2nd T20I Match Preview: Pakistan Looks to Seal Series

How would you like that? Change of formats brought a change of fortunes for Pakistan, who were winless in the tour. Not until Friday night, when they romped to victory by 31 runs. On their way to their first victory, Pakistan broke some records, which pleased the Pakistan fans. It was indeed one remarkable comeback against an (almost) full-strength England. But can Pakistan continue to keep this form up? Here’s the match preview for the 2nd T20I match. 

For Pakistan, it was full of joyous moments. Their batting clicked, their bowlers picked all ten wickets, and most importantly, their fielding was excellent to every level. The fielding was just outstanding. In particular, Shadab Khan, who has been quiet in international cricket lately. The leg-spinner not only picked three important wickets but also had taken a spectacular catch, attempted run-out, and some fielding moments where he saved crucial runs. 

But the question comes whether Pakistan can carry this form in the next games. And this is crucial as the T20 World Cup will ask them to continue carrying their forms to their next games. And so, whether Pakistan can keep on performing same or similar way have to find out. 

Haris Rauf in 2nd T20I
Pakistan’s fielders were excellent in Nottingham. But can they keep at in the final two matches?

Jos Buttler to come back?

Pakistan’s brilliance took down England, but not without a fight. And let’s be fair a little, this was England’s not completely strength side. Their first choice players Jos Buttler, Chris Jordan, and Adil Rashid, were left out because they wanted to experiment with players in this series. As captain Eoin Morgan said, they feel this is the last series where they have to test players before they become serious in selection. 

England did test out a couple of irregular players in the side. But they could only bring two players to the spotlight. Liam Livingstone’s 103 was the highlight of the match for the home side. Jason Roy was the second-best with 32; he looked more threatening before Shadab ended his innings, and the rest couldn’t really get going. But England will make sure that they come back stronger. 

Their stand-in head coach and World T20 winner Paul Collingwood confirmed Jos Buttler’s return to England’s side. Buttler has always been England’s go man in the white-ball series, given his ability to change the match in a blink of an eye. In the only game he has played this summer, Buttler smashed 68* in the first T20I against Sri Lanka, and you can expect him to play a big role. 

England will not back out this easily, especially not with the tournament is around. 

Match Details:

  • Date: July 18, 2021
  • Timing: 6:30 PM PKT
  • Venue: Headingly, Leeds 
  • Weather: The temperature is hot and clear in Leeds. By the time the match starts, it will be about 27℃.

Conditions / Pitch Report: 

Leeds pitch is also a high-scoring pitch as the average score on the ground is 192. There was rain at Leeds a few days ago, and that could slow things down. Otherwise, expect another run feast for the batsmen. 

Head to Head:

Matches: 19 | England: 11 | Pakistan: 6 | Tied/ No-result: 1/1

Form Guide:

England: L W W W L  (Most recent first)

Pakistan: W W L W W 

Team News:

1. England

Jos Buttler is confirmed to come back for the game while Chris Jordan and Adil Rashid look to return as well. Moeen Ali will likely miss out for Jos while Tom Curran and Matt Parkinson will make away for Jordan and Rashid. 

England’s Probable XI:

1. Jason Roy, 2. Jos Buttler (WK), 3. Dawid Malan, 4. Eoin Morgan (C), 5. Johnny Bairstow, 6. Liam Livingstone, 7. Lewis Gregory, 8. David Willey, 9. Saqib Mahmood, 10. Chris Jordan, 11. Adil Rashid

2. Pakistan

Hasan was rested for the first T20I because of preventive measures. If he is good to go, he may be likely to replace Haris Rauf. Otherwise, Pakistan will likely go with the same side.

Pakistan’s Probable XI:

1. Mohammad Rizwan (wk), 2. Babar Azam (c), 3. Fakhar Zaman 4. Mohammad Hafeez, 5. Sohaib Maqsood, 6. Azam Khan, 7. Imad Wasim, 8. Shadab Khan, 9. Hasan Ali/ Haris Rauf, 10. Shaheen Afridi, 11. Mohammad Hasnain

Players to watch:

1. Liam Livingstone, Batsman (England)

Another player who played PSL, Liam Livingstone, is familiar with the Pakistani boys and their way of playing the game. He was dropped on two, abid a difficult chance at third man region before he made another 101 runs. He broke a couple of records for England, becoming the fastest half-centurion and centurion in 17 and 49 balls, respectively. Liam Livingstone will definitely go big again on Pakistan. 

2. Mohammad Rizwan, Batsman (Pakistan) 

Ever since Mohammad Rizwan moved at the opening order, he has been outstanding. All of his seven fifties and one hundred came at that position, in which only one fifty came in the losing cause. In 2021, he has been tremendous. In eleven matches so far this year, he scored 593 runs at an astonishing average of 98.83. His form for Pakistan is crucial, and to win the series, Rizwan has to keep on going and support his captain. 

3. Chris Jordan, Bowler (England)

Known best for his death bowling, Chris Jordan is England’s highest wicket-taker in T20Is with 73. Though his economy of 8.71 isn’t impressive, his skills at the death are so. His execution of yorkers at the back end of the innings proves worthy for his side. The death bowling was missing for England at Nottingham, and Jordan’s inclusion, likely in Tom Curran’s place, will strengthen that area. 

4. Mohammad Hasnain, Bowler (Pakistan)

In the game where runs came easily, Mohammad Hasnain was the only bowler to have an economy below nine. His economy of 7 in his spell of 1-28 was overshadowed by his bowling teammates, in particular Shadab and Shaheen. Hasnain has recently improved himself. His economy dropped from 8.07 to 6.73 since the start of August 2020. Hasnain has been criticized for leaking runs, but he shows that he is not just a wicket-taking run-machine as he improves himself. He will be determined to improve further. 

Stats and Trivia:

  • If England loses on Sunday, it will be their first home series loss since 2018.  
  • Fakhar Zaman is just 26 runs away to become the seventh Pakistan batsman to score 1,000 runs in T20Is. 


“We’re desperate to win the games – we’ve got two games to win the series – but there is experimenting going on because we’ve got to give guys opportunities. There are not many games before the T20 World Cup and you’ve got to give guys opportunities.”

  • England stand-in coach Paul Collingwood

Also read: World Test Championship: Pakistan’s Best Chance to Play Finals?

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