Comments Off on Pakistan v England:

Pakistan v England:

imageAlastair Cook insists Kevin Pietersen will thrive as opener
An injury to Jos Buttler has denied England the injection of energy a new player can bring to the side, leaving them to rely an old face in a new guise to give them a lift when the one-day series against Pakistan begins on Monday.

Kevin Pietersen’s move to the top of the batting order is the only tactical change to the team beaten 5-0 in the one-day series in India last year, although key players Stuart Broad and Eoin Morgan are back having missed that trip through injury.

Buttler would have played today but for split webbing on his left hand that could rule him out of the series. Ravi Bopara is set to play on Monday instead but lower down the order.

Pietersen’s promotion is designed to build a platform for a big score but also to discover finally if he has any desire left for the 50-over format.

Failure from Pietersen in this series would leave Andy Flower with a decision to make over a batsman who has averaged 25.17 in this form of the game since his most recent century in November 2008.

England have backed Pietersen by restoring him to opener, an experiment cut short by injury at the last World Cup, while also publicly expressing confidence in his ability to rise to the challenge and help the side recover from the Test series whitewash.

“He’s excited about it, I’m excited about it and, when he’s in full flow in the powerplay, it’s going to be hard to stop him,” Alastair Cook, the one-day captain and Pietersen’s opening partner, said. “He’s a world-class player and to make the most of those first ten overs with two new balls you need a world-class player with a world-class technique. I don’t want to compare him to Matthew Hayden but you need people at the top who can play like that.”

This series is a hard challenge for Cook, in his second overseas assignment as captain of the 50-over team. Pakistan are a formidable one-day side and have not lost a series since 2010, winning 13 of their past 14 matches. They will continue ­England’s trial by spin, with four twirlers in the side, including Shahid Afridi, whose presence will galvanise the support in the stands, while his bowling and strokeplay add to an already talented team.

In the nets England have worked on hitting the spinners through the arc from mid-on to mid-off. The pressure is on to prove they have learned from their beating in India.

Their preparation, a match against the Lions, was mostly a futile exercise given the one-sided nature of the match and the fact it was played in daylight when the one-day series will be a floodlit contest.

“India was a while ago but one of the things we said at the time was that we tried as hard as we could and we came up quite a long way short again,” Cook said. “There’s no shame in that but there will be shame if we don’t learn individually from that and where you need to take your game forward.

“It’s been a tough five weeks as a Test tour but this is a fresh side and hopefully we can bring that enthusiasm into the one-day game.”

England (probable): Cook (capt), Pietersen, Trott, Morgan, Bopara, Kieswetter (wkt), Patel, Bresnan, Broad, Swann, Finn.
Pakistan (probable): Hafeez, Farhat, Shafiq, Younis Khan, Misbah-ul-Haq (capt), Afridi, Umar Akmal (wkt), Malik, Ajmal, Gul, Riaz.

Filed in: Sports

Share This Post

Recent Posts

© Daily-Tips.Net. All rights reserved.