The third and final game of the three-match ODI series between England and Pakistan takes place on Tuesday and the hosts look on course for a 3-0 clean sweep.
Despite being forced to undertake a complete change of personnel on the eve of the first one-dayer, England have dominated the first two matches and it’s likely to be more of the same on Tuesday.
The surprise bonus for the selectors is the way that the fringe players have pushed their claim to be regulars in the ODI squad and although it might not happen straight away, several have made a statement.
Phil Definitely Worth his Salt
At just 24, Phil Salt has shown he is a player to watch going forward, with the Sussex batsman smashing an impressive 60 off 54 balls in Saturday’s 52-run win for England.
The opener looks comfortable at international level and will be determined to push his claim for future chances, having lived up to being tipped here to lead the way for his side on Saturday.
Salt admitted afterwards that he went with the England ethos, which is often spelt out by limited-overs captain Eoin Morgan – “we take the positive option”.
The hosts were 21-2 but instead of trying to slowly build a score, Salt took the game to Pakistan and put the tourists on the back foot with England reaching 118 by the time he lost his wicket.
The Welsh-born right-hander admitted afterwards: “I’d love to play for England for as long as I possibly can. Obviously, we’re the best side in the world so, it’s a tough one to break into.
“I’ve not got any sort of route into the side planned out in my head. But at the moment, for these three games, it’s about taking every opportunity that I can with both hands.”
With those thoughts in his mind, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see Salt shine again and he can be backed at
18/5 to be the home team’s top batsman.
After a half-century in the opening win, Dawid Malan fell for a duck at Lord’s, but expect a response from the T20 star, who is seeking his first ODI century.
A ton at Edgbaston, a venue where England have won their last five ODI matches, for the Yorkshire ace can be backed at
Pakistan Batting a Cause for Concern
Several pundits expressed their concerns at the strength of Pakistan’s batting line-up going into the series and that has been highlighted in the opening two matches.
The tourists have been all out for under 200 at both Cardiff and Lord’s, even against a weakened England bowling attack.
Opener Imam-ul-Haq has scored just one run in two innings so far and he and Babar Azam will have to step up if Pakistan are going to have any chance of avoiding a whitewash.
Babar is the number one ranked batsman in the ODI standings and is too good a player not to come rediscover his top form. The Pakistan skipper is
2/1 to be his country’s top batsman at Edgbaston and is
6/4 to score 50+ runs.
*All odds correct at time of writing