Although England’s bowling in the Test series can no way be blamed for the whitewash 3-0 defeat, it may pay to pick the unused Steven Finn at 5/1 to be their top wicket-taker in the first one-day clash with Pakistan.
Finn was one of the few positives England can take from the one-day series whitewash against India in October last year, taking ten wickets to emerge as England’s leading wicket taker across the five matches.
Meanwhile, Finn will be in familiar territory in Abu Dhabi, returning to the scene where he first made his name on the international scene in February 2010 when he took two wickets in a T20 match for the England Lions against the senior side.
Pakistan will also be familiar to Finn, who in 2010 in just his second Test series took an impressive 13 wickets in four fixtures.
These facts make it slightly strange that he is the longest priced in the cricket odds of the five frontline bowlers named in the England one-day squad, especially given as he played no part in the Test series aside from water carrier in the drinks breaks.
Therefore, he comes into the series fresh, having not played any first class cricket since last year’s ODI series in India.
This will give him a large advantage over the likes of Staurt Broad and James Anderson, who despite bowling well through much of the Test series, will likely be jaded following a gruelling schedule of three back-to-back Test matches.
If looking for an alternative to Finn for leading English wicket taker in the first one-day encounter with Pakistan, Graeme Swann would be a better option than Broad and Anderson.
This is because spin will continue to play a key role in the one-dayers, as it did in the Test series.
Swann is justifiably joint favourite at 7/2 and unsurprisingly for a spinner has an impressive record in ODIs in the sub-continent with 32 wickets in 21 matches.