The iconic Trent Bridge at Nottingham is set to host England and Pakistan for the first T20 International (T20I) of the upcoming three-match series, starting on Friday (July 16).
Ahead of the T20I battle, the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) had announced the T20I squad, which saw the return of regular skipper Eoin Morgan and few other senior cricketers who missed out on the recently concluded ODI series due to COVID-19 complications.
Despite the absence of experienced players, England led by Ben Stokes managed to crush the full-strength Pakistan side by 3-0 in the ODI leg. Some top-performers of ODI fixtures, Lewis Gregory, Jake Ball, Saqib Mahmood, Matthew Parkinson have made it to the 16-man T20I squad. However, Stokes has been given a rest.
On the other hand, Pakistan will have to start with a fresh mindset leaving aside all the troubles they faced in the ODI leg. The positive thing for the visitors is that their batting finally clicked in the last ODI, where captain Babar Azam scored a fantastic hundred. Pakistan is a better T20 side, and they will focus on changing the fortunes in the shortest format.
Trent Bridge has been a relatively high scoring ground, especially in the T20s. However, bowlers will get some assistance in the initial phase of the match. In total, 11 T20I matches have been played at this venue, where the team’s batting first won six times while the team chasing won on five occasions.
The likes of Jos Buttler, Chris Jordan, Jason Roy, Jonny Bairstow and Morgan will all feature in the playing XI. Saqib had a tremendous ODI leg, and he is expected to get a place in the final XI. Moeen Ali and Adil Rashid will, as usual, handle the spin department while Liam Livingstone and Tom Curran would come in as all-rounders.
ENG XI: Eoin Morgan (c), Jason Roy, Jos Buttler (wk), Dawid Malan, Jonny Bairstow, Liam Livingstone, Chris Jordan, Tom Curran, Saqib Mahmood, Adil Rashid, Moeen Ali.
There won’t be too many changes for Pakistan from the ODI side. The experienced player Mohammad Hafeez will surely feature in the XI along with young Azam Khan.
All-rounder Shadab Khan hasn’t been impressive in the ODI series but considering his stature, he is likely to secure his place.
PAK XI: Babar Azam (c), Mohammad Rizwan (wk), Fakhar Zaman, Mohammad Hafeez, Sohaib Maqsood, Faheem Ashraf, Shaheen Afridi, Haris Rauf, Hasan Ali, Azam Khan, Shadab Khan.
- England win the toss and bowl first
- Powerplay score: 40-50
- Pakistan total: 150-160
- Pakistan win the toss and bowl first
- Powerplay score: 50-60
- England total: 160-170
England to win the contest.