England are likely to play on more testing pitches in their final two one-day internationals against Pakistan in preparation for the World Cup knockout stages, says captain Eoin Morgan.
The hosts coasted to a target of 359 in the third ODI on Wednesday to take a 2-0 lead in the five-match series.
“We are very realistic about the pitches we might play on,” Morgan said.
“They might deteriorate as the World Cup goes on and we are planning for that.”
Morgan, whose side flourished on Wednesday on a good batting track which was surrounded by short boundaries, added: “Probably in the next two games we will come up on one of those [more testing] pitches.”
World number one side England are favourites to win the World Cup, which begins on 30 May, mainly because of their destructive batting line-up.
Morgan’s side have scored 350 or more 15 times since the last World Cup and four times this year.
However, they have occasionally struggled on pitches with less pace and bounce where it is more difficult to play attacking shots, such as in their 2017 Champions Trophy semi-final defeat to Pakistan at Cardiff.
In that semi-final match, having breezed through the group stages with scores of 308-2, 310 and 240-4 in a rain-affected game, they were bowled out for 211.
England could play in similar conditions in the World Cup, where pitches will be used more than once and could therefore deteriorate.
That, in theory, could help India and Pakistan, who contested the final in 2017.
England to continue rotation system in fourth ODI
England rested Jos Buttler, Jofra Archer and Adil Rashid for the third ODI in Bristol and Morgan said there will be more rotation for the fourth ODI at Trent Bridge on Friday as they look to finalise their 15-man World Cup squad, which will be announced on Tuesday.
Morgan hopes fast bowler Mark Wood, who has been left out of the first three matches as England manage his workload, will play at Trent Bridge.
“His preparation has been really good,” Morgan said.
“We earmarked it [the fourth ODI] as his comeback game and that is dependent on our training day in two days’ time and how he pulls up from that.”
Morgan said all-rounder Joe Denly will be given further chance to impress, either in Friday’s game or in the fifth ODI at Headingley on Sunday.
Denly played in Bristol but only bowled one over and did not bat.
He has been included in England’s provisional 15-man World Cup squad but could be at risk if they select Archer or a frontline spinner in their final squad, rather than the Kent player’s part-time leg spin.
“There will be more opportunities for Joe, hopefully in the next two games,” Morgan said.
“With it being such a small ground, we only tend to play one spinner here.
“It was unfortunate he only bowled one over but I think he will have a chance again in one of the next two games.”
After the ODIs against Pakistan at Trent Bridge and Pakistan, England have two pre-tournament warm-ups against Australia and Afghanistan. They open their World Cup campaign against South Africa on 30 May at The Oval.