PREVIEW - ENGLAND vs PAKISTAN, 1st ODI 24/8/16


Tuesday, 23rd August, 2016.

Tomorrow sees the first One Day International between England and Pakistan, with the two countries playing five ODIs and one T20i following a superb test series, which finished a very fair 2-2.

The Ageas Bowl in Southampton hosts this first ODI, and the match, which starts at 2pm UK time, is live on Sky Sports 2, and after several rain ruined Test matches in the last few days, cricket fans will be pleased that the weather forecast is for warm sunshine, so there's unlikely to be much activity on the Completed Match Market.  

The Ageas Bowl is likely to be bathed in sunshine tomorrow...

Venue Data:-

England played two ODIs in Southampton in 2015, against New Zealand and Australia, with the first innings scores being closely matched at 302 and 305 respectively.  Overall, in these two matches, a run rate of 6.08 runs per over were scored, and each wicket cost 35.12 runs - both of these figures are slightly over the worldwide ODI mean from 2014-2016.

It's very dangerous to use ground data from the county 50 over (Royal London Cup) matches unless you compare that also to the tournament mean, because squad depth in batting and bowling is much different to One Day Internationals.  This is also the case for old historical ODIs at the venue, given that the game has evolved greatly in the last few years, and par scores are hugely different.

However, I think it's fair to look at the 2013 data also, which also ironically featured matches against New Zealand and Australia.  Including those matches in the overall data, runs were accumulated at 6.13 per over, and each wicket cost 35.42.  Both of these figures were significantly above the ODI mean numbers, so it would appear that the Ageas Bowl is a pitch well suited to batsmen.

Interestingly, England lost all these four matches, and also lost the previous match against South Africa in 2012, so their recent venue record isn't great, despite the fact that my data shows that there is an overall home advantage in ODIs.

Betting Odds:-

At the time of writing, England are the 1.52 favourites on Betfair, and with bookmakers, Joe Root (4.5), Alex Hales (5.0) and Jason Roy (5.0) are the three favourites for top run scorer for England.  Pakistan batsmen Sharjeel Khan (5.0), Mohammad Hafeez (5.5) and Shoaib Malik (5.5) are the three favourites in quite an open market for the visitors.

Joe Root is favourite to be England's top run scorer...

Squad Information:-
Please note that the adjusted expectation averages take into account innings difficulty from players' domestic and international matches around the world, and relates them to the conditions of the relevant match.   Batting data would be the expectations against an average bowler, whilst bowling data would be the expectations against an average batsman.

ENGLAND





Player

Final Adj Batting Ave

Final Adj Batting SR

Final Adj Bowling Ave

Final Adj Bowling Econ






Eoin Morgan (c)

33.04

95.12

N/A

N/A

Moeen Ali

28.64

106.20

41.88

5.04

Jonny Bairstow

27.24

97.98

N/A

N/A

Jos Buttler

41.89

125.50

N/A

N/A

Liam Dawson

34.44

97.31

43.80

5.31

Chris Jordan

12.57

100.20

34.04

5.96

Jason Roy

37.46

109.04

N/A

N/A

Ben Stokes

29.33

101.42

35.77

6.00

Chris Woakes

23.29

89.21

43.49

5.87

Mark Wood

9.70

90.22

42.79

5.65

Jake Ball

8.31

116.30

41.11

6.36

Alex Hales

39.74

104.19

N/A

N/A

Liam Plunkett

22.24

150.92

30.77

5.61

Adil Rashid

23.26

103.17

36.09

5.64

Joe Root

50.41

92.32

55.67

5.39


England have a batting line-up which is very strike-rate orientated with only Joe Root, Jos Buttler, Alex Hales and Jason Roy having an adjusted average over 37.  Considering the adjusted average takes into account that England are at home, and on a likely batsman friendly wicket, this doesn't look good on captain Eoin Morgan, or other batsmen Moeen Ali, Jonny Bairstow and Ben Stokes.  

However, as mentioned above, what England boast is a high strike rate amongst most batsmen, with - of the front-line batsmen - only Morgan, Bairstow and Root (who has typically played the anchor innings in matches over the last few years) not being expected to score at least at a run a ball.

Jos Buttler (125.50 adjusted expected strike rate) has excellent numbers, particularly when you take into account his expected adjusted average against the average bowler of 41.89.  Openers Jason Roy and Alex Hales also boast good numbers, averaging well above the ODI average per wicket and per over.  

Jos Buttler has superb adjusted data for one-day internationals...

