Test for Pakistan’s inconsistent batting line-up in must-win game
England to win
It has been an English summer where the weather has made the biggest headline. Like several times during the Test series it was rains which came in and led to abandoning of the 1st T20i between the two sides halfway through the game. As the two teams prepare to meet again at the same venue there would be prayers for better weather in both the camps in what should be an exciting contest.
Pakistan will have to get over their poor record outside the sub-continent in the recent years where they have hardly won anything. Their batsmen have struggled to score runs and this is one area the side would have to improve upon. England on the other hand looks a well-balanced side and their knowledge of these conditions adds to their advantage going into this contest.
Eoin Morgan would know the importance of this game after the first outing was washed away by rain. They have been in great form in the T20s over the last year and Morgan would be happy to see a bunch of exciting youngsters in the side. He would know that Pakistan is a side his team cannot take lightly and shall look to come up with a good show here.
The side got a bit of test with the bat in the last game and it was good to see Tom Banton in great form. Along with Jonny Bairstow he forms a good pair and the team isn’t likely to feel loss of Jason Roy who is out with an injury. Dawid Malan, Morgan and Moeen Ali form a stable middle order. Sam Billings, Chris Jordan and Lewis Gregory with their hitting abilities make this batting order look dominant.
Their bowling attack is strong with specialists T20 bowlers Chris Jordan and Saqib Mahmood opening the bowling for the side. The spin duo of Adil Rashid and Moeen Ali know these conditions well and they are likely to trouble the Pakistani batsmen with their variety. Tom Curran and Gregory add depth to this attack and increase the bowling options for the skipper.
Eoin Morgan (c), Tom Banton, Jonny Bairstow (wk), Dawid Malan, Sam Billings, Moeen Ali, Tom Curran, Lewis Gregory, Chris Jordan, Adil Rashid, Saqib Mahmood
Chris Jordan, Jonny Bairstow, Sam Billings, Lewis Gregory, AU Rashid, Moeen Ali, Eoin Morgan, Tom Curran, Tom Banton, Saqib Mahmood, Dawid Malan
Babar Azam would be counting on the positives from the last game where his bowlers made a strong comeback after facing the dominance of England’s top order. But the real worry for Azam would be his batting which hasn’t done well in the last few series. He would want his players to meet fire with fire and take an unassailable lead in the series with a win here.
They will need Fakhar Zaman and Babar Azam to fire at the top as being the best batsmen of the side these players are capable of playing good knocks. Iftikhar Ahmed has grown in confidence and needs to do well in the middle order in company of veterans Mohammad Hafeez and Shoaib Malik. In Mohammad Rizwan, Shadab Khan and Imad Wasim the side has good batting strength down the order.
Their bowlers did a decent job in the last game after going for early runs. Shaheen Afridi and Imad Wasim will target early wickets with the new ball. It was good to see Mohammad Amir strike good form in the last game. Shadab Khan and Iftikhar Ahmed will look to continue with the same rhythm while Azam would like to see better lines from Haris Rauf in the next game as his bowling was wayward.
Babar Azam (c), Fakhar Zaman, Mohammad Hafeez, Shoaib Malik, Mohammad Rizwan (wk), Iftikhar Ahmed, Shadab Khan, Imad Wasim, Mohammad Amir, Haris Rauf, Shaheen Afridi
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||9||0 mm.||3.78 k/h||From: N||18%|
|03h||9||0 mm.||3.27 k/h||From: N||22%|
|06h||8||0 mm.||2.33 k/h||From: N||13%|
|09h||12||0 mm.||3.24 k/h||From: N||13%|
|12h||15||0 mm.||3.02 k/h||From: N||28%|
|15h||14||0 mm.||2.48 k/h||From: NNW||100%|
|18h||13||0 mm.||2.24 k/h||From: NNW||100%|
|21h||12||0 mm.||0.92 k/h||From: NNE||100%|
The weather predictions for August 30 at Manchester look promising after the last game was washed away by rains. Batting conditions would be tough as we had seen in the previous game and batsmen can’t commit themselves to the front foot easily. The side that bats first would take 160 runs which will be a competitive total in these conditions.
Fast bowlers have always enjoyed bowling on this surface with only 142 runs being the average first innings total here. Batsmen need to get their eyes set in to do well on this track and they can’t force the scoring rate. Boundaries are deep here and this offers some leeway to spinners for tossing the ball up and creating wicket taking opportunities.
In the last five completed games at this venue the sides that have chased the scores have won four games. The pitch can be a tricky one to bat on in the early overs and hence setting a target is always a challenge here. We see both the captains preferring to bowl first on this surface upon winning the toss.
There would be pressure on both the sides to win this game with the first T20i being washed away by rain. The winner would be able to take an unassailable lead in the series. Pakistanis did well with the ball in the last game but it is their batting line-up that will be tested here due to the conditions. England looks a much balanced side with batsmen in form and depth in both departments of the game. This will make them favorites to win this contest and take a lead in the series.
England to win