Fakhar Zaman got out cheaply in the third ODI but as he showed in the second ODI, he can fire when necessary and therefore Imam’s form will complement his aggressive batting nicely.
All-rounder’s Shoaib Malik and Mohammad Hafeez will most likely feature in Pakistan's lineup, which should provide a big boost to a side in need of experience. They can slot in place of Haris Sohail and Faheem Ashraf respectively, so that Pakistan can have more depth in the batting department.
Middle-order batsman Asif Ali continues to impress in this series. He now has two half centuries from as many matches against one of the best bowling attacks in the world, in their home conditions. His 52 off 43 balls helped Pakistan reach a big total in the last ODI.
Leg-spinner Shadab Khan’s absence has severely dented the team combination of Pakistan. Left-arm spinner Imad Wasim and Leg-spinner Yasir Shah have been ineffective in managing their economy rates or taking wickets.
The two spinners have bowled a total of 24 overs in two ODI’s and have given away 165 runs and taken only two wickets.
Spin therefore is still a major concern for Pakistan. Both spinners need to step up their game in Shadab’s absence, in order to put the pressure back on England.
There is still no word from Amir, so we will probably see the same attack get another crack at England’s formidable batting line-up. The fast-bowlers need to provide regular breakthroughs for Pakistan in order to challenge the number-one ODI side.
England team in focus
England, through their dominant performances in the last two ODI’s, have shown why they are the number one ranked side in this format. Their depth in all departments makes them a formidable side and favourites to win the upcoming ICC World Cup.
England rested their second ODI centurion Jos Buttler in the third ODI. It hardly seemed to matter as right-handed batsman Jonny Bairstow made a mockery of the Pakistan bowling attack. His innings of 128 came off just 93 balls and was a scintillating display of power hitting.
His opening partner Jason Roy shrugged off a shaky start, where he offered a simple chance to fast-bowler Shaheen Shah Afridi at mid-off, which was dropped, to produce an innings of 76 off 55 balls that took the game away from Pakistan.
Both openers will be keen to replicate this performance in the fourth ODI as well, in order to build momentum for their side ahead of the World Cup.
All-rounders Ben Stokes and Moeen Ali have not had a significant impact on the series so far because of the performances of the upper-order batsman. If given a chance in the fourth ODI they can turn in the kind of performances that can single-handedly win their side matches.
Pitch and weather conditions
The pitch at Nottingham is notorious for producing high-scoring encounters. England have made two 400-plus scores on this venue previously, against Australia and Pakistan.
The weather conditions on match day are likely to be cloudy which could assist the fast-bowlers. Chances of rain are 20 per cent which might result in some interruptions to the game.
England: Eoin Morgan (c), Moeen Ali, Jofra Archer, Jonny Bairstow, Jos Buttler, Tom Curran, Joe Denly, Chris Jordan, Liam Plunkett, Adil Rashid, Joe Root, Jason Roy, Ben Stokes, James Vince, David Willey, Chris Woakes, Mark Wood.
Pakistan: Sarfaraz Ahmed (c), Fakhar Zaman, Imamul Haq, Abid Ali, Babar Azam, Haris Sohail, Shoaib Malik, Mohammad Hafeez, Imad Wasim, Yasir Shah, Hasan Ali, Faheem Ashraf, Junaid Khan, Shaheen SHah Afridi, Mohammad Hasnain, Mohammad Amir, Asif Ali.