On a paper, this is not even a contest where England the team in full swing will take on Pakistan the lowest ranked team at champions trophy. But no one can claim that this will be a one sided affair, after how Pakistan bounced back. After the heavy defeat against India, Pakistan outplayed South Africa and Sri Lanka to secure a berth in the semi finals. On the other hand, England have been extremely professional in their approach in the tournament winning all the three league matches with ease. The only thing which will haunt them is whether to drop Jason Roy and include Johnny braistow in his place. England golden run could be only stopped by something so unpredictable as Pakistan. The last time when these two were against each other at a knockout game was in 1992 world cup final, and Pakistan pulled a miracle to lift the tournament.
What: England vs Pakistan, champions trophy, semi final 1, 14th June, 15:00 IST
Where: Sophia gardens, Cardiff
What to expect: the pitch will suit the spinners for sure and later in the innings chase will be easier. It is predicted to be the hottest day and no sign of rain will be there.
England: Jason Roy uneventful form will result in his exclusion from the team, and this will mean Johnny Braistow will be included in the playing XI. Apart from this no need is there to change the playing XI.
Pakistan: Sarfraz Ahmed or Shoaib Malik will bat a little up the order given the fragility of the middle order. The pitch favors the spin which means Shadab Khan might get a game in place of Faheem Ashraf.
Players in the Spotlight:
Joe Root: the most stylish and dependent English batsman, the number three Joe Root will have a role to play in the semi final against Pakistan. His skills and striking capabilities will be tested against the reverse swing of Pakistani bowlers.
Mohammad Amir: though went wicket less in the first two matches but he had impressed all with his bowling. Taking two wickets in the last match against Sri Lanka might have increased his thrist for more. He will be crucial in the match against England.
Match Prediction: England are the favourite to win the match and March towards final but it would be difficult to overcome the most unpredicted side Pakistan.