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England look to clinch series at another batting paradise

Eng v Pak, 4th ODI, preview

While they have continued to demonstrate their batting prowess with mammoth scores, England will look to improve their bowling, especially in the middle overs and at the death, when they clash against Pakistan in the fourth ODI on Friday, 17 May.

Overview

England v Pakistan
4th ODI
Trent Bridge, Nottingham
Friday, 17 May; 13:00 hrs local, 12:00pm GMT

Eoin Morgan's England have been a batting powerhouse in recent times, scoring in excess of 300 on a consistent basis in one-day cricket. They haven't lost a bilateral series at home since conceding a five-match series to Australia 2-3 in September 2015. Moreover, each of their high-scoring efforts in recent times has seen a different architect.

Besides, Ben Stokes showed some sparks of form in the third ODI. The Durham all-rounder had a mediocre IPL season. In Bristol, he scored 37 off 38 balls in England's successful chase of 359, before being run out.

England will be without regular captain Eoin Morgan, who has been banned from the game due to a slow over-rate offence in the Bristol game. His deputy, Jos Buttler, who had been rested for that match, is expected to return and lead the side. Jofra Archer, who was also rested for the previous two games, might get a look in as well.

Pakistan might have lost the previous two games, but the form of their openers, Fakhar Zaman and Imam-ul-Haq, will buoy them in the series decider. With back-to-back fifties, Asif Ali, too, has made a strong case for himself ahead of the World Cup.

Lack of wickets with the new ball was one of the major factors ailing Pakistan in Southampton and Bristol. On both occasions, they had to wait for more than 17 overs to get their first breakthrough - never a good sign against a strong batting line-up such as England's. The visitors will be eager to get back to winning ways before the World Cup.

Key Players

Jonny Bairstow (England): The wicket-keeper batsman has carried his rich form from the West Indies tour and the IPL into the series, where he has scores of 51 and 128. His ability to play pace and spin equally well makes him the player to watch out for in Nottingham.

Fakhar Zaman (Pakistan): Fakhar Zaman has been a top performer for Pakistan in the last few years. He scored a blistering 138 in the second ODI. Zaman has a history of performing in these conditions - he set up Pakistan's triumph in the ICC Champions Trophy 2017 with a century in the final. He will be eager to continue his good performances in the fourth ODI, but can it translate into a win for his side, as it had in that epic 2017 final?

Conditions

England amassed 444/3 and 481/6 in two of their last three completed games at Trent Bridge. Clear skies, minimal chances of rain and short boundaries might just produce another high-scoring entertainer.

Squads

England: Eoin Morgan (c), Moeen Ali, Jofra Archer, Jonny Bairstow, Jos Buttler (wk), 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, wk), Fakhar Zaman, Imam-ul-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

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