England gave the world a taste of what’s to be expected from them at the World Cup in their recent home-series victory over Pakistan.
Pakistan’s bowling attack has been hailed as one of the best in the world, but this never deterred the hosts from dispatching their visitors emphatically.
They cruised to a 3-0 series victory, scoring 373-3, 359-4 and 341-7 in three matches, sealing their five-match series with a game to spare after their opening clash finished as a no-result. The most impressive aspect of England’s performance is that on all three occasions they batted second.
Jason Roy tops the runs charts up to this point, with a high score of 114 and two half-centuries under his belt. The fact that three Pakistan batsmen are after Roy on the list is a reflection of England’s batting depth, indicating that they had contributions right down the order to chase down 340-plus consecutively.
Pakistan has thrown early warning signs too, as they managed to match England by becoming the first team in ODI history to score 340 or more in three consecutive games. Unfortunately, this record was erased by the Poms, who became the first side to chase down 340 or more in three consecutive games.
The series is a clear reflection of what is expected on England shores– wickets that favour batsmen and puts pressure on all seam attacks. If the totals racked up during this series are anything to go by, it could be an indication that scores of 400-plus are not out of reach as the summer heats up and tracks become flatter.
For South Africa this may be worrying, as they lack practice in setting totals above 300, scoring only two 300-plus totals in their last three series’ – 331 against Sri Lanka and 320 against Australia.
The Proteas bowlers will need to find a way to throttle England’s batting attack in the World Cup opener on 30 May at The Oval.
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