- England are ranked fifth in the world in ODIs and beat Sri Lanka 3-0 in their most recent series earlier this summer. Opener Jason Roy was the top run-scorer against Sri Lanka after hitting two centuries, including a remarkable 162.
- Pakistan are currently ninth in the world after a difficult couple of years in ODI cricket. They lost 2-0 to New Zealand in their most recent full series, back in January, but did warm up for the England contest with a crushing 255-run victory over Ireland at Malahide, when Sharjeel Khan scored 152 from just 86 balls.
- England came from behind to beat Pakistan 3-1 in the last ODI series between the teams, in the UAE last November. Jos Buttler provided the highlight of the series, smashing England’s fastest ODI century, off just 46 balls.
While Pakistan showed a huge amount of skill and fighting spirit to hold England to a 2-2 draw in the Test series, their ODI form has been underwhelming for a considerable amount of time. The massive win over a weak Ireland side merely papered over the cracks, and Pakistan’s batting lineup does not appear to have the power to challenge England’s. The likes of Azhar Ali and Mohammad Hafeez have prehistoric career strike rates, both of 74, in comparison with the likes of Jos Buttler and Jason Roy, who both score their runs faster than a run a ball.
England also possess a much deeper batting line-up, with Liam Plunkett, who has three first-class centuries to his name, often slated to come in at No.11. There is no question that Pakistan have some classy bowlers, such as Mohammad Amir, Wahab Riaz and Yasir Shah, but there is such a gulf in the ODI records of many of the players that England should come out as convincing winners, perhaps even with a 5-0 whitewash.
In the individual markets, Mark Wood looks particularly good value at 5/1 to be England’s top bowler. He is set to be given a chance to start the series following David Willey’s injury and, if his pace and performance for Durham on T20 Finals Day is anything to go by, Pakistan’s batters should start to worry. A price of 6/1 on Buttler to be England’s top run-scorer is also tempting, with captain Eoin Morgan showing the flexibility in recent series to shuffle his batting order and give Buttler more of a chance to showcase his full repertoire of shots.
- Sports.net’s top tip: England to beat Pakistan 5-0 - 11/2