England and Pakistan Ready for T20 Battle

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After a hard-fought Test series, England and Pakistan prepare for three T20 internationals that are sure to excite!

England captain Eoin Morgan

After a hard-fought defeat in the Test series, Pakistan now face a new-look England side bidding to enhance their claims for next year’s Twenty20 World Cup.

The teams meet in three day-night T20 internationals at Old Trafford and Pakistan are a dangerous side in this format.

They have won 20 of their 30 completed T20 games since the start of 2018 but they are up against a power-packed England batting line-up, featuring 50-over World Cup winners Eoin Morgan and Jonny Bairstow.

England Ready to Test Strength in Depth

None of the players who featured in England’s Test series against Pakistan were considered for selection for the Twenty20s so that means the tourists don’t have to worry about superstars Jos Buttler and Ben Stokes.

However, England’s depth of white-ball talent means their squad is still packed with matchwinners including skipper Morgan, who smashed 57 not out off 22 balls to clinch a thrilling series in South Africa in February.

England are 20/41 to win the first game of the three-match series and they showed their quality and nerve in that 2-1 triumph against the Proteas.

But Pakistan, currently available to back at 7/5, should make things competitive given their versatile bowling attack.

Their 17-year-old fast bowler Naseem Shah and the 39-year-old Mohammad Hafeez personify the blend of youth and experience in the Pakistan squad so England may not have things all their own way.

Punters Could be Toasting Captain Morgan

World Cup-winning opener Bairstow dominates the top England runscorer market at 9/4 after a side injury ruled Jason Roy out of the series.

However, skipper Morgan looks an appealing bet at 5/1 given his terrific recent form in white-ball cricket.

Since the start of the 2019 English summer, he has scored 385 runs from just 208 balls in Twenty20 internationals, including a brutal 57 not out against Pakistan in Cardiff.

He warmed up for this series with an ODI century against Ireland and should relish a return to Old Trafford, where he thumped a record 17 sixes in an astonishing 148 against Afghanistan at last year’s World Cup.

Morgan’s opposite number Babar Azam, who averages more than 50 in T20 internationals, is a clear favourite at 7/4 to top-score for Pakistan.

Wicket-keeper Mohammad Rizwan is one to note at 11/1 as he could earn a promotion in the batting order after a couple of excellent half-centuries during the Test series.

Jordan Can Add to his Wickets Tally

Chris Jordan looks a good favourite at 11/4 to be England’s top wicket-taker at a ground where he took his best ODI figures of 5-29 in 2014.

The Sussex fast bowler will know plenty of the opposition batsmen from his successful spell in this year’s Pakistan Super League and he is likely to be entrusted with bowling at the end of the innings, when there are more wicket-taking opportunities.

His 2019 efforts included a spell of 4-6 against the West Indies in Basseterre and he looks the pick of the England pacemen.

Mohammad Amir is the 11/4 favourite for Pakistan but their variety of bowling options make this a tricky betting heat.

Haris Rauf, who impressed in the Big Bash in Australia, is a 10/3 shot while spinners Shadab Khan and Imad Wasim are 7/2 and 4/1 respectively.

*All odds correct at time of writing

Rob has around 20 years journalism experience and has written and commentated on the likes of football, cricket and rugby. He also has an impressive background in racquet sports and regularly provides content on the likes of tennis and badminton.
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