After a washed out first T20I, England and Pakistan would look to start afresh and register a win in Manchester on Sunday. Ever since the start of the Test series, weather has played a huge role, with second and third Tests ending in draws due to rain. Same was the fate of the T20I as well. But the forecast for the second T20I looks far more promising.
England might bring in one change in the form of David Willey, who was in sensational form in the series against Ireland, and could be used as an effective batsman lower down the order, apart from his bowling prowess. With Jason Roy out of the series, Tom Banton grabbed his chance and could once again be a key player for England. Dawid Malan, who has made double digit scores in each of his 11 T20I games, will likely continue at No.3.
As far as Pakistan is concerned, Haider Ali, who had an impressive PSL, could be asked to sit out again. While Wahab Riaz might get his first game, perhaps in place of Mohammad Amir. Shaheen Shah Afridi will most likely retain his spot.
In the last match, Pakistan looked a far cry from the side that was at the top of the ICC T20I Team Rankings until a few months ago, when 21-year-old Banton went on the attack. However, they went on to reaffirm their bowling efficiency, reducing England to 131/6 before rain intervened. Overall, England maintain a 10-4 win-loss record against Pakistan in T20Is, with one match tied.
Tom Banton, England opener: “When the white-ball side is at full strength I’m probably not going to break into it. I am just going to keep trying to score runs and put other guys under pressure and we’ll see how it goes from there. I don’t want to look too far ahead as there is a lot of cricket to be played. It’s one innings, I could go duck, duck the next two."
Babar Azam, Pakistan captain: “There is Shoaib, there is Hafeez. And then if you look at the bowling, there is Shaheen Shah and Wahab Riaz. There is Mohammad Amir and Haris Rauf. There is a good mix of seniors and juniors. So I’m hopeful that we can win the series."
(With ICC Inputs)