Chink in Pakistan’s UAE armour gives England ODI chance

Just like the last time England were playing against Pakistan in the United Arab Emirates, they head into the ODI series having been beaten in the Test arena. If the similarities from 2012 continue, Eoin Morgan’s mob will win 4-0.

Three years ago Alastair Cook was still the man in charge of the coloured-kit team. He helped respond to the humiliation of a 3-0 whitewash by scoring back-to-back centuries, as the visitors administered a clean sweep of their own.

Although the personnel is vastly different this time around, the limited overs specialists still face the same set of circumstances; exacting revenge for the Test series loss that has gone before them.

Morgan, who scored a paltry 66 runs in his four knocks back then, is now at the helm of a fearless unit who deal in nothing but all-out-attack. His side are 10/3 outsiders to win the series and 16/1 longshots to claim it 4-0.

As can be expected with a young side, there a number of uncertainties at play for the four games. The new faces – the likes of Jason Roy and Alex Hales with the bat and Reece Topley and David Willey with the ball – have largely never played international cricket in these conditions.

Searing heat, docile pitches and raucous crowds (yes there are actual humans expected to attend these games) all provide their own battles for the Three Lions’ young cubs to overcome, but there is hope that they can be successful.

Most of the anticipation comes from Pakistan’s polar opposite form in the UAE compared to their red-ball prowess. They have only won one of the last six ODI series held in their adopted home, and none of the last two.

Azhar Ali’s side are 10/11 to claim the series, which is far too short given their inconsistencies in the format and if England’s no-fear approach clicks it’ll be hard to curb.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Matt Wiggins

No idyllic sound comes close to leather on willow for Matt, whose previous experience includes stints with Spin Magazine and Surrey County Cricket Club. It's not just cricket that interests him though, with football, golf, tennis and any American sport not played on ice all high on his list of favourites.