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Former New Zealand pace bowler Shane Bond has picked England as his favourites to win the Champions Trophy. Writing for the ICC website, Bond said that owing to the aggressive nature of the England side, they are clear favourites to defeat Pakistan in their semi-final clash.
Bond admitted that Pakistan are very unpredictable and on their day can be very dangerous, but the depth in England’s side could prove to be a bridge too far for Pakistan.
“England has been the dominant team all tournament long, though I agree that you never know with Pakistan. Cricket matches are not played on paper, admittedly, though on paper, England is the clear favourite. Pakistan has a dangerous bowling attack, like it has had over the years, and there is a little bit of experience in its batting,” Bond wrote.
Shane Bond also spoke about the pitches and observed that the conditions have flattened even in England and devoid of any assistance to the bowlers, the gap between teams has significantly decreased, owing to which the Asian teams have been so successful.
Also, he wrote about the explosive nature of the England batting and said that although Pakistan’s bowling can be a million dollars, the aggressive nature of the hosts can seal the deal on the day.
“Given the depth and muscle in its batting, England will hope to turn up for its first semi-final against Pakistan in Cardiff on Wednesday and find a flat deck with no movement, so that it can out-skill the opposition. This tournament has already produced a number of high scores, and I don’t see that changing,” he wrote.
In case you didn’t know...
Pakistan edged past Sri Lanka in an absolute humdinger of a clash at Cardiff to set a semi-final clash with England, which has been the form team in the tournament so far and look clear favourites to lift the trophy.
The Eoin Morgan-led side have breezed past almost all sides and look a very dominant force both with the bat and ball and hence it is no surprise why Bond picks them as his favourites.
Although England look firm favourites, Pakistan can never be underestimated, especially after they snatched a thrilling win against Pakistan. Their bowling attack looks to be in fine rhythm and in Junaid Khan, Mohammed Amir, and Hassan Ali, Sarfraz Ahmed has plenty of match-winners up his sleeve.
If Pakistan’s batting order decides to put its head down, we could be in for an exciting contest.
England are raging favourites and this is bound to put extra pressure on them. On the other hand, Pakistan have nothing to lose and they can go into the match as underdogs and play with freedom and this is where they can be very destructive.Published 13 Jun 2017, 19:43 IST