Pakistan’s challenge to do well outside sub-continent
England to win
The Test Series is done and dusted and England has won it 1-0 which could have easily been 2-0 if the weather gods would have been kinder to the hosts. Now the action moves to T20s as the two sides battle it out in the first of the three games at the Old Trafford, Manchester. The two teams have enjoyed good rivalry in the past in this format and none of the sides can lay claims to dominance in the years gone by.
Pakistan however has had problems playing outside the sub-continent where they have lost games regularly in recent past. This is a big challenge the side will have to overcome going into this game. England on the other hand has won the last five bilateral series both home and away and they have a very strong unit going into this contest. It remains to be seen if the Pakistanis are able to pull out a surprise like they often do in this format of the game.
Eoin Morgan would be extremely positive going into this game. His team has done well in T20s all over the world in the last two years and they have a strong combination of players going into this game. Morgan would be aware of the weaknesses Pakistanis have and shall look to exploit them to the full in this game.
Their opening pair of Jonny Bairstow and Tom Banton will look to provide a good start as Jos Buttler has been rested for the series. Jonny Bairstow is in good form at the moment and along with Morgan, Dawid Malan and Tom Curran adds to the strength of the middle order. Lewis Gregory and Moeen Ali will be expected to use the long handle towards the end of the game. The side bats deep and this is one of its biggest advantages in this format.
Their bowling attack is new and Chris Jordan and Saqib Mahmood will look for early wickets with the new ball. Gregory and David Willey will look to apply pressure on the Pakistanis during the middle overs. Adil Rashid and Moeen Ali are likely to test their opponents with great variations in this game and bring all their experience into play.
Eoin Morgan (c), Jonny Bairstow (wk), Jason Roy, Tom Curran, Lewis Gregory, Dawid Malan, Adil Rashid, Jason Roy, Saqib Mahmood, Chris Jordan, David Willey
Chris Jordan, Jonny Bairstow, Sam Billings, Lewis Gregory, AU Rashid, Moeen Ali, Eoin Morgan, Tom Curran, Tom Banton, Saqib Mahmood, Dawid Malan
Babar Azam will have a big challenge on his hands going into this game. The side hasn’t won a T20 series away from home against a big side since their last win in New Zealand three years back. The Test Series also exposed several weaknesses in their batting. While it is a different ball game they are up against a very strong side and it would require a spirited effort from the team in this game.
The side will expect a good start at the top from Fakhar Zaman and Babar Azam. Their form might well decide the outcome of the game. Mohammad Rizwan is turning out into a handy campaigner and shall look to do well in the middle with Iftikhar Ahmed and Mohammad Hafeez. In Shoaib Malik and Shadab Khan the side has good finishers down the order. They have to play well against the good death bowlers England has.
Mohammad Amir and Mohammad Hasnain will need to provide early breakthroughs as England have very good hitters at the top. Wahab Riaz will bring in his experience as the first change and shall enjoy these conditions. Imad Wasim and Shadab Khan will look to contain the flow of runs in the middle overs and shall have Sohaib Malik for support.
Babar Azam (c), Fakhar Zaman, Mohammad Rizwan (wk), Iftikhar Ahmed, Mohammad Hafeez, Shadab Khan, Shoaib Malik, Mohammad Amir, Mohammad Hasnain, Wahab Riaz, Imad Wasim
Mohammad Hafeez, Shadab Khan, Babar Azam, SI Wasim, Mohammad Rizwan, Mohammad Amir, Fakhar Zaman, Haris Rauf, Shoaib Malik, Shaheen Afridi, Iftikhar Ahmed
|Hr||Temp||Rain||W. speed||W. direction||Clouds|
|00h||12||0.11 mm.||1.28 k/h||From: ENE||98%|
|03h||12||0.77 mm.||2.53 k/h||From: NE||100%|
|06h||12||0.25 mm.||2.81 k/h||From: NNE||91%|
|09h||13||1.28 mm.||6.67 k/h||From: NE||100%|
|12h||13||2.07 mm.||7.09 k/h||From: NE||100%|
|15h||12||0.90 mm.||6.75 k/h||From: NNE||100%|
|18h||13||0.14 mm.||5.82 k/h||From: NNE||100%|
|21h||10||0 mm.||4.33 k/h||From: N||87%|
There is all likelihood of rains disrupting the game on August 28 at Manchester. Batting conditions won’t be at their best during the game. The overcast conditions would help the fast bowlers. We have seen high scores at this venue in the past and expect the side batting first to target a score in the range of 160 runs on this surface.
This venue has always favored the bowlers with an average first innings score of 142 runs. Most games here have been low scoring and batsmen find it difficult to score quick runs. Batsmen need to be watchful at this venue to succeed. Spinners have also done well in the past at Manchester.
The last five games at this venue have gone in favor of sides that have chased the score on four occasions. It is a good place to bat even in the second innings as the pitch doesn’t deteriorate much. Hence, we expect the two captains to have little hesitation in bowling first upon winning the toss.
It is a change in format and the Pakistanis would be finally looking for a win on this tour. They were scratchy in the Test series but with a new team in place, they shall look to turn their fortunes around. Their recent record away from home has been poor and this is something that is likely to bother the campaign. England on the other hand would be all charged up given the recent success they have had in this format. They have better balance in their squad and this would make them favorites to win this game.
England to win