England Squad, Form, and Team News
ENG Squad: Eoin Morgan (c), Moeen Ali, Jonny Bairstow, Tom Banton, Sam Billings, Tom Curran, Joe Denly, Lewis Gregory, Chris Jordan, Saqib Mahmood, Dawid Malan, Adil Rashid, Jason Roy, David Willey.
Playing a game as demanding of explosive power as T20 can be difficult without practice, and England players haven’t had much of it in quite a while. With the last 5 months a dud, England only played a total of 7 T20 matches in the last one year - a 5-match tied thriller against New Zealand late last year, and a 2-1 series win against the Proteas, away, in February. They might be number one in ODI rankings, but they trail the Aussies in the T20 list by 10 points and would definitely love to dethrone them. To that end, a series win here would help them greatly. A solid lineup full of all sorts of options, like the one above, is a great start.
Pakistan Squad, Form, and Team News
PK Squad: Babar Azam (c), Shaheen Afridi, Iftikhar Ahmed, Sarfaraz Ahmed, Haider Ali, Mohammad Amir, Mohammad Hafeez, Mohammad Hasnain, Shadab Khan, Shoaib Malik, Haris Rauf, Wahab, Riaz, Mohammad Rizwan, Khushdil Shah, Naseem Shah, Imad Wasim, Fakhar Zaman.
Pakistan has never been a team known for consistency. Alongside West Indies, they are one of the two absolutely unpredictable sides in world cricket. Luckily, though, T20 is a game that often favours unpredictable sides - as displayed by both teams in multiple ICC T20 tournaments. Their current team, however, isn’t in the greatest of forms. In the last 1 year, they have only managed one series victory against Bangladesh, losing not only their other two series, but every match therein. To add insult to injury, the first of those was a 3-match battering by Sri Lanka in Pakistan. Nevertheless, there is plenty of potential in this side - if only it could be tapped into when necessary.
England have met Pakistan 15 times in T20I matches, winning 11 and losing 4. Their most recent meeting happened last year, when England beat the subcontinental team convincingly. The venue has good memories for Pakistan, though, as they won the only T20 they ever played there - that too against their current hosts. Overall, it should be a tight contest, and although England are stronger on paper, Pakistan might trump that with sheer gumption.
Who will win the 1st T20?Match Prediction: England To Win (1.60 @ 1XBET)
Other Betting Tips:
Toss - PAK
ENG top batsman – J Roy
PAK top batsman – B Azam
Players to score most boundaries - J Roy (ENG), B Azam (PAK)
Players to score a fifty – J Roy/S Billings (ENG), B Azam/S Ahmed (PAK)
Players to take most wickets - C Jordan (ENG), W Riaz (PAK)
Most fours - ENG
Most Sixes - ENG
Can England continue to stay head and shoulders above Pakistan? Or will Pakistan leapfrog them like the wildcards they are? Find out on Friday!