Seeking comeback, Pakistan likely to make changes

Alam Zeb Safi
Thursday, Sep 22, 2022

KARACHI: Pakistan will be looking to bring parity when they face England in their second T20 game of the seven-match series here at the National Stadium on Thursday (today).

Both sides are battling issues with their key players either injured or coming back from injuries.

Pakistan will need to show some intensity in their batting. Skipper Babar may have to reshuffle the batting line-up which is the only way if a solid total is to put on the board.

It is also expected that Pakistan will make some changes in the side.

England too are likely to test another youngster. Their young left-armer Luke Wood had a dream debut as he took 3-24 in his quota of four overs and got the man of the match award. England have five uncapped players in their squad for the series which is a prelude to the ICC T20 World Cup which will begin in Australia next month.

In the first game, quite unexpectedly, Pakistan did not show the spine which they needed to exhibit.

England overcame Pakistan with an enviable ease -- by six wickets – despite the fact that majority of their players were playing for the first time in Pakistan. Only a few had the experience of playing in the PSL.

Alex Hales marked his return to international cricket in style with a 53 off 40 balls, helping England to chase the 159-run target with four balls to spare after losing four wickets.

Harry Brook also did well with the willow, scoring a superb unbeaten 42 off 25 balls. He added 55 runs for the fourth wicket with Hales.

This is after 17 years that England are visiting Pakistan. They last toured the country in 2005.

Pakistani pacers did not bowl in the right area on a wicket which seemed to be tricky. Naseem Shah conceded 41 in four overs and Shahnawaz Dahani leaked 38 runs in just 3.2 overs.

Leggie Usman Qadir gave away 36 runs in four overs, taking two wickets. Debutant Shan Masood hurt Pakistan’s cause when he dropped Alex Hales. Haris Rauf bowled well, taking 1 for 23 in his four overs.

Pakistan’s area of concern is their batting. Captain Babar Azam (31) and Mohammad Rizwan (68) put on 85 off 57 balls in the opening stand, but the Green-shirts failed to capitalise on that and were restricted to just 158-7, a below-par total for a team like England.

With Haider Ali (11) and Shan Masood (7) failing with the bat, it was left to Iftikhar Ahmed to accelerate the scoring. But his explosive 17-ball 28 did not help the hosts to post a defendable total. Mohammad Nawaz (4) also got out cheaply with Khushdil scoring just five off seven deliveries.

Pakistan squad: Babar Azam (captain), Shadab Khan (vice-captain), Aamir Jamal, Abrar Ahmed, Asif Ali, Haider Ali, Haris Rauf, Iftikhar Ahmed, Khushdil Shah, Mohammad Haris, Mohammad Hasnain, Mohammad Nawaz, Mohammad Rizwan, Mohammad Wasim Junior, Naseem Shah, Shahnawaz Dahani, Shan Masood, Usman Qadir

England squad: Jos Buttler (captain), Moeen Ali (vice-captain), Harry Brook, Jordan Cox, Sam Curran, Ben Duckett, Liam Dawson, Richard Gleeson, Alex Hales, Tom Helm, Will Jacks, Dawid Malan, Adil Rashid, Phil Salt, Olly Stone, Reece Topley, David Willey, Chris Woakes, Luke Wood, Mark Wood