Pakistan and England will be looking to settle scores in One'off T20I at Old Trafford  © Getty Images
Pakistan and England will be looking to settle scores in One-off T20I at Old Trafford © Getty Images

Pakistan will be aiming to end England‘s tour with yet another win, after a horrendous display in the five-ODI series which they lost 1-4. Pakistan fought well in the final ODI, and will want to have the last laugh at the end of their long tour to England and Ireland. Pakistan’s spirit will be high, after beating England in the fifth ODI while chasing a big total. On the other hand, England will be counting on their strong batting order to pile up misery on their rivals. The one-off T20I will be played at Old Trafford, Manchester. The Old Trafford has witnessed all sorts of matches, low-scoring as well as high-scoring affairs. The hosts, though, have recently progressed forward with their batting department delivering more often than not. England are clear favourites going into the one-off T20I. FULL CRICKET SCORECARD: Pakistan vs England, One-off T20 Match

While England lie at the fifth spot in ICC T20I rankings, Pakistan are lagging behind on the seventh spot, which does not seem to do justice with the talent the visitors possess. Winning this T20I might not really improve their track record, but it will surely boost their confidence before they head to play the T20I series against West Indies in UAE.

England vs Pakistan head-to-head in T20Is:

England and Pakistan have played 13 T20Is so far. England have won 10 of them. The most recent T20I they played went into a super over which they won eventually by holding on to their nerves. The last T20I between the two teams was played at Sharjah, UAE in 2015. Pakistan have managed to win only three T20Is till date, a record they will look to brush aside while focusing on the game at hand. Both the teams have not played a single T20I against each other at Old Trafford.

England and Pakistan’s form in T20Is this year:

Pakistan are currently on the top spot in ICC Test rankings, but they badly need to make amends in the shorter format of the game. They were knocked out of the Asia Cup 2016 and ICC T20 World Cup 2016. On the other hand, England had a fantastic ICC T20 World Cup 2016 campaign, reaching the final of the tournament doing everything just about right but unfortunately losing to Carlos Brathwaite’s brilliance in the last over. England also won the T20I against Sri Lanka at their home. Eoin Morgan’s T20I side looks much more balanced as compared to Pakistan’s which has performed inconsistently in the recent past.

Buzz around the town:

Ben Stokes will be returning to the side after a nightmarish last over in the ICC T20 World Cup 2016 when England had the match under control and West Indies needed 19 runs off the last sic balls. Stokes got hammered for four sixes in a row which washed away England’s hopes of winning their second T20 World Cup. Stokes was crestfallen after that incident and took some time off, from the T20I squad as he was made a scapegoat for the last over blunder, and England’s loss in particular. He had a good ODI series against Pakistan and looked in decent form and will be looking to repeat that form in this T20I as well. His all-round abilities make him a key player for England.

Player to watch out for Pakistan:

Imad Wasim showed signs of brilliance against England in the ODI series, rescuing the team from a batting collapse on a few occasions. Wasim has been contributing with both bat and ball for his side with valuable runs lower down the order. He had a brilliant Caribbean Premier League 2016 (CPL) season as his team Jamaica Tallawahs won the league, and he played an instrumental role in the win. He has been economical with the ball in T20s, taking wickets at regular intervals and giving runs at an economy rate just over six. His performance against Ireland too, made him a talent to watch out for. Although, he will still have to improve his bowling, look more penetrating and dangerous.

Player to watch out for England:

Sam Billings will be one player everyone would expect to play, despite tough competition in the side for a berth. Billings stunned everyone with his batting performance in Indian Premier League 2016 (IPL) for Delhi Daredevils (DD). He can be a lethal middle-order batsman for England as he justified DD’s faith on picking him up in the squad in the auction. Other than his batting, Billings is a brilliant fielder too, who loves throwing himself on the ground to save singles, enforce run-outs and take spectacular catches.

The venue: Old Trafford cricket ground, Manchester

The Old Trafford cricket ground has hosted six T20Is in the history. The last game at this venue was a high scoring clash wherein England scored 191 in the first innings and eventually beat New Zealand by a margin of 57 runs. As far as this One-off T20I is concerned, it is expected to be a run-fest. Three of the six T20Is played at this ground have been abandoned or have yielded no results due to rain playing spoilsport.

A high-scoring affair can be expected at Old Trafford. On the contrary, if rain plays spoilsport or the forecast hints towards overcast conditions, then Morgan and Sarfraz Ahmed would like to bowl first, keeping in mind that a rain-curtailed match might be decided, by Duckworth-Lewis-Stern Method (DLS method).

Big guns in both squads:

Alex Hales recently dismantled Pakistan’s bowling attack by scoring the highest individual record in ODIs by an England batsman of 171. He will be expected to fire yet again, alongside the charismatic, Jason Roy who laid down the foundation of their chase in ICC T20 World Cup 2016 against South Africa as they chased down the highest-ever score in T20I history. Jos Buttler too is having a decent run with the bat. And Joe Root’s ability to get going quickly might also come into play. In the bowling department, keep an eye on Chris Jordan’s death-over bowling.

Pakistan’s squad has one of the leading wicket-takers, Sohail Tanvir, who had a brilliant CPL season playing for Guyana Amazon Warriors. Also, Shoaib Malik’s experience could well come into Pakistan’s need. Meanwhile, Sarfraz too is going through a great run of form. He was Pakistan’s highest-scorer in the ODI series and it was because of his innings in the final ODI, that Pakistan could avoid a whitewash in the five-match ODI series.

Squads:

England: Eoin Morgan (c), Moeen Ali, Sam Billings, Jos Buttler (wk), Alex Hales, Chris Jordan, Tymal Mills, Liam Plunkett, Adil Rashid, Joe Root, Jason Roy, Ben Stokes, David Willey, Mark Wood

Pakistan: Sarfraz Ahmed (c&wk), Khalid Latif, Sharjeel Khan, Shoaib Malik, Mohammad Rizwan, Babar Azam, Mohammad Nawaz, Imad Wasim, Mohammad Aamer, Wahab Riaz, Hasan Ali, Sohail Tanvir, Amad Butt

Time: 16:30 local | 17:30 GMT | 23:00 IST

(Arun Rawal, a reporter with CricketCountry, is a daydreamer, movie buff, and cricket fanatic. He could not play cricket, so did the next best thing, writing for it. He loves to play the flick shot over square leg, and believes Sachin Tendulkar is God. His Twitter handle is @ArunRawal93)