England is truly the team to beat in this world cup. Their performance since the World Cup of 2015 has been mercurial to say the least. Many pundits are predicting them to be the eventual winners of the gold. They have dominated by both bat and ball and have scored world record totals for fun. The venue for Monday’s match against Pakistan is once again Trent Bridge Nottingham where both world record totals were scored by them. To add even more fuel, the pitch to be used will be the one on which both these totals were scored.
This comes in the background of 11 successive defeats to Pakistan from which none was more humiliating than the torrid start to their world cup campaign a few days back at the same venue. Pakistan is low on confidence and self-belief. Their batsman can expect another trial by the short ball and their bowlers can expect another attempted massacre by the English batsman who have their eyes set on reaching the 500 runs mark. On the face of it, it seems like another one sided affair and another hard day for Pakistani fans.
But then again, this is Pakistan we’re talking about whose forte has always been the unpredictability of their performance. All that could go wrong did go wrong for Pakistan against West Indies and barring record low totals or margins of defeat, there isn’t much more that could go wrong. Knowing from the past, Mickey Arthur would have given his boys an earful no doubt. Some serious introspection must have happened for sure and some attempt to correct the wrongs of the last game must have been made. Will we truly see a new and rejuvenated Pakistan team on Monday, time will tell. All depends on their fielding, whether the big guns in their bowling fire or not and whether the batsman can handle the short ball barrage. England on the other hand are also due a bad game. They haven’t had one for a while and the law of averages might help out Pakistan here. Wishful thinking at its best indeed!
On recent form, England will take this one for sure. But counting Pakistan out is never a wise option either. As a Pakistani fan and supporter, let’s hope for the best.
P.s. Weather forecast is absolutely clear. Rain will not be coming to Pakistan’s rescue if things go badly wrong.