ENG vs PAK 2024: Pakistan’s best playing XI for the T20I series against England

May 20, 2024

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England and Pakistan are set to face off in an enthralling four-match T20I series starting May 22. This series serves as a crucial opportunity for both teams to fine-tune their squads ahead of the T20 World Cup 2024, which will be hosted by the West Indies and the United States of America (USA). The series will provide both sides with valuable match practice and a chance to experiment with their line-ups and strategies.

ENG vs PAK: T20I series fixtures

The T20I series between England and Pakistan will commence on Wednesday (May 22) at Headingley, Leeds, setting the stage for an exciting cricketing contest. The second match is scheduled for Saturday (May 25) at Edgbaston, Birmingham, providing both teams with a crucial mid-series clash. The series will then move to Sophia Gardens, Cardiff, for the third match on Tuesday (May 28) where teams will look to gain a decisive edge. Finally, the series will conclude with the fourth and final match on Thursday (May 30) at Kennington Oval, London, where the teams will aim to finalize their preparations ahead of the T20 World Cup.

Pakistan’s recent form and key players

Pakistan comes into this series with momentum, having recently secured a 2-1 series victory over Ireland. This series win has boosted their confidence, and they will be looking to continue their good form against England.

Babar Azam will be a key player for Pakistan. As the most successful captain in T20Is, his leadership and batting prowess will be crucial. The series also marks a significant return for Haris Rauf, who has been sidelined due to an injury sustained during the Pakistan Super League (PSL) 2024. His pace and ability to pick wickets at crucial junctures will be vital for Pakistan’s success.

In addition to Rauf, Pakistan’s bowling attack features formidable players such as Hasan Ali, Naseem Shah, and Shaheen Shah Afridi. These bowlers have the potential to trouble any batting line-up in the world, making them key assets for Pakistan in both the series and the upcoming World Cup.

Also READ: Here’s the skyrocketing ticket price of India vs Pakistan clash in T20 World Cup 2024

Pakistan’s squad is further strengthened by the presence of versatile all-rounders. Iftikhar Ahmed, Shadab Khan, and Imad Wasim provide depth in both batting and bowling, allowing the team to maintain balance and flexibility in their line-up. Their ability to contribute in multiple facets of the game makes them indispensable, particularly in T20 cricket where adaptability is crucial.

Pakistan’s top-choice playing XI for the T20I series against England:

1. Babar Azam (Captain)

Role: Top-order batter
Reason: Babar Azam’s consistency and ability to anchor the innings make him indispensable. His leadership is crucial for guiding the team.

2. Mohammad Rizwan (Wicketkeeper)

Role: Top-order batter
Reason: Rizwan’s recent form in T20s has been phenomenal. His ability to keep the scoreboard ticking and play aggressive cricket is essential.

3. Saim Ayub

Role: Top-order batter
Reason: A rising star, Saim brings fresh energy and aggression to the top order, providing the necessary spark early in the innings.

4. Iftikhar Ahmed

Role: Middle-order batter, part-time off-spinner
Reason: Iftikhar offers stability and power in the middle order. His ability to play big shots and bowl useful off-spin makes him a valuable asset.

5. Azam Khan

Role: Middle-order batter
Reason: Known for his hard-hitting ability, Azam Khan can take on bowlers in the middle and death overs, providing the team with the firepower needed to boost the scoring rate.

6. Imad Wasim

Role: All-rounder (left-arm spinner, lower-order batter)
Reason: Imad’s experience and ability to bowl economically are crucial in T20s. His batting skills lower down the order can provide vital runs.

7. Shadab Khan (Vice-Captain)

Role: All-rounder (leg-spinner, lower-order batter)
Reason: Shadab’s all-round capabilities, leadership qualities, and excellent fielding make him a key player. His leg-spin is particularly effective in T20s.

8. Hasan Ali

Role: Fast bowler
Reason: Hasan’s experience and ability to swing the ball in English conditions are invaluable. His lower-order hitting can also be a bonus.

9. Shaheen Afridi

Role: Fast bowler
Reason: Shaheen’s pace and ability to take wickets in the powerplay and at the death make him a crucial component of the bowling attack.

10. Haris Rauf

Role: Fast bowler
Reason: Haris’ express pace and skill at the death overs are vital for containing the opposition and picking up crucial wickets.

11. Naseem Shah

Role: Fast bowler
Reason: Naseem’s raw pace and bounce make him an exciting and aggressive option in the bowling lineup, especially in English conditions.

Substitutes Players

Mohammad Amir: An experienced bowler who can provide guidance and step in if needed.
Abrar Ahmed: A mystery spinner who can be utilized on pitches that assist spin.
Mohammad Abbas Afridi: A promising young fast bowler who can be groomed for future series.
Usman Khan: An additional batting option to provide depth if required.
Mohammad Irfan Khan: A versatile player who can be included for his batting prowess and fielding skills.

Strategy for England conditions

Pace Attack: Leveraging the pace and movement of Shaheen, Haris, and Naseem, Pakistan can exploit the bounce and swing in English conditions. Hasan Ali adds to this with his ability to swing the ball.
Spin Options: Shadab and Imad provide a balanced spin attack, essential for middle overs control. Their experience in T20 leagues adds tactical flexibility.
Dynamic Batting Lineup: The top order is anchored by Babar and Rizwan, while Saim Ayub and Azam Khan provide the aggressive stroke play. The middle order, with Iftikhar, Imad, and Shadab, offers both stability and explosive power.
Fielding and Versatility: This squad includes several all-rounders, providing depth in both batting and bowling. The fielding unit, led by Shadab and Babar, is agile and dynamic, crucial in T20s.

Also READ: “Play in PSL or come with the Indian team”: Shahid Afridi reacts positively to Virat Kohli’s desire of visiting Pakistan

For latest cricket news & updates, visit CricketTimes.com.

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