England v Pakistan, Champions Trophy 2017: 5 reasons why England are clear favourites [OPINION]

England v Pakistan, ICC Champions Trophy 2017: Last time the two teams met in a series in England, the hosts thrashed them 4-1

England play Pakistan in the first semi-finals of the ICC Champions Trophy 2017 for a spot in the finals. In the finals they will lock-horns with the winner of semi-final 2 which will be played tomorrow between India and Bangladesh. If things go according to plan it could be a repeat of the 2013 tournament where India and England locked-horns against eachother, India were the ultimate winners. But this is a different England squad, they have some of the most explosive players of modern times in their line-up. England have not dropped a game in their journey to the semi-finals and they surely are the team to beat. Pakistan have won won one game and that has helped them make it. It is highly unlikely that England will lose today and here are the reasons why:

Running between wickets and ground fielding: If England saves 20-30 runs on the field, Pakistan could give away that amount of runs. Pakistan have been woeful in the field, dropping catches, misfielding. This will surely haunt them against a class team like England. Even English boys are better when it comes to stealing singles to release pressure in crunch situations. Pakistan in this department have been found wanting, they are too one-dimensional one feels.

Root in sublime form: As expected, Joe Root England’s mainstay in the batting department has been the pivot around which the team has revolved and succeeded. Root is bound to be the key in todays match as well, he already has a ton against a Asian country in this tournament.

Ball-Plunkett in red-hot form: The veteran is the bowler with the highest wickets in the tournament till now which shows that England have been a good bowling unit as well. Plunkett has led their pace battery and also picked up a 4-fer against Bangladesh. Jake Ball from the other end has provided the support to Plunkett, they could stifle Pakistan.

Stokes-Morgan factor: Ben Stokes has carried his form from the IPL into this tournament and that has helped the cause of England. It was Stokes along with his captain Morgan who played well to see their team through to victory against New Zealand to help Bangladesh qualify. These are also batsman who can take the game away in overs.

Past record favours England: Last time the two teams met in a series in England, the hosts thrashed them 4-1. This will provide England with that much-needed psychological advantage ahead of today’s game. In that series there was also a score of 444 which is a world record.