Just ahead of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019, Pakistan are poised to play a five-match ODI series against England which would help both sides especially the former to finalize their squads for the mega event.
Though Pakistan have already announced their World Cup squad which excludes Mohammad Amir and Asif Ali. However, both these players may ensure their places in the lineup with some extraordinary performances in the series against England.
Apart from them, fitness of some key Pakistani players, i.e Mohammad Hafeez would also be tested. Even though his participation at least in the first ODI is unlikely.
Shoaib Malik would be available for the second ODI and onwards, whereas the leg spinner Shadab Khan would miss the entire series.
By and large, the five-ODI series would be extremely instrumental for both Pakistan and England in terms of their World Cup preparations.
The two teams will meet at London today (May 8, 2019) for the first One Day International (ODI).
مشن ورلڈ کپ۔۔پاکستان اور انگلینڈ کے درمیان پانچ میچزکی ون ڈےسیریز کا آج سےلندن میں آغاز۔۔۔میچ شام 5بجےسےپی ٹی وی سپورٹس پربراۂ راست ۔۔۔ pic.twitter.com/7MfCPQPIeT
— PTV News (@PTVNewsOfficial) May 8, 2019
Currently, England stand at top in ICC ODI Rankings while Pakistan are at number six, indicating that the visitors might be wrestling with a tough situation ahead.
Last time, Pakistan won a bilateral series against England was way back in December 2005. Afterwards, Pakistan lost four series – two in England and two in United Arab Emirates (UAE) in a row while drew one.
Even England have an evident edge over Pakistan with 49 victories in 82 ODIs between them. But the last two ODIs held at Cardiff in September 2016 and June 2017 ended in Pakistan’s triumphs.