Pakistan vs England: The third cricket world cup is due to be held in West Indies. Both the countries have sent a contingent to the West Indies to compete for the title. Last year, Pakistan won the first two games out of three at the tri-series but this time around the English side is leading the four games. On paper Pakistan has the slightly better team but their all round game management is being questioned. I really think that it is batting and bowling that will win the title for Pakistan but I also believe England can win this one. In this article I will compare my thoughts with that of my friend, Zak Crawley.
Both players are from Somerset in England and have a lot in common. They both play aggressive on the field and are focused on scoring runs and getting wickets. This is something that Pakistan has been lacking in the past matches and they have been scoring fewer runs than they should be doing. This is what makes me believe that Pakistan will be having a tough time against England in this 3rd test series.
Let us start off with the batting stats for Pakistan vs England. This is not a very reliable stat as it is very difficult to assess a batsman once he has been out. But this is a good thing for me as I am more of a believer in statistics. Cricket fans are all too familiar with the stats behind players such as Mushtaq Muhammad and Sarfraz Ahmed, who have been dropped after a few months. There are no guarantees when a player is dropped and it does not help your confidence level when playing at a top level. You need to keep your chin up and remember that you have to be able to perform whenever an opportunity comes your way.
In terms of the overall team performance, it has to be said that Pakistan are missing the opportunity to gel as a team this time around. It is amazing that Al Azhar University has built a strong reputation as one of the top sides in the country and yet their performance in the three matches against England has been pretty disappointing. They only managed to win one of the three matches and that was against a very inferior side in UAE. So I do not see much reason why they can go into this England test series and perform as they have been doing recently.
The other teams that have qualified for this England test match are Sri Lanka, West Indies and New Zealand. These are teams that have a lot to play for and they know that they are going to come against a top class team such as Pakistan. I personally feel that Pakistan are favourites to win the series but I do not think that they will be favourites to beat any of the top three sides in the tournament. I personally think that New Zealand has the edge on the basis of some good performances at the back end of the IPL season and Sri Lanka have always looked good against the top sides but one does not feel that they will overpower Pakistan in any way.
So this leaves us with the two other contenders for the title. We now turn to Pakistan, who have a number of factors that they need to consider over the English team to win this fixture. The first aspect is that they need to improve on their slow batting performance that has been the case in all three matches. Although Asad Shafiq has improved his game a lot, it is only lately that he has clicked as a solid player. There are times when he does not seem to be in the right position to hit the ball correctly and this often leads to runs being unproductive. This means that the team needs to find a way of correcting this problem if they want to win this series against England.
Then, we come to the other side that could surprise everyone with their ability to score runs as well as take wickets. The obvious choice here would be Sukhwinder Singh, who has been playing for the Punjab Indians for the last few years. With both bat and ball have huge appeal to fans of cricket, it is little wonder that this side is challenging Pakistan in this three-match IPL tournament. They will need all the experience that they can get against the English players to help them win this encounter in a three-match IPL tournament.
In the end, I do not think that either side will have an easy time winning this IPL tournament. I also do not think that either side will emerge as the winner by a significant margin. But this is only possible if the players and teams play their part on the digital platform 3rd test live cricket.