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England v Pakistan 1st ODI, Southampton - Preview

Eoin Morgan confident of good showing by England against in-form Pakistan in dry conditions in Southampton

England v Pakistan 1st ODI, Southampton - Preview - Cricket News
Ben Stokes will be back in the squad after recovering from his calf injury but Morgan insisted that the Durham allrounder will play as a specialist batsman for at least the first two matches.
England could field three spinners against Pakistan when the two sides lock horns for the first of five One-Day Internationals at the Ageas Bowl in Southampton on Wednesday (August 24). The prevailing dry conditions in the southern part of the country have persuaded Eoin Morgan, the skipper, and the England management, to consider the move.

In that case, Liam Dawson, the left-arm spinner from Hampshire, could make his ODI debut, with Moeen Ali and Adil Rashid completing the trio.

"Having Liam Dawson brings the option of playing three spinners and that is something we might have to take into consideration as we look ahead to the winter tours of Bangladesh and India," Morgan said ahead of the contest. "It will be a very tough series against Pakistan, especially as the recent weather means conditions may suit them more than they suit us initially. It is a good test leading into the winter."

Apart from the three spinners, England has Liam Plunkett, Chris Jordan, Chris Woakes, Mark Wood and newcomer Jake Ball to choose from in the pace-bowling department.

David Willey, who was named in the initial squad, was later replaced by Ball, the Nottinghamshire seamer, after Willey hurt himself while playing for Yorkshire during England’s T20 Finals Day on Saturday. Ball, 25, has played one Test match but is yet to make his limited-overs international debut.

In the batting department, Morgan exuded confidence in Alex Hales, who he expects to fire after a below-par run in the preceding four-Test series, which ended in a 2-2 draw.

"Alex played very well in the limited-overs matches in South Africa last winter even though he didn't have the best time in the Tests," Morgan pointed out "He played out of his skin. I have been in that position before and it's a nice feeling to be able to play with freedom in white-ball cricket. He has the backing of everyone."

Ben Stokes will be back in the squad after recovering from his calf injury but Morgan insisted that the Durham allrounder will play as a specialist batsman for at least the first two matches.



Pakistan, fresh from a commanding 1-0 victory over Ireland, wouldn't mind the familiar weather in Southampton, especially after rain ruined the second ODI in Malahide.

Azhar Ali's side is ranked ninth in the ICC Team Rankings for ODIs, but would be confident heading into the series with Sharjeel Khan, Shoaib Malik and Mohammad Nawaz in prime form. Sharjeel hit 152 off 82 balls to wreck Ireland when on Thursday, with Malik and Nawaz hitting fifties.

Imad Wasim and Umar Gul bagged eight wickets between themselves to wrap up the 255-run victory, and would look to continue the good work against England.

Teams (from)
England: Eoin Morgan (capt), Moeen Ali, Jonny Bairstow, Jos Buttler (wk), Liam Dawson, Chris Jordan, Alex Hales, Liam Plunkett, Adil Rashid, Joe Root, Jason Roy, Ben Stokes, Jake Ball, Chris Woakes, Mark Wood.

Pakistan: Azhar Ali (capt), Sharjeel Khan, Sami Aslam, Mohammad Hafeez, Babar Azam, Shoaib Malik, Sarfraz Ahmed, Mohammad Rizwan, Mohammad Amir, Wahab Riaz, Umar Gul, Hasan Ali, Imad Wasim, Yasir Shah, Mohammad Nawaz

Please click here to review the match in full in the ICC Match Centre.

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