In the end professionalism and determination prevailed. After the hosts main team members were diagnosed with COVID-19, Pakistan had the opportunity to overwhelm England’s ‘B Team’ in a three-match one-international series. But the ‘B Team’ proved much more professional and clinical than skipper Babar Azam and his charges. Though England won the series after claiming victories in the first two contests, the way the hosts fought and executed their game plan against a formidable target of 332 in the third and final ODI, it was out of this world. Pakistan were literally blown away. It was a dazzling and remarkable performance by England who were thrown together at the last minute. They had one training session ahead of this series and they were playing a side who could have risen to second in the World Cup Super League table had they won. Though England won the series after claiming victories in the first two contests, the way the hosts fought and executed their game plan against a formidable target of 332 in the third and final ODI, it was out of this world. Pakistan were literally blown away. It was a dazzling and remarkable performance by England who were thrown together at the last minute. They had one training session ahead of this series and they were playing a side who could have risen to second in the World Cup Super League table had they won England have enjoyed many impressive ODI performances in recent years: victories from the jaws of defeat; victories in locations where they used to be uncommon; victories in major global events. But, given the drama of the last two weeks and the challenges with which they were confronted, this series win has proved more than satisfying. The victory certainly demonstrated England’s remarkable strength in depth ––– in ODI cricket, at least ––– and a resilience which bodes well for the challenges ahead. Despite being forced to make 11 changes to the side that played against Sri Lanka recently, England’s second string proved more than a match for Pakistan who had lost only one of their 12 most recent ODIs and are currently ranked No. 3 in the World Cup Super League. To clean sweep such an accomplished side in such circumstances can only be described as deeply impressive. The biggest story behind England’s success in the series was how well they read the conditions and how well they selected their playing eleven and how well they executed their plans in all three matches. Their performance was selfless. Skipper Ben Stokes, James Vince, Lewis Gregory, Brydon Carse, Saqib Mahmood, Zak Crawley and Phil Salt were just marvelous. On the other hand, Pakistan proved to be the masters of disaster. It was an agonising series. Their batting once again let them down. Their performance in the first two ODIs was really pathetic. None of the Pakistan batsmen looked confident. They remained confused and under pressure throughout their innings and ultimately let their team lost the crucial series against England. It was a poor showing from the pre-series favourites, who slumped to an unbelievable low. The ODI series against England has emphatically underlined Pakistan’s shortcomings and limitations harshly and more prominently. The only positive from the series was Babar returning to form with a record-breaking 158 in the final ODI after Pakistan made an understandably watchful start, given their collapses in Cardiff and Lord’s where they were all out for 141 and 195 respectively. Babar was back in the runs after a score of nought and 19 in the first two games. He also became the first Pakistan captain to make a 150-plus score in ODI cricket. The previous highest ODI score by a Pakistan captain was 125 not-out by Shoaib Malik against India in 2008. His highest score at this level saw Babar become the quickest player to 14 hundreds in men’s ODIs as the 26-year-old reached the landmark in 81 innings ––– three fewer than South Africa’s Hashim Amla. Together with Mohammad Rizwan he shared a stand of 179, a Pakistan partnership record against England in an ODI. The bowlers are Pakistan’s strength and team should have defended the 300-plus total but they could not. Despite a total of 331-9, Pakistan still suffered a three-wicket defeat and the series whitewash. England showed that their depth in white ball cricket is extraordinary. The series has, no doubt, taught the Men in Green what professionalism is, what dedication is and what execution is!