Babar Azam returned to form and Pakistan have snatched the initiative away from England in the T20I series.
England’s defeat shows just how close competition is in the game’s shortest format.
England vs Pakistan | 18 July 2021 | Headingley, Leeds | 15:30
To Win Match
England were given a rude awakening after putting Pakistan in to bat in the first T20I as their bowling was carted to all parts of the ground in a mammoth effort from the tourists.
The loss of early wickets put England behind the game and despite valiant efforts and a maiden T20I ton for Liam Livingstone England ran out of runway in their bid for a quick takeoff in the series.
England’s bowlers will want to tighten things up at the start to prevent the opposition playing them out of the game as happened first up.
In terms of batting, England will want more from their top four and may looks to shuffle the personnel in those positions.
After a disappointing ODI series, Babar and company have averted the calls for change for a moment at least with a strong start to the series which bodes well for the upcoming T20 World Cup.
Pakistan started well with the bat as well as the ball, led by Babar and Mohammad Rizwan and then inspired by Mohammad Hasnain and Shaheen Afridi.
The tourists have opted to use their best batsmen upfront which might be a lesson to England, whose experimentation cost them dearly.
Pakistan are a good team when it comes to defending a total, and England might also want to adjust their approach to the game accordingly, and try to shift the pressure.
Verdict: England 62/100
The hosts will come back hard.