CARDIFF: England’s stand-in captain Ben Stokes opted to bowl first against Pakistan in the first ODI being played at the Sophia Gardens in Cardiff.
Pakistan is eyeing the top spot in the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup Super League as they take on a comparatively weaker England squad at the Sophia Gardens today.
COVID-19 hit the England camp just three days before the ODI series when seven members of their squad tested positive, including three cricketers, forcing them to announce a new squad.
This resulted in Stokes taking over the captaincy from regular skipper Eoin Morgan.
Pakistan skipper Babar Azam, however, was resolute to field his best team, showing no mercy at all for the new-look England team when he spoke from Derby.
Pakistan can replace England at the top of the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup Super League by winning the three-match ODI series.
England are leading with 65 points from 12 matches, winning six matches and losing five while one match was abandoned due to rain. Bangladesh are on the second position with five wins and four losses from nine matches and have 50 points.
Meanwhile, Pakistan, who has won four matches (two each against Zimbabwe and South Africa) and lost two from six matches are in third place with 40 points.
In the three-match series, the winning team will earn 10 points for each win.
If Pakistan win all three matches, they will gain 30 points and rise to the top position with 70 points at the end of the series. Meanwhile, if England win any of the three-match series, they will further consolidate their position at the top spot.