England believe that promoting Kevin Pietersen to the top of the order will give him the best chance of overcoming his miserable Test form with Pakistan by shining in the four one-day matches.
The first of these takes place on February 13th in Abu Dhabi and there appear to be two or three logical reasons as to why Andy Flower may opt to open with Pietersen.
It can be viewed as an attempt to boost the tempo of England’s innings with the likes of Alastair Cook and Jonathan Trott not considered quick enough scorers to take full advantage of the powerplay overs.
Meanwhile, it could also giving Pietersen the opportunity to score valuable runs before the spinners who have been causing him so many problems of late come in, especially left-arm bowler Abdur Rehman.
Pietersen averaged just over 11 in the three Tests with Pakistan and he has hardly been on fire in one-day cricket for some time, failing to hit a century in 34 ODI innings since scoring an unbeaten century in November 2008 against India.
The decision is certainly a brave one from Flower, given that Pietersen averages just 32 in the four ODIs in which he has opened the batting compared to averages in the high 30s when batting in the middle order.
Pietersen is 7/2 in the cricket odds to be England’s top runscorer in the first one-day encounter, with the team to be led by Cook priced at 5/4 to beat Pakistan.
Another to have a woeful time in the recent Test series against Pakistan was Eoin Morgan, but he looks good value at 9/2 to top score for England in the first one-day showdown with Pakistan.
Morgan is a specialist in the shorter form of the game and has an impressive record against Pakistan, averaging 45, while his record in Asia is similarly impressive, scoring 350 runs in just nine appearances on the sub-continent.
Of the batsmen who remain in the England ODI setup from the last series between these two sides, Morgan top scored with 225 runs from the five matches.