By News Team
26th August 2020
No time to rest for England cricket fans as it’s the turn of their T20 squad next as they face Pakistan in the first of a three-match T20 series on Friday.
Ahead of the start of the series, we’ve taken a look at a few things to watch out for in the first clash.
Malan to impress if given the chance
England’s Test team did their bit against Pakistan, defeating their opponents earlier this week. Now it’s time for the T20 side to make their mark, with England having separate red and white ball squads this summer to negotiate the busy schedule. The white ball squad have already defeated Ireland 2-1 in an ODI series earlier this month, but after being stunned by their neighbours when losing the final match, they’ll be keen to hit the ground running in the T20 format here against Pakistan on Friday.
England head into the first clash at Old Trafford in Manchester as the 4/7 favourites, with Pakistan priced at 11/8 for the win. With England currently ranked as the second best T20 side in the world it comes as little surprise that Eoin Morgan’s men will be looking to make a statement here against fourth-ranked Pakistan with the T20 World Cup on the horizon next year.
One man that could be set to benefit from England’s separate red and white ball squads could be Dawid Malan. With England’s regular T20 top-order batsman Jos Buttler in the Test squad, there is a space in the side up for grabs, and after missing the ODI series against Ireland through a calf injury, Malan could be the man to come in. Fit-again Malan has effectively replaced fellow batsman James Vince in England’s squad, with Vince missing out after struggling to for form against Ireland.
While Malan can struggle for consistency at times, he knows the T20 game well. The 32-year-old is currently ranked by the ICC as the sixth best T20I batsman in the world and it wasn’t too long ago that he hit a stunning 48-ball century for England – a record for the fastest international T20 ton by an Englishman. He’s in form too, having recently scored a career-best 219 for Yorkshire in the Bob Willis Trophy, so if selected on Friday, he could be the man to back to finish as England’s top batsman at 9/2.
Rashid to show his importance
Another man returning to the England white ball squad for the Pakistan T20 series is Chris Jordan, who also missed the Ireland games due to a bicep injury. Seamer Jordan is a bit of T20 specialist and his 58 wickets for England have helped him to 10th in the current ICC T20I world rankings for bowlers. At 9/4, he’s the favourite to finish as the hosts’ best bowler on Friday if given the nod.
England’s ultimate white ball specialist when it comes to bowling, though, is Adil Rashid and at 10/3 is the favourite to finish up as the hosts’ top performing bowler. Rashid, who sits eighth in the ICC T20I world rankings for bowlers, had been struggling with a shoulder injury but looks to be getting back to his best.
Rashid took a total of five wickets during the Ireland series and there have even been calls for the 32-year-old to return to the Test squad. Whether that happens remains to be seen, but he plays a pivotal role in this T20 team, particularly building up to next year’s T20 World Cup.