England comprehensive outplayed Pakistan in the ODI series © Getty Images
England comprehensive outplayed Pakistan in the ODI series © Getty Images

With Pakistan winning the Test series and England victors in One-Day International (ODI) series the Twenty20 international (T20I) series between the two nations looks a promising affair. Pakistan will have a change of guard with their evergreen un-ageing captain Shahid Afridi at helm taking over from Azhar Ali. England skipper Eoin Morgan will be high on confidence after convincing performance by his young team in ODI’s. Vishal Mehra lists down various factors that are bound to make this a keenly watched series by cricketing fans all across. SCORECARD: Pakistan vs England 2015, 1st T20I at Dubai

Lets firstly venture into the host team, after emphatically winning the Tests Pakistan were out-batted and fielded in the ODI’s by England who won the series 3-1. Skipper Shahid Afridi will have a new team to field with mouthful of T20 specialists coming in the form of Umar Akmal, Sohail Tanvir and Sohaib Masood. Umar Akmal (1,395) is second on the list of T20I run getter for Pakistan only behind Mohammad Hafeez (1,399), also in the team. Afridi is the second highest wicket taker in T20I with 83 dismissals and in Tavir; they have a brilliant death-bowling specialist. Notable misses from the team are Yasir Shah and Zafar Gohar who have troubled England batsmen with their flight and spin. ALSO READ: Waqar Younis takes positives from defeat against England in ODI series

The visitors England, who are having a great time in the colored clothing format of the game will look to carry on the momentum in the T20I series as well. Unlike Pakistan, the Eoin Morgan-led side is more settled and has been performing extraordinarily well. With Jason Roy, Jos Buttler and Alex Hales having already activated their destructive mode it will make for a scintillating viewing experience. As for the bowling department Reece Topley has shown accuracy and control with new and old ball. He will surely be looking to book a ticket to India for T20I World Cup with another good series. Chris Woakes and Liam Plunkett will look to provide line and length bowling along with the spin of Adil Rashid. David Willey will be the player to look out for in the series. ALSO READ: Trevor Bayliss praises England’s impressive progress

Pakistan has had successful T20 year so far with victories over Zimbabwe (home and away) and Sri Lanka (away) will look to finish off the year on a high leading into preparation for the Asia Cup T20 edition and T20 World Cup in Bangladesh and India next year respectively. England on the other hand have played just 2 T20I this year winning both (one each against New Zealand and Australia), will look to get ideal practice for their young and inexperienced players at international level. Pakistan and England have won their respective tour T20 matches against Hong Kong and UAE.

Pakistan are currently ranked No. 2 and England are ranked 8th in the ICC T20 ranking. The first T20I between Pakistan and England is to be played on Thursday at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium (DSC).

Time:  20:00 local | 16:00 GMT | 20:30 IST


Pakistan: Ahmed Shehzad, Mohammad Hafeez, Mohammad Irfan, Anwar Ali, Sarfraz Ahmed, Wahab Riaz, Aamer Yamin, Mohammad Rizwan, Shoaib Malik, Bilal Asif, Shahid Afridi, Imran Khan jnr, Rafatullah Mohmand, Sohail Tanvir, Sohaib Maqsood, Umar Akmal

England: Moeen Ali, Reece Topley, Jason Roy, James Vince, Chris Woakes, Jos Buttler, David Willey, Alex Hales, Liam Plunkett, Adil Rashid, Joe Root, Sam Billings, Stephen Parry, Eoin Morgan, Chris Jordan

(Vishal Mehra is a reporter at CricketCountry, who enjoys his weekly dose of anime and plays cricket once a white moon. His twitter handle is @vishal_oxyjinn.)