Pakistan v England limited overs preview

England are looking to bounce back in the limited overs leg of the UAE tour, having lost a Test series for the first time since the start of 2009. On the face of it, they look about as likely to bounce back as they are to go back in time and play the Test series over. Since returning home from that ill-fated tour of the West Indies England have won 31 and lost 30 ODIs, but are 14-17 away from home. In Asia, going back to when England played Pakistan in 2005, England have won just 13 and lost 25 ODIs. England will make some changes to the side that was beaten in the Tests, with Bell out of the side and KP set to open. Tim Bresnan is also back fit and will provide a good bowling option, whilst Steven Finn performed admirably in India last year. I very much doubt any of that will be enough for England to perform any better than they did in India, however. Pakistan are probably a tougher challenge than India, and England did not make that series close.

England are also considered the best T20 team at the moment and are still World Champions in that format, but were also hammered by the West Indies at the end of last summer. (Though I got the impression that no one really cared.) England also won the T20 in India, which was reasonably impressive. There will be three T20s, so it will be interesting to see how a full series plays out. The short form of the game makes it very hard to predict the result, but I think that uncertainty will benefit England. After the results in the Tests, the T20s are probably their best chance to get something out of the tour. At the very least it will be practice for the T20 World Cup in Sri Lanka.

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