TRENT BRIDGE   -   Run-scoring has been as easy as taking a walk in a park thus far for both sides, but the English managed to out-score Pakistan in the 2nd and 3rd ODI. The first game of the series was dedicated to the rain gods, but the following two were a treat for the neutrals to witness.

This is exactly how pitches in England have been playing in the last couple of years. The home side’s resurgence after a paltry performance in the 2015 World Cup was boosted by these tracks and the likes of Alex Hales, Jason Roy, Jos Buttler, Eoin Morgan etc. did the rest. A score in excess of 350 in English conditions involves no element of surprise right now, it’s just a daily routine.

Pakistan need to strengthen their fielding contingent big time. Although the hosts ran past Pakistan in the Bristol ODI, it wasn’t completely to the credit of the English excellence. They dropped a couple of sitters in crucial moments, which could’ve had a different impact on the game.

The 1992 World Cup champions might have lost the previous two games, but the form of their openers, Fakhar Zaman and Imam-ul-Haq, will buoy them in the series decider. With back-to-back fifties, Asif Ali, too, has made a strong case for himself ahead of the World Cup.

Lack of wickets with the new ball was one of the major factors ailing Pakistan in Southampton and Bristol. On both occasions, they had to wait for more than 17 overs to get their first breakthrough - never a good sign against a strong batting line-up such as England’s. The visitors will be eager to get back to winning ways before the World Cup.

With Mohammad Hafeez yet to recover and Haris Sohail not matching the high strike-rates in the series, Pakistan might be tempted to bring in Shoaib Malik into the XI. Shaheen Afridi created some chances, but things never went his way. Junaid Khan will retain his place in the XI with Mohammad Hasnain probably replacing Faheem Ashraf. Babar Azam is yet to strike gold in this series and will be desperate to get a big one here.

Eoin Morgan’s England have been a batting powerhouse in recent times, scoring in excess of 300 on a consistent basis in one-day cricket. They haven’t lost a bilateral series at home since conceding a five-match series to Australia 2-3 in September 2015. Moreover, each of their high-scoring efforts in recent times has seen a different architect.

Besides, Ben Stokes showed some sparks of form in the third ODI. The Durham all-rounder had a mediocre IPL season. In Bristol, he scored 37 off 38 balls in England’s successful chase of 359, before being run out.

England will be without regular captain Eoin Morgan, who has been banned from the game due to a slow over-rate offence in the Bristol game. His deputy, Jos Buttler, who had been rested for that match, is expected to return and lead the side. Jofra Archer, who was also rested for the previous two games, might get a look in as well.

SQUADS  -   ENGLAND: Eoin Morgan (c), Moeen Ali, Jofra Archer, Jonny Bairstow, Jos Buttler (wk), Tom Curran, Joe Denly, Chris Jordan, Liam Plunkett, Adil Rashid, Joe Root, Jason Roy, Ben Stokes, James Vince, David Willey, Chris Woakes, Mark Wood.

PAKISTAN: Sarfaraz Ahmed (c, wk), Fakhar Zaman, Imam-ul-Haq, Abid Ali, Babar Azam, Haris Sohail, Shoaib Malik, Mohammad Hafeez, Imad Wasim, Yasir Shah, Hasan Ali, Faheem Ashraf, Junaid Khan, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Mohammad Hasnain, Mohammad Amir, Asif Ali.