England vs Pakistan: 1st ODI preview

It’s excitingly poised at 8-8 in the Super Series as we go into the ODI portion of Pakistan’s tour.  What?  You weren’t aware? Come now, this is what makes cricket relevant and modern, this is how we provide context for the game.  Perhaps it was lost in pointless discussion about such things as the extraordinary achievement by Pakistan in going to number one in the world Test rankings.  I mean, who cares about such irrelevancies like that?  Who would note that a side who haven’t been able to play so much as a home match in years have gone to the top of the pile?  No, no, there are bilateral trophies, and Super Series that are far more important.

OK, although the sarcasm mode is deserved, in reality we do have some more cricket coming.  And somewhat peculiarly historically, we go into an ODI series where England are the ones who have been playing vibrant cricket, while Pakistan are much less certain about where they are and what they’re doing.  A comfortable enough win over Ireland gave them a decent warm up, but with good weather forecast, it’s more about whether Pakistan can match England’s batting firepower than anything else.

There’s no question that as far as this blog goes, Test matches are where it’s at.  In the baldest terms, the number of hits received for ODIs is far below those of Test matches.  Personally, I find them enjoyable enough to watch, but rather instantly forgettable.  That’s illustrated as much as anything by having to remind myself of how England have done in recent outings, and vaguely trying to remember who the hell is playing.

It’s not to say that the shorter forms of the game are unimportant, for the financial realities are always that 50 or especially 20 over cricket is where the finances are most supported.  There’s an article in there which I will return to at some point soon about why there’s no excuse for one form of the game to be in trouble, it can only be through lack of care or deliberate action, it’s just that World Cups aside, they don’t live long in the memory.

It’ll be on, I’ll pay attention to it, and I’ll likely enjoy it.  Just don’t ask me in a week what the scores were, because I won’t remember.

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