Hollywoodbets Sports Blog: First T20I: England vs Pakistan Preview

First T20I: England vs Pakistan Preview

England vs Pakistan Preview

England will play the first T20 Cricket of their home summer with less than a month left in the season.

Photo Copyright - Steve Haag Sports 

Two women looking excitedly at cellphone

Pakistan are always a tough opponent in the shortest format, and they will serve as a test of how Eoin Morgan's England shape up with the 2021 T20 World Cup in India now confirmed to be the next major ICC tournament.

First T20I | Friday 28 August 2020 | Old Trafford, Manchester | 19:00

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Joe Root has been released to play for Yorkshire in the T20 Blast affording Joe Denly a place in the England squad.

Denly will duke it out with Dawid Malan for a place in the England middle order.

It will be intriguing to see which gloveman England go with and where they bat in the order. Jonny Bairstow is likely to play as a specialist batsman; he can open the batting or take on the number three slot. Tom Banton is another option to step in for Jos Buttler behind the sticks and at the top of the order. Sam Billings is likely to bat further down the order if he is given the nod as the keeper.

With Jofra Archer absent David Willey is expected to take the new ball, and Eoin Morgan may throw a twist Pakistan's way in the form of spinner Moeen Ali taking the new pill.

Moeen and fellow tweaker Adil Rashid are expected to feature together as having at least two spinners in the attack has become the global standard in T20 cricket.

Chris Jordan and Tom Curran should retain their places in the starting XI provided they are fit.

Pakistan's squad comprises an interesting blend of youth and experience. It features veterans Mohammed Hafeez and Shoaib Malik and will be led by Babar Azam.

Babar and opening partner Fakhar Zaman present Pakistan's greatest top-order batting threat.

Pakistan might prefer not to rely on Iftikhar Ahmed's inconsistent finishing, and his place could be under threat from flamboyant left-hander Khushdil Shah.

The enlarged 17-man squad has allowed Pakistan to stack their seamers deck, but Babar is likely to have to single out just three to face England at Old Trafford. Mohammad Amir, Shaheen Afridi, Haris Rauf, Naseem Shah, Muhammed Hasnain and Wahab Riaz all bring something different to the party, and it is a tough ask to cut three.

Imad Wasim has enjoyed himself in T20 cricket in England before and should feature alongside Shadab Khan as Pakistan's spin options and more than handy lower-order batsmen.

Verdict: England
Home town heroes should prevail in this one.

Written by James Richardson for Hollywoodbets 

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