Ed Hawkins previews the final ODI from Edgbaston on Tuesday and expects bowlers to hold sway early on...
"For game two, we thought Pakistan would improve for the run. And they did. But it was with the ball and not the bat."
England v Pakistan
Tuesday 13 July 13.00
TV: live on Sky Sports
Do England change it?
England find themselves in the peculiar position of a dead rubber against a top side with their third- or fourth-choice XI running high. Do they stick with the same team that has so admirably taken a 2-0 lead or do they, cheekily, decide to take a look at other talent?
Possible switches might be Ben Duckett for John Simpson with the gloves, Will Jacks for Dawid Malan, Dan Lawrence for Zak Crawley and Tom Helm for Brydon Carse in the pacer's slot. Maybe Danny Briggs or Jake Ball for Craig Overton. Not that those players have been off the pace. In all likelihood England will reward the players with another opportunity to break into the first-team proper.
England have discovered that in Lewis Gregory, Saqib Mahmood, Matt Parkinson and Overton they have good bowling depth. And that quarter could well put pressure on Eoin Morgan's choices considering they have been consistently pricey. Mahmood should be elevated at the first chance after banishing memories of a poor series against Ireland last summer.
Probable XI Salt, Malan, Crawley, Vince, Stokes, Simpson, Gregory, Overton, Carsem Mahmood, Parkinson
Pakistan must change
Pakistan would have fancied themselves to level affairs at Lord's. They had bowled well up top and then hit back after a partnership to knock over the hosts for 247. Hasan Ali claimed five wickets while Shaheen Shah Afridi was miserly.
It was exactly the sort of Pakistan bowling performance one has come to expect. Sadly, so was their batting. They just never got going. Their big three of Imam-ul-Haq, Fakhar Zaman and Babar Azam failed. Mohammad Rizwan has also been a disappointment.
In truth, they rely heavily on Fakhar and Babar for a fast start and anchor respectively. Without one doing their role they don't seem to be able to cope. One bright spot was the half-century of Saud Shakeel, however. His useful bowling has also given them better balance.
Changes are afoot. Faheem Ashraf is vulnerable and Usman Qadir might be given the chance to deploy his spin. Mohammad Nawaz is another option. Muhammad Hasnain could replace Haris Rauf. One from Abdullah Shafique or Aghar Salman could come in for batter Sohaib Maqsood
Possible XI Imam, Fakhar, Babar, Rizwan, Salman, Shakeel, Shadab, Hasan, Qadir, Afridi, Hasnain
As you would expect England have a good record at Edgbaston in ODI in a similar way to their solid sequence in Tests. They have won their last five, including the World Cup semi-final against Australia. That was the last ODI played there.
England bowled out Australia for 223 and won by eight wickets with more than 17 overs to spare. Previously in that 2019 tournament India defended 314 against Bangladesh, England defended 337 against India, Pakistan chased 236 against New Zealand and the Kiwis got after 241 versus South Africa with ease.
Overheads seem to have made the difference between big totals and not. At the moment, the forecast is for cloud cover. That could assist the seam and swing bowlers. There will be very little faith in Pakistan troubling 240-250 if they bat first with the sun hiding. Likewise England could find it hard. Laying the former and the latter at 240 and 260 respectively are bets for the notebook
Hosts get bigger in-play
England are 1.758/11 with Pakistan 2.265/4. Those odds are not surprising considering Pakistan have been so disappointing. But that doesn't mean we get involved with England at those prices.
That sort of starting price is the realms of very solid ODI performers. As impressive as these county performers have been, no-one could claim with a straight face they were that.
For game two we thought Pakistan would improve for the run. And they did. But it was with the ball and not the bat. So the best advice is to hope Pakistan bowl first and are able to put on a similar effort to HQ. We don't want to be relying on their batting.
Taking Pakistan at 2.265/4 (we don't expect much change after the flip) and looking for a trade to favourite status is a decent option.
Malan has been boosted to 10/3 for top England bat. His duck last time does not put us off. He was looking to attack and get on the front foot. It's not a bad wager.
Babar has been lifted to 13/5 by Sportsbook but with runmaking so tough for the tourists we can be forgiven for reckoning someone like Shadab Khan is the value at 18s. Hasan, turning himself into a bit of an all-rounder of late, is way too big at 80/1.
Ed Hawkins P-L
Based only on available prices. Does not include back-to-lay in-running advice or commission rate. Figures 2013-2016 on 1pt level stakes. Includes Hawk-Eye column p-l