England won't take Pakistan lightly in World Cup clash - Eoin Morgan

If there was any danger that England might allow a touch of complacency to creep over them before their match against Pakistan, a quick glance at the record books should set them straight.

Yes, Pakistan have lost 11 ODIs in a row. And yes, England are unbeaten in a bilateral ODI series at home since 2015. They go into Monday's World Cup match as strong favourites.

But Pakistan have derailed England's plans before. Just two years ago, in Cardiff, they ended their Champions Trophy hopes at the semi-final stage, while England's new retro kit should ensure memories of the 1992 World Cup final remain fresh in the mind. Indeed, England have beaten Pakistan only once in a global ODI tournament (the World Cup or Champions Trophy) since 1983. That England victory, inspired by a young James Anderson, came back in 2003. An England side still searching for that maiden, global ODI trophy can have no room for complacency.

There is unlikely to be much swing on offer in Nottingham on Monday. Instead, England look set to reunite their two fastest bowlers - Jofra Archer and Mark Wood - in what may be the quickest ODI opening pair they have ever had.

There is logic in the approach. Pakistan looked uncomfortable against West Indies' fast bowling on the same ground on Friday. And while this pitch is not quite the same - it is two along the square and is the strip that produced the world record 481 last year and 444 against Pakistan in 2016 - England will hope their opening pair have the pace and control to unsettle a Pakistan batting line-up that looks low on confidence. In the ODI here a couple of weeks ago, Wood forced Imam ul Haq to retire hurt following a blow on the elbow, while Archer dismissed the dangerous Asif Ali with a bouncer.

With Wood and Archer more than capable of sharing the new balls, there is a possibility Chris Woakes could make way for Tom Curran. There was a time England might have worried about that weakening the batting but, such is Curran's improvement - and Archer's promise - with the bat, that is far less of a concern. Curran is also one of England's more proficient bowlers at the death.

That would be tough on Liam Plunkett and Woakes, who would probably be the bowlers to make way. Plunkett dismissed both South Africa openers on Thursday and contributed nicely in the field and with the bat, while Woakes was only required to bowl five overs and is understood to have recovered well. Both could feel justifiably disappointed to miss out. Maybe it is relevant that both Wood and Archer conceded more than six-an-over in that ODI a couple of weeks ago, too. Plunkett's cutters might not be as glamorous as Wood's pace, but they can prove just as awkward for batsmen.

Either way, England captain, Eoin Morgan, insisted his side would not underestimate Pakistan and cautioned against anyone expecting the vast scores we have seen here in the recent past.

And while he gave nothing away over his team selection - he may even have hinted that it would remain unchanged - the whispers around the England camp gave a slightly different story.

"We prepare for Pakistan at their best," he said. "Two years ago they were the best side in the world in the Champions Trophy. They turned us over and they turned India over. We'll be preparing as best we can for their A game.

"To get anywhere near 481 you have to play unbelievably well. It starts with the very basics of getting ourselves into an innings. You always start on 0. And this pitch maybe a bit different. It looks as if it may be a bit two-paced and with steeper bounce.

"There is a chance Wood could play. We saw the wicket the other day went through with more pace and exposed Pakistan, more so with the short ball. That short bowling could be a trend in this tournament. Over the last couple of years, the end in the short formats has been to bowl leg-spin. But the nature of these pitches might mean that short bowling is the trend.

"The pitches look pretty good. Cross seam deliveries into the wicket might be getting a better reaction than any other bowling. It's potentially coming off two-paced which makes cross-bat shots a little bit harder and means you have to take a higher risk.

"As the tournament progresses, you will probably see the wickets get slower and we'll look at playing three spinners or bringing in a death bowler. We're looking at all aspects."

Rain curtailed England's training session on Sunday. It was noticeable, however, that Joe Root took to the indoor nets where he faced a barrage of short balls. Pakistan's bowlers have some pace and skill of their own. They have curtailed England's plans before. They will not be taken lightly.