Pakistan will attempt to take the lead in the historic seven-match Twenty20 International series against England, which begins in Karachi (Tuesday). The game begins at 7 p.m. With the sting of their Asia Cup final loss to Sri Lanka in Dubai still fresh in their minds, England will go all out to win their first series in India in 17 years. Four of the seven matches will be played in Karachi on September 20, 22, 23, and 25.
The remaining three in Lahore are on September 28, 30, and October 2. The seven-match series will allow both teams to test different lineups ahead of the T20 World Cup in Australia. Since Ben Stokes, Jonny Bairstow, Liam Livingstone, and Chris Jordan are all out, Pakistan holds the upper hand in the series. Jos Buttler is injured and will miss all four games in Karachi. England is concerned about its conditioning ahead of the series opener. Pakistan’s pacer Shaheen Afridi has been injured.
Pakistan faces England after 17 years!
Mohammad Rizwan, the world’s best T20 batter, and Shadab Khan appear to be injured. Pakistan’s failure to score fast in back-to-back Asia Cup losses to Sri Lanka sparked harsh criticism. Their finest batsmen, notably Asia Cup run-scorer Rizwan, play an excessive number of dot balls. There have been suggestions to alter Pakistan’s batting order, particularly the opening combination, but skipper Babar Azam stated on Monday that he and Rizwan had won matches opening.
If Pakistan rests Rizwan, Shan Masood, who has been selected for both this series and the T20 World Cup, should open the innings. Shan returns to Pakistan after a long absence following outstanding red- and white-ball performances. In Pakistan’s middle order, Asif Ali and Khushdil Shah have failed to impress. The lineup remains the same, but Pakistan can also use Haider Ali. Bowlers include Naseem Shah, Harris Rauf, Mohammad Hasnain, and Mohammad Nawaz.
If Shadab is rested, Pakistan may utilise Usman Qadir. England’s comeback hero is Alex Hales. Also, heavyweight Hales returns after a three-year absence. England has disregarded Hales since he failed a drug test before the World Cup. Hales will open for Phil Salt in front of a massive crowd tonight.
With Harry Brook, Dawid Malan, who has PSL experience, will anchor the middle order. Moeen Ali will lead England tonight in place of the injured Jos Buttler. Bowlers include Richard Gleeson, Adil Rashid, Reece Topley, and Mark Wood. Since 2005, the PSL has provided England’s touring squad with valuable cricket experience in Pakistan. Plus, PSL has been played by more than half of England’s 20-man squad. Moeen, who is of Pakistani descent, believes it will be historic.
Expected Playing XI
Pakistan: Mohammad Rizwan (wicketkeeper), Babar Azam (captain), Shan Masood, Iftikhar Ahmed, Haider Ali/Khushdil Shah, Mohammad Nawaz, Shadab Khan, Asif Ali, Haris Rauf, Naseem Shah, Mohammad Hasnain
England: Phil Salt, Alex Hales, Dawid Malan, Harry Brook, Moeen Ali (captain), Ben Duckett (wicketkeeper), Sam Curran, David Willey, Adil Rashid, Reece Topley, Mark Wood.