The Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) will witness a new chapter getting added to the history of international cricket when Pakistan and England lock horns in the final of the T20 World Cup 2022 on Sunday. We are just one game away from getting a new World T20 Champion but have to keep our fingers crossed as the stubborn Melbourne weather is on its toes to ruin the excitement. Fans will be praying to the cricketing gods to conjure up miraculous circumstances for the match to be held, even if it is a 10-overs a side affair.
Both Pakistan and England are chasing their second T20 World title. Back in 2009, the men in green won it for the first time under Younis Khan’s captaincy and in the next edition, Paul Collingwood’s men lifted the trophy after defeating Australia in Barbados.
The two teams meet again in the final of an ICC event after 30 years and the fans will be eager for a blazing contest between a confident England and solid Pakistan on Sunday, which is ironically a repeat of the settings of the 1992 ODI World Cup final clash.
What: Pakistan vs England, T20 World Cup 2022 Final
When: Sunday, November 13, 2022
Where: Melbourne Cricket Ground, Melbourne
Time: 1:30 PM IST
Team News Pakistan:
A majority of the cricket fraternity, including several former Pakistan players, predicted that Babar Azam and his boys will return to Karachi after the Super 12s. Back-to-back losses, to India and Zimbabwe, were the major reasons why Pakistan were completely written off. But their fortunes turned when the Netherlands knocked out South Africa. It was a blessing in disguise for Pakistan which gave them a chance to get through the semis and was finally, fulfilled after their victory against Bangladesh.
Pakistan’s comeback in the tournament was a result of teamwork and self-belief. Their new-ball bowling has been the most lethal in the tournament which has been led by young Shaheen Shah Afridi and brilliantly backed by Naseem Shah, Haris Rauf, and Mohammad Wasim Jr. Their spin twins, leg-spinner Shadab Khan and left-arm spinner Mohammad Nawaz have been extremely beneficial in stemming the run-flow in middle overs.
As far as their batting is concerned, Babar and Rizwan stormed back to form in the semi-finals and New Zealand had to face their wrath. They shared a 105-runs stand for the opening wicket, laying the foundation of a 5-wicket win and cruising into the finals. At the same time, the team has found a gem of a batter in Mohammad Haris who came in as a replacement for injured Fakhar Zaman and made a place for himself in no time.
The middle-order, which was under a lot of scrutiny before the tournament, has found the much-needed spark and the credit goes to Mohammad Haris, Shan Masood, Iftikhar, and Shadab.
England Team News
The Three Lions have been the silent assassins of this tournament. Their loss to Ireland was sheer bad luck but after that, they hardly looked under pressure. The 10-wicket victory against India, which landed them in the final, was simply a statement that World Cups are all about the strongest team lifting the trophy.
Buttler has admirably led England from the front. He has been in the form of his life in 2022 and poor Indians had to see it so closely. Alex Hales getting his mojo back is the icing on the cake for England. But the team will also hope its star all-rounders Ben Stokes, Moeen Ali, and Liam Livingstone fire against Pakistan to light up the MCG.
England’s bowling unit suffered a blow after Mark Wood was ruled out of the semis. But Chris Jordan replaced him with authority and had the prized wickets of Rohit and Virat Kohli. Sam Curran has been a revelation with the death-overs bowling though he did take some beating from India in the last five overs. Adil Rashid was so effective that the team didn’t have to go to Moeen Ali and ask for favours. But the team would also look at Stokes and Woakes with a lot of hopes to make the task easy on Sunday.
The Pakistani fans are expected to gather at the MCG in large numbers to see history getting repeated. But England, who spoiled the India-Pakistan dream final clash, might have other plans, and no doubt that they are rooting for global domination.
Pakistan: Babar Azam (captain), Shadab Khan, Asif Ali, Mohammad Haris, Haider Ali, Haris Rauf, Iftikhar Ahmed, Khushdil Shah, Mohammad Hasnain, Mohammad Nawaz, Mohammad Rizwan (wicketkeeper), Mohammad Wasim, Naseem Shah, Shaheen Shah Afridi, and Shan Masood.
England: Jos Buttler (captain & wicketkeeper), Moeen Ali, Harry Brook, Sam Curran, Chris Jordan, Liam Livingstone, Dawid Malan, Adil Rashid, Phil Salt, Ben Stokes, Tymal Mills, David Willey, Chris Woakes, Mark Wood, and Alex Hales.