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Is England-Pakistan ODI series an indication of what World Cup 2019 will be like?

England

Bennagluru, May 20: If the just concluded England-Pakistan ODI series is any indication, then the upcoming ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 is set to be an explosive affair.

All the four matches that the two teams played in the series (one match was washed out) saw only innings falling short if the 300-run mark.

England were relentless throughout as their batsmen were concerned. In the four matches, their lowest score was 341 for seven while the highest was 373 for three. In one of the games, the English batsmen had a cakewalk while chasing Pakistan's 358 for four, winning it with more than five overs to spare!

These four consecutive totals not only meant England continued with their successful mission of emerging as a ODI powerhouse since getting booted out in the 2015 tournament; it also showed that how accomplished is their batting line-up now to regularly breach the 300-350 run mark with ease.

They have a total team in place who can use the willow wilfully - especially the three 'J's - Jason Roy, Jos Buttler and Jonny Bairstow - all of whom chipped in during the series at some point or other. Since 2018, England have scored 300-plus totals the most number of times - 11, while Australia are second with eight.

England have crossed 300 36 times since 2015 World Cup

Since the 2015 World Cup, England have won 56 of their 86 games (India have also won the same number of games, but lost more) and they have scored four of the five 400-plus totals in the same period (481 for six in Australia which is the highest-ever in ODIs till date and 444 for three against Pakistan which is the second highest). Also, in the 86 matches they have played, England have scored 36 300-plus totals which means a 300-plus team total every 2.38 innings which is incredible.

England's hitting has had such an impact on Pakistan that the Men in Green were compelled to make key changes to their pace bowling department ahead of the mega tournament.

Twenty years ago, when England had hosted the World Cup last time, only two matches saw the 300 run-mark getting breached and that too only once in the match. India had scored 373 for six against Sri Lanka in Taunton which was quite an exception in those days while Australia scored 303 for three against Zimbabwe at Lord's. In the 1975 and 1983 editions played in England, four matches saw 300-plus scores in each edition. In 1979, no game saw 300 getting breached.

This time, it could be a completely different story.

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Story first published: Monday, May 20, 2019, 16:39 [IST]
Other articles published on May 20, 2019
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