Pakistan vs England 5th T20I Preview: Expect more ebbs and flows as action shifts to Lahore
After four thoroughly entertaining T20s in the Karachi leg, there is not much to separate the two sides.
Top Tournament Stats
As we move from Karachi to Lahore for the second leg of the series - you can hardly say this about any other T20 series in recent times - it is a good time to take stock of what has panned out till now.
Four matches in, and the two teams are closely locked at 2-2 with not much separating them. If there is a clear differentiation between the teams, it is not in results but the ideology of the two sides and the way they go about their business.
Pakistan have a stronger bowling unit than England but their batters, with the exception of Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan, can leave a bit too much to be desired.
England, on the other hand, are packed with power hitters but lack bowling depth. One saw how the inclusion of Mark Wood changed things around completely for them in the third T20. But, their bowling was once again lackluster in the 4th match.
Another clear difference between the two sides is the risk their batters take. England have scored at 9.44 per over in the series till now but have lost a wicket every 21.5 balls. Pakistan on the other hand have scored at 8.61 but have retained their wickets for longer, 25.1 deliveries to be precise.
Now, these are two different ways to approach a T20 innings. One team is top heavy and tries to take the game as deep as possible. They do have the likes of Asif Ali and Iftikhar Ahmed to go big if say 30 are required off the last two overs.
England on the other hand believe in going all out, something they can afford with somebody of the ability of Sam Curran batting as low as he does.
Pakistan need to try out Abrar Ahmed, Aamer Jamal
Pakistan are yet to introduce Shadab Khan who is a key player for them. Abrar Ahmed and Aamer Jamal who have been included in the T20 WC squad haven't got any game time yet and perhaps now is the right time to ring those changes.
England too have decided not to risk their frontline players too much and Mark Wood has been allowed just one outing. Perhaps, he will return to the fold for the last couple of matches. Same is the case with Jos Buttler who is yet to be 100% and might only play the last match of the series, if at all.
Haris Rauf rises to the occasion
As expected, Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan have been the top performers for Pakistan in the series till now despite the debate surrounding their strike rate and sometimes how they can be counter productive in their bid to bat deep.
Haris Rauf has stood out for Pakistan who are yet to give Naseem Shah a proper run.
Brook, Duckett do the job
For England, Mark Wood was particularly impressive in his only outing. Reece Topley has also done a fine job.
While England's top order is yet to fire, Harry Brook and Ben Duckett have been more than a handful for the Pakistan bowlers, with a couple of cameos from stand-in captain Moeen Ali as well.
Predicted Playing XIs
Pakistan - Babar Azam (c), Mohammad Rizwan (wk), Haider Ali, Shan Masood, Iftikhar Ahmed, Khushdil Shah, Mohammad Nawaz, Shadab Khan/Usman Qadir, Haris Rauf, Shahnawaz Dahani, Mohammad Hasnain/Naseem Shah
England - Alex Hales, Philip Salt (wk), Will Jacks, Ben Duckett, Harry Brook, Moeen Ali (c), Sam Curran, Liam Dawson, Reece Topley, David Willey/Olly Stone, Adil Rashid
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