By News Team
Last Updated: 15th July 2021
It’s the return of the A team for England as Eoin Morgan is back to take charge of the white-ball juggernaut that is the England cricket team.
Having seen off Pakistan 3-0 in the ODI series, it’s the turn of the T20 side as they look to get some valuable match practice in ahead of the T20 World Cup later in the year.
Captain Morgan back to the helm
England were dominant in their three-match ODI series against Pakistan despite fielding a ‘B’ side that included many debutants. However such is the strength in depth that this white-ball side have at their disposable, the outcome was still the same.
Ben Stokes took the call from management to captain the inexperienced side when not expected to play any ODI cricket this summer, and he was able to call upon tried and tested players from the county circuit that would walk into many international sides. Amongst them the likes of Brydon Carse and Phil Salt, the Durham bowler and Sussex batsmen both showed their credentials with respective five-wicket-hauls and fifties.
However, the T20 series will bring with it the superstars that were forced to miss the ODI series, and in doing so they force those called up to the front line back into the barracks. Fans will not be disappointed to see the likes of Jos Buttler, Jonny Bairstow, and Morgan hitting it round all corners of the park against what has seemed a deflated Pakistani side.
Bairstow looked to be returning to form in the recent ODI series against Sri Lanka, notching scores of 51, 43, and 29. The current price of 5/2 for him to lead the run charge for the hosts could be a big price if he gets off to his usual aggressive start. All the returning players will be cautious of keeping their place in the side with the World Cup approaching later in the year, as one thing the ‘B’ team have shown in their three-nil victory over Pakistan is that there are players waiting on the side-lines ready to take their chances if one of the mainstays is not performing.
On the bowling front, Adil Rashid is the obvious pick of the bowlers here, Matt Parkinson came in as his replacement in the ODI’s and was able to trouble the Pakistani batsmen including bowling a ball to dismiss Imam-Ul-Haq that spun more than any other ball in 15 years of ODI cricket. Rashid is as dangerous as they come in this form of the game and is priced at 3/1 to lead the wicket takers column on Friday.
Visitors have it all to do
These prices are entirely reflective of the dominance seen over the ODI series from a weakened England side. Pakistan will head into these T20s with it all to do and how they manage to bounce back will tell us plenty about their World Cup ambitions this year. Captain, Babar Azam is an obvious place to start when searching for the tourists runs. He is clearly a fine batsman and he showed that when scoring a well-tempered 158 from 139 balls in the final ODI. He is the obvious danger in this line-up and England will be well versed in their plans to constrict the runs from his bat.
In terms of bowling, Shaheen Shah Afridi didn’t have the best final game of the ODI series and at points physically displayed his aggression. Despite this he is a quality T20 bowler and if conditions fall in his favour, he could prove very dangerous to the English batsmen at 2/1.
However, this looks an incredibly difficult task for the Pakistan team to bounce back from a crushing defeat and then face this rested and strengthened England team.