The ICC Cricket World Cup 2023 has reached a critical juncture, and the upcoming clash between Pakistan and England at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata is laden with high stakes.
Both teams have their sights set on securing a spot in the semifinals, and the outcome of this match hangs in the balance, contingent on the result of the New Zealand versus Sri Lanka game scheduled in Bengaluru.
If the match between New Zealand and Sri Lanka is disrupted due to adverse weather conditions, Pakistan’s path to the semifinals could become considerably smoother.
In such a scenario, a win against England would suffice for Pakistan to progress, given that both Pakistan and New Zealand currently sit on 8 points each.
However, if New Zealand prevails over Sri Lanka, Pakistan will need to secure a comprehensive victory over England to leapfrog the Kiwis in the Net Run Rate (NRR) standings.
While England has had a challenging campaign, marked by five consecutive defeats before finally notching a win against the Netherlands in their previous match, their journey is not over.
Although their semifinal hopes are dim, the team’s sights are now set on securing a coveted spot in the ICC Champions Trophy 2025.
The top seven teams in this World Cup, along with host Pakistan, will qualify for the prestigious tournament.
A win against the Netherlands lifted England to the seventh spot and improved their NRR to -0.885. Therefore, they still have much to play for in their final league match.
England’s campaign has been marred by inconsistency and missed opportunities.
In their previous encounter against the Netherlands, they appeared to be cruising at 133-1 before experiencing a mid-innings wobble, resulting in a score of 339-9.
A swashbuckling 108 off 84 deliveries by Ben Stokes played a pivotal role in England’s eventual victory with a substantial 160-run margin.
Dawid Malan, with a sublime 87 off 74 balls, has been a standout performer for England in this World Cup.
As the most successful batter for England, Malan will be eager to conclude the tournament on a high note.
The team will rely on young and dynamic Harry Brook to contribute significantly, especially with Jos Buttler and Joe Root struggling to find form.
However, England’s bowling has been their Achilles’ heel in this tournament.
With Adil Rashid and Chris Woakes being the standout performers, England’s bowlers will face the challenge of adapting to conditions that favor spinners.
Rashid and Moeen Ali are expected to excel in these conditions, and David Willey could also make an impact.
England Predicted Playing XI: Jonny Bairstow, Dawid Malan, Joe Root, Ben Stokes, Harry Brook, Jos Buttler (c & wk), Moeen Ali, Chris Woakes, David Willey, Gus Atkinson, Adil Rashid
Pakistan has displayed their characteristic resilience and made a remarkable comeback after a series of setbacks.
Despite four consecutive losses, their recent performance against New Zealand saw them scoring a remarkable 200-1 in 25.3 overs, securing a win by 21 runs through the Duckworth-Lewis-Stern (DLS) method.
Fakhar Zaman played a stellar knock of 126 off 81 balls, and his return to form has ignited hopes for Pakistan.
Captain Babar Azam, who has struggled earlier in the tournament, found his groove with an unbeaten 66 off 63 balls against New Zealand.
Mohammad Rizwan, who has faced a dip in form recently, is expected to contribute significantly in this crucial match.
Pakistan’s pace trio of Shaheen Afridi, Haris Rauf, and Mohammad Wasim Jr. is anticipated to exploit the favorable conditions at Bengaluru.
Additionally, Iftikhar Ahmed’s spin bowling in the middle overs will be crucial, as England’s batters are likely to target him.
Pakistan Predicted Playing XI: Abdullah Shafique, Fakhar Zaman, Babar Azam (c), Mohammad Rizwan (wk), Saud Shakeel, Iftikhar Ahmed, Agha Salman, Hasan Ali, Shaheen Afridi, Mohammad Wasim Jr, Haris Rauf
Pakistan ODI Stats and History:
- Total Matches Played: 969
- Matches Won: 512
- Matches Lost: 428
- No Result: 21
- Ties: 8
Pakistan, known for its mercurial performances and ability to surprise, boasts a rich cricketing history, having contested numerous battles on the international stage.
Their track record showcases their competitive spirit and the ability to triumph against formidable opponents.
England ODI Stats and History:
- Total Matches Played: 794
- Matches Won: 398
- Matches Lost: 357
- No Result: 31
- Ties: 8
England, with its legacy steeped in cricketing traditions, has consistently been a force in the ODI format.
Their track record reflects their resilience, competitive nature, and consistent performances on the global cricketing stage.
Pakistan vs. England head-to-head stats:
- Total Matches Played: 91
- Matches Won by Pakistan: 32
- Matches Won by England: 56
- No Result: 3
The history between Pakistan and England in ODIs encompasses a total of 91 matches, shaping a competitive narrative.
While England holds a statistical advantage in terms of wins, Pakistan has often proved to be a formidable adversary, securing victories in a notable number of encounters.
The head-to-head statistics exemplify the competitive spirit and closely fought battles between these cricketing powerhouses.
The weather in Kolkata is expected to favor an engaging game. During the day, the skies will be clear and warm, while the evenings are forecasted to be pleasantly cool.
Such conditions are optimal for an exhilarating cricketing contest, promising an exciting match between the two cricketing giants.
Pitch Analysis and Venue Insights
Eden Gardens, known for its storied history and thrilling cricketing contests, offers a pitch that is unique in nature.
Contrary to the usual batting paradises in India, this surface isn’t a cakewalk for batters.
The pitch tends to slow down after the initial overs, offering considerable grip and turn for spinners.
Batsmen will need to acclimate, patiently bide their time, and adjust their approach to navigate the tricky conditions.
Under lights, the ball exhibits significant movement, demanding cautious handling of the new ball.
In terms of scoring, the average first innings total at Eden Gardens hovers around 237.
However, recent matches have seen higher scores, such as India posting a formidable 326-5, indicating a pitch favoring the batsmen to some extent.
The team batting first should aim to set a target in the vicinity of 280 runs for a competitive advantage.
Toss and Winning Prediction
Out of the three World Cup matches held at Eden Gardens, the team batting first emerged victorious in two encounters, underscoring the advantage of setting a target in these conditions.
Considering the historical statistics and recent team performance, the winning prediction for this match leans slightly in favor of Pakistan against England.
While England holds a respectable record against Pakistan in World Cup encounters, recent performances in the tournament have been less than stellar.
Pakistan, on the other hand, appears to be hitting form at the right juncture, posing a formidable challenge, especially on the slow and challenging Kolkata surface.
England’s success hinges on their batters’ ability to withstand Pakistan’s potent bowling attack and potentially surprise their opponents.
The stakes are high, particularly with the Champions Trophy qualification at stake, adding an extra layer of significance to this crucial match.
Today’s Match Prediction: Pakistan
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