England unchanged for Pakistan ODI series
LONDON: England on Saturday named an unchanged 16-player squad for the three-match One-day International series against Pakistan, which gets underway at Sophia Gardens in Cardiff on July 8.
England are already 2-0 up in their ODI series against Sri Lanka, with the final match taking place in Bristol on Sunday.
Tom Banton was a late call-up for that series, after Dawid Malan withdrew for family reasons, and he retains his place in the squad to face Pakistan.
Speaking in the wake of England’s eight-wicket win in the second ODI against Sri Lanka, at The Oval on Thursday, stand-in coach Graham Thorpe indicated that changes could be afoot for the Bristol fixture, as England seek to test their bench strength ahead of the Pakistan series, which he admitted was likely to be a stiffer test of their credentials than Sri Lanka have managed to offer.
“Potentially the Pakistan series could push us further,” Thorpe said. “We’ve been pleased with our own performances. We didn’t want any complacency to creep in. And because of the competition we have, the players want to put in good performances.
“Sri Lanka have a decent group of players, there’s no doubt about that. I think they’ve been weakened more on their batting side than their bowling unit but I believe Pakistan will be a team that’s further ahead in terms of experience and how they’ll be able to challenge. It’ll probably be a tougher contest.”
One player who could come into the mix for the Bristol match is George Garton, the Sussex left-arm fast bowler. If selected, he will be making his England debut, three years after he was drafted into the Test squad as a replacement in the 2017-18 Ashes.
Liam Dawson, Hampshire’s left-arm-spinning all-rounder, is another player who has yet to feature in either match so far, and could be set for his first England appearance since 2018, having been a non-playing reserve in the 2019 World Cup-winning squad.
England will name their squad for the Twenty20 International leg of the Pakistan series later this month, a series which will serve as an important pointer ahead of the T20 World Cup in the UAE and Oman this winter.
“I think it will be a very good series,” all-rounder Moeen Ali said. “Pakistan are normally a very good side, they give us good games, and I think they’ll be a stronger opposition than Sri Lanka, which means you get more of a chance to bat and bowl as a player who’s down the order, for example, and hasn’t been bowling much.
“Definitely, they are one of the best [T20I] teams in the world, along with West Indies, India, Australia,’ he said. “I think Pakistan are our bogey-team in World Cups, they always seem to do really well against us, so we can’t take them lightly at all, they are a fantastic team with quality players,” Moeen added.
The remaining ODIs will be played at Lord’s on July 10 and Edgbaston on July 13.
Squad: Eoin Morgan (captain), Jason Roy, Jonny Bairstow, Joe Root, Sam Billings, Moeen Ali, Chris Woakes, Sam Curran, Tom Curran, Liam Livingstone, David Willey, Mark Wood, Adil Rashid, Tom Banton, Liam Dawson, George Garton.