Pakistan vs England, ICC World Cup: Buttler opts to bat

Pakistan vs England, ICC World Cup: Buttler opts to bat

Kolkata: The match is being played at the Eden Gardens, Kolkata. England’s defence of their 2019 World Cup triumph has been rather disappointing, with the team securing only two wins in eight matches in India. Jos Buttler and his team struggled to adapt to the conditions, leading to an early exit from semi-final contention in the tournament.

They also faced a significant challenge regarding their qualification for the ICC Champions Trophy 2025, as only the top eight teams in the current tournament will make it to that event. However, a substantial victory against the Netherlands has improved their standing.

Opting to bat first against the Dutch, Ben Stokes scored his first World Cup century, enabling England to post 333/9 in 50 overs. In response, the Netherlands struggled against England’s spin threat, with Moeen Ali and Adil Rashid each claiming three wickets. The Dutch team was bowled out for 179, resulting in England winning by 160 runs.

On the other hand, Pakistan’s chances of reaching the World Cup semi-finals depended on a favour from Sri Lanka. Unfortunately, Sri Lanka did not provide the assistance, leaving Pakistan with a nearly impossible task against England. The 1992 champions must defeat the English team by 287 runs or with 284 balls remaining if they bat second.

Their only hope lies in batting first and setting a substantial score. Their recent batting performance against New Zealand in Bengaluru was encouraging, as they emerged victorious despite conceding 400 runs.

Head to Head

England and Pakistan have encountered each other in ten matches in the ICC ODI World Cup. Out of these 10 games, England has emerged victorious in four, while Pakistan has triumphed on five occasions. One match concluded without a result.

The highest total posted by England is 334 runs, while the highest score achieved by Pakistan is 348 when these two teams have clashed in the WC. Pakistan’s lowest total is 134, and England’s lowest is 165 in this prestigious event.

Pitch Report

The surface at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata might favour the batsmen. Therefore, a high-scoring encounter is anticipated on a pitch that offers value for players skilled in stroke-making. As the game progresses, spinners will seek to exploit the conditions. Opting to bowl first could prove to be a prudent decision at Eden Gardens.

Probable lineups

England: Jonny Bairstow, David Malan, Joe Root, Ben Stokes, Harry Brook, Jos Buttler (C), Moeen Ali, Chris Woakes, David Willey, Gus Atkinson, Adil Rashid

Pakistan: Abdullah Shafique, Fakhar Zaman, Babar Azam (C), Mohammad Rizwan (wk), Saud Shakeel, Shadab Khan, Iftikhar Ahmed, Agha Salman, S Afridi, Mohammad Wasim, Haris Rauf