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Shockwaves were sent to the England dressing room when the majority of members of the England squad tested positive for COVID-19 altogether.

The series was under an immense threat and it felt like the series may be suspended but England's rapid decision-making of putting out an alternate squad for the series has kept the series alive. England will be hosting Pakistan in a three-match ODI series on July 8. Will Pakistan prevail against the World Champions?

England enters the series after a thumping series win against Sri Lanka. However, it would be interesting to see how this reformed England squad fares against Pakistan, with Dawid Malan being the only player who was a part of the older squad too.

Several uncapped players are picked, with Ben Stokes leading from the front. 

Match Toss Time: 12:30 pm Local (17:00 IST)

Match Start Time: 13:00 pm Local (17:30 IST)

Match Venue: Sophia Gardens, Cardiff

Head to Head

Matches Played: 88, England:53, Pakistan: 32, N/R: 3

Weather Conditions 

Passing showers are anticipated but hopefully, the game will reach its conclusion without much trouble. Humidity will be high, while the temperature is expected to vary around the 30-degrees mark.

Pitch Report

The pitch may not help the batsmen much as we expect rain. However, the fast bowlers will get some assistance and will be able to perform better.  Spinners may get some assistance too, and batting first will be an ideal option on the pitch. Once set, batsmen can keep ticking the scoreboard but they may have to toil a lot in the beginning.

Team News

The hosts will have several new faces in the game, and it will be an opportunity for each one of them to prove themselves. 

The visitors though have a fully ready squad for the tour. Babar Azam, Mohammad Rizwaan, Shaheen Afridi, and Fakhar Zaman will all be playing. Pakistan would want to put up a great fight against England and prove that they are still one of the formidable sides in cricket.

Probable Playing XI 

England (ENG): Ben Stokes (c), James Vince, Ben Duckett (wk), Dawid Malan, Dan Lawrence, Phil Salt, Will Jacks, Craig Overton, Jake Ball, Saqib Mahmood, Matthew Parkinson

Pakistan (PAK): Babar Azam (c), Fakhar Zaman, Imam-ul-Haq, Sohaib Maqsood, Mohammad Rizwan (wk), Haris Sohail, Shadab Khan, Shaheen Afridi, Hasan Ali, Usman Qadir, Haris Rauf

Must Picks 

Ben Stokes, Mohammad Rizwaan, Babar Azam, and Dawid Malan have a reputation of performing consistently and the same can be expected from this in this series too. Thus, not having them in your team could be a terrible mistake to make.

James Vince from England and Hasan Ali from Pakistan also are must Picks at least for the series opener.

Interesting facts

* None of the players from the Pakistan squad were born when the last time Pakistan won a series in England.

* Ben Stokes is just 2 ODIs away from 100 ODI caps.

*Pakistan skipper Babar Azam is the 3rd active highest run-scorer for Pakistan against England with 639 runs to his name. He is 125 runs behind the highest run-getter- Mohammed Hafeez, who has scored 764 runs.

ENG vs PAK Fantasy Team 

Eng vs Pak fantasy team England
Cricwizz fantasy team

Captain and Vice-captain Picks 

Babar Azam Ben Stokes England
Babar Azam (C) and Ben Stokes (Vc)

Disclaimer 

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