Other players worth keeping an eye out for include new to the ODI squad, Liam Dawson, on his home ground.  Dawson's Royal London Cup batting data was strong and despite the fact that the RL Cup is a much weaker level, his adjusted batting numbers still translated well to the international stage.  However his bowling expectations are poor, and in this format he almost looks like a batting all-rounder.  Liam Plunkett's numbers indicate he's an incredibly useful asset to have batting at 8 or 9, with an expected average over 20 and an expected strike rate in excess of 150.  

David Willey's absence with a hand injury gives Jake Ball a chance and the Nottinghamshire quick isn't expected to go well based on the data.  His Royal London Cup numbers are poor and he is likely to be expensive, at an expected 6.36 economy rate against an average batsman.  Ben Stokes (6.00) and Chris Jordan (5.96) also have poor expected economy stats, with Chris Woakes not much better.

Woakes, this year, has poor ODI bowling figures and hasn't recorded good RL Cup bowling numbers for a few years either, so it would be questionable whether he'd make my preferred team.  In fact, of the bowlers, Plunkett was the only bowler whose numbers were particularly decent.  

This data also lends itself to the theory that this match will be high scoring, particularly if England bat first, with England likely to score fast but be unable to take wickets as regularly as average, and at a high economy rate.

The England team below was selected on data, and the data didn't rate any of the bowler choices of Wood, Woakes or Ball.  Wood, on economy rate, just got in.  I feel it is quite dangerous to assume that Wood, just because he's been superb in T20s of late, will suddenly be able to do well in ODIs.  His career data doesn't really indicate he will.

Best England team (from the squad selection) based on data:-

Hales, Roy, Root, Morgan (c), Buttler (wk), Stokes, Ali, Plunkett, Rashid, Jordan, Wood.

PAKISTAN





Player

Final Adj Batting Ave

Final Adj Batting SR

Final Adj Bowling Ave

Final Adj Bowling Econ






Azhar Ali (c)

42.49

81.82

43.11

6.18

Sharjeel Khan

32.04

103.81

N/A

N/A

Sami Aslam

47.73

82.75

N/A

N/A

Mohammad Hafeez

43.68

87.84

N/A

N/A

Babar Azam

41.31

82.92

71.04

8.48

Shoaib Malik

61.93

103.36

57.68

5.31

Sarfraz Ahmed

32.81

92.75

N/A

N/A

Mohammad Rizwan

40.47

92.83

N/A

N/A

Imad Wasim

30.70

79.80

40.10

4.83

Yasir Shah

13.50

92.91

36.36

4.96

Mohammad Nawaz

31.81

90.37

35.54

5.02

Mohammad Amir

17.23

78.32

25.29

4.57

Wahab Riaz

16.67

91.37

31.12

5.49

Umar Gul

7.49

77.99

46.12

5.78

Hasan Ali

8.83

98.93

25.23

5.54


The first thing immediately apparent from looking at the Pakistan team data is that it's completely the opposite of England's, and almost set up like a test team.

Low adjusted averages and high adjusted strike rates have been replaced with high adjusted averages and low adjusted strike rates, while the Pakistan bowlers look better than England's, and are certainly expected to be more economical, with three bowlers boasting adjusted economy rates of below 5.

Sharjeel Khan and Shoaib Malik - who has incredible numbers in both Pakistan domestic cricket and ODIs and available at 9/2 (5.50) to be top run scorer for Pakistan tomorrow - are the only batsmen who have an adjusted strike rate of over 100 (a run a ball) and on this basis, Pakistan will have to rely on England bowling badly - more than possible - for them to score more than 300.  

Shoaib Malik's adjusted one day batting data is superb...

Certainly, with the high averages indicating stability, a Pakistan collapse is unlikely, and Sami Aslam, with an adjusted average of 47.73, looks to be a very strong batsman also, as his test performances at the end of the series demonstrated.

Mohammad Amir and a lesser known name, Hasan Ali, look to be the pick of the Pakistan bowlers.   22 year old Ali has superb domestic figures (better than the other Pakistan bowlers) which despite the relative weakness of the one day Pakistan domestic game, mathematically translate well to the international stage.  

Umar Gul's data indicates that the 32 year old's best days are likely to be behind him, whilst Imad Wasim's numbers were surprisingly poor given his T20 figures, although they were again economical.

Best Pakistan team (from the squad selection) based on data:-

Azhar Ali (c), Sami Aslam, Mohammad Hafeez, Babar Azam, Shoaib Malik, Sarfraz Ahmed (wk), Mohammad Nawaz, Imad Wasim, Mohammad Amir, Yasir Shah, Hasan Ali.

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