Okay, the World Cup 2019 is well and truly underway and a few things are already clear. England have a very strong team and look to be the overwhelming favorites to lift the trophy. Pakistan look completely out of sorts. Their batting looks very brittle indeed, especially against quality fast bowling.
It is just surprising how Pakistan were shut out by the West Indies fast bowlers, who made a mincemeat of their batting lineup. England, if anything, have a better fast bowling attack led by the young and impressive Jofra Archer – who is fast and furious and very, very hungry. This is a young man who wants to be the star of the World Cup and will want to impress with every opportunity he gets.
But it’s not just about the bowling attack for England – they have an excellent batting line-up with the likes of Jonny Bairstow, Jason Roy and Jos Buttler leading the charge. Then there is Ben Stokes, the world’s best all-rounder. They are led superbly by Eoin Morgan, one of the calmest men in cricket, who never looks fazed under pressure.
We really cannot see a single weak link in the England line-up – batting, bowling or fielding. They have got all bases covered and will look to completely dominate this World Cup.
As for Pakistan, it looks like they have a cricket team that is still stuck in the 1990s, when they were led by Imran Khan, their current Prime Minister. They are a very old-fashioned cricket team, low on confidence, and even talent. Perhaps the last decade – when they were starved of international cricket – has really taken a toll on them. We really can’t see them doing much in this World Cup, where most of the matches will be played on fast, lively pitches.
England: 1 Jason Roy, 2 Jonny Bairstow, 3 Joe Root, 4 Eoin Morgan (capt), 5 Ben Stokes, 6 Jos Buttler (wk), 7 Moeen Ali, 8 Tom Curran, 9 Mark Wood, 10 Adil Rashid, 11 Jofra Archer.
Pakistan: 1 Imam-ul-Haq, 2 Fakhar Zaman, 3 Babar Azam, 4 Shoaib Malik, 5 Mohammad Hafeez , 6 Sarfaraz Ahmed, (capt,wk), 7 Asif Ali, 8 Shadab Khan, 9 Mohammad Amir, 10 Hasan Ali / Mohammad Hasnain, 11 Wahab Riaz
Expect a fast and lively pitch at Nottingham. Fast bowlers will enjoy the cloud cover. Rains expected.
Prediction: Easy win for England.