Date: August 28, 2020
Timing: 6 pm local time, 10 pm PKT
Venue: Old Trafford, Manchester
Weather: Rain is expected from 10 am till 4 pm (2 pm till 8 pm PKT) but will be clear at night. That also means the outfield and conditions will be slow.
Conditions / Pitch Report: There was some persistent rain over the week, which means that the conditions will be damp and it will be a slow outfield. One can clearly expect both sides to spin.
HEAD TO HEAD:
Matches: 15 | England: 10 | Pakistan: 4 | Tied: 1
England: W W L T(W) W (completed matches, most recent first)
Pakistan: W W L L NR
Since October 2018, England have joint-best win-loss ratio in T20Is along with Afghanistan, winning nine and losing three out of 13 matches played.
On T20I rankings, they are on 2nd position with 268 ratings, ten less than the number one Australia. A whitewash will bring England to 275, just three short of tieing to Australia. However, a 2-1 loss will bring them down to no.3 and a whitewash will switch their places with Pakistan, who are placed at no. 4.
ENGLAND PROBABLE XI:
England announced a completely different 14-men squad on August 18 with no one who played Test series against Pakistan made the final cut. Chris Jordan and Joe Denly returned to their national side after recovering from injuries while David Willey will mark his comeback in the shortest format of the game since the 2019 West Indies tour.
Jason Roy was ruled out of Pakistan series due to left side strain though he will remain with the squad as he will undergo rehabilitation for the next series against Australia. There is a chance that Tom Banton will likely open.
Since Manchester traditionally favors spin, both Moeen and Rashid will likely to play tomorrow’s match.
1. Tom Banton, 2. Jonny Bairstow (wk), 3. David Malan, 4. Eoin Morgan (C), 5. Sam Billings, 6. Moeen Ali, 7. David Willey, 8. Adil Rashid, 9. Tom Curran, 10. Chris Jordan, 11. Saqib Mahmood
Pakistan were the no.1 team from 2018 till May 2020 before the annual rankings update saw Pakistan come down to no.4 after a miserable 2019 year, where they have played 10 T20Is and won only one game.
Sarfraz Ahmed was sacked after the Sri Lanka T20I series and Babar Azam took over the reins. However, Babar began with a 2-0 loss against Australia before winning the T20I series against Bangladesh. Being the number 1 T20I batsman, Babar will not only be looking to score runs but will also be looking to put Pakistan back on their winning ways in their strongest format.
One thing they need to note is that they haven’t passed 150 with the bat in their last seven T20Is. If they need to win matches, the batsmen, apart from Babar, need to stand up.
PAKISTAN PROBABLE XI:
Pakistan announced their 17-men squad on 21st August and they dropped Ahsan Ali, Amad Butt, Mohammad Musa, and Usman Qadir. Uncapped players Haider Ali and Naseem Shah have been included in the squad. Former captain Sarfaraz, Fakhar Zaman, Mohammad Amir, and Wahab Riaz will be marking their returns to the side.
It is unclear which side they will go with. But most likely they will stick with their strong XI that played against Bangladesh with Amir likely to replace Haris Rauf.
In his press conference, Babar hinted that Rizwan may be preferred over Sarfraz despite his T20I record.
1. Babar Azam (c), 2. Fakhar Zaman, 3. Mohammad Hafeez, 4. Shoaib Malik, 5. Sarfraz Ahmed (wk)/ Mohammad Rizwan (wk), 6. Iftikhar Ahmed, 7. Imad Wasim, 8. Shadab Khan, 9. Mohammad Amir/Haris Rauf, 10. Mohammad Hasnain, 11. Shaheen Afridi
PLAYERS TO WATCH:
- Eoin Morgan: Since September 2019, the captain of England’s white-ball team is the leading run-scorer in both T20Is and ODIs for his side. He scored 328 runs at an average of 54.66 with a brilliant strike-rate of 183 in eight innings he batted in which England have won four of them. The last time Pakistan played a T20I against England, Morgan scored a match-winning 57* in a seven wickets victory. Pakistan will vary from Morgan’s threat.
- Babar Azam: The number 1 T20I batsmen, Babar will not only going to score runs in the series but will have to lead the side well after his Test captain Azhar Ali was criticized for his leadership in Test series. Since September 2019, Babar is Pakistan’s leading run-scorer in T20Is with 224 runs in eight innings. He is one of only two batsmen with over 1,000 runs and to average over 50.
- Chris Jordan: He may have an economy of 8 and over, but Jordan can be a difficult bowler to hit when he is on fire. He delivers yorker perfectly and Pakistan batsmen may find some difficulties taking him on. He has taken 58 T20I wickets, the second-most by English bowler. He can also bat, which Pakistan be varied of his late hitting.
- Imad Wasim: The former no.1 T20I bowler, Pakistan would want their strike bowler to dismantle the English top order early on in the powerplay. He has 42 T20I wickets to his name, just eight away from fifty T20I wickets. Imad has improved his batting since his return from injury in Oct 2018 which he showed some wonderful late hitting down the order. His all-round contribution will be important for Pakistan.
STATS AND TRIVIA:
- This will be the second bilateral series in England between the two sides. Of four T20I series they have played, England have won three with one series drawn.
- Since the start of 2019, Pakistan’s top seven have averaged just 21.98, while striking at an equally modest 122.14. By contrast, England’s batsmen have averaged 30.91 at a strike-rate of 152.71.
- Mohammad Hafeez is eight runs away from 2000 T20I runs. He will become the second Pakistani batsman after Shoaib Malik to achieve this feat.
- Shadab Khan is two wickets away from his 50th T20I wicket. He will become the seventh Pakistan bowler to achieve this feat.
- Shoaib Malik is 108 runs away from becoming the first non-West Indian to score 10,000 T20 runs.
“This is another opportunity for guys who potentially sit outside that 15 to present their best case, moving forward, for winter tours and the World Cup next year. Opportunities like this don’t come around very often when we have our squad at full strength”
- England skipper Eoin Morgan challenges his side to make the most of their chances
“I always try to play as well as I can. It is one of my goals to score a century in T20Is and to be honest, my aim is to score one in this series. It’s disappointing that I couldn’t convert my starts into big scores, but I will learn from these mistakes. I have analysed those in order to get better in the forthcoming series.”
- Pakistan skipper Babar Azam on his performance, disappointed that he he couldn’t converted his fifties into three digits in Test series.