Captain Eoin Morgan was in his elements as England comfortably chased down a stiff 196-run target in the second T20 International against Pakistan with the utmost ease. Having taken an unassailable 1-0 lead, they will now be keen on continuing the run. Pakistan, on the other hand, will need to quickly forget the loss and move on in a bid to level the series when the two teams meet at the same venue on Tuesday (September 1).
HEAD TO HEAD IN T20Is
Overall: Matches – 17 | ENG – 12 Wins | PAK – 4 Wins | N/R - 1
In England: Matches – 8 | ENG – 5 Wins | PAK – 2 Wins | N/R - 1
Last 5 matches: ENG – 3 Wins | PAK – 1 Win | N/R – 1
While you could go for the above team, you also have the option of choosing your own team from cricket.com’s Fantasy Research Centre. Based on algorithms we come up with six different teams that could fetch crucial points.
Staying true to its nature of being a belter, the Old Trafford surface saw 394 runs scored in 39.1 overs on Sunday. Manchester has always been a surface laden with runs and the narrative is expected to remain the same come Tuesday. While international T20 cricket has been limited in Manchester over the last few years, the venue has hosted a fair bit of T20s.
In 17 20-over games at the venue since the start of 2018, batsmen have scored at 26.3 runs per wicket with the bowlers managing a wicket every 18.8 balls. An average first innings score of 162 since 2018 is proof enough of how good the Old Trafford surface has been for batsmen.
You should go with plenty of top-order batsmen and batting allrounders in your side for the third and final T20I.
Spinners have historically done better at Old Trafford than their pace bowling counterparts. In T20 games since the start of 2018 they have picked up more wickets, have a better bowling strike-rate, average and economy than fast bowlers.
In T20s here since 2018, pacers have picked 78 wickets to fall striking every 22.77 deliveries as compared to spinners who have returned 81 wickets at a bowling strike rate of 18.11.
Leg-spinners from both sides, Shadab Khan and Adil Rashid were successful in the second outing and they should make it your side while Imad Wasim could also be considered.
Among the batsmen, Eoin Morgan, Dawid Malan, Babar Azam and Tom Banton should form the crux of your side.
There could also be a few interesting matchups at our disposal.
Tom Banton has been found out against Shadab Khan so far this series. The leg-spinner has gotten him out twice in two games. Averaging just 12, Banton will have to be really wary when he faces Shadab on Tuesday.
While Fakhar Zaman did survive the battle on Sunday, he does not have a great record against Tom Curran in T20s. In 4 T20 games, he has fallen to the pacer twice.
Shoaib Malik does not have a particularly great record against Chris Jordan. He has been dismissed by the fast bowler thrice in 8 T20 games and will have to be careful.
Leading from the front in the second T20I with a whirlwind 33-ball 66, Eoin Morgan is our captaincy choice for the third outing in Manchester. Morgan has been in excellent form over the last few years in the format. The leading run-scorer for England in T20Is since 2018, Morgan has scored 642 runs in 21 innings averaging 40.13 which includes six half-centuries.
He also has a good record against Pakistan in the format as his average of 42.22 and strike-rate of 137.7 suggests. Morgan looked the part on Sunday taking a liking to both spinners and pacers equally. Morgan seems to have cracked the T20 code in the last year or so and if he finds his rhythm once again, Pakistan better watch out!
Our Criclytics Player Projection says, Morgan will score 13-30 runs in Manchester on Tuesday.
Babar Azam is the No.1 T20I batsman in the world and he once again showed why during his innings of 56 during the second T20I. The classy cover-drives and back foot punches were in full glory as he set his team a solid foundation. One thing associated with Babar is consistency. Since 2019, he has scored 496 runs in 13 T20I innings averaging a strong 45.09. This includes six scores of 50+. Babar did have a relatively low strike rate on Sunday but his job is to get his side off to a solid start and he is doing that rather well. Pakistan will want their captain to carry on with his good run.
Our Criclytics Player Projection has Babar scoring 17-40 runs on Tuesday.
Dawid Malan has played only 12 T20Is to date but has remarkable consistency in the format. In 12 games, he has 7 50+ scores and has managed at least a double-digit score each time. For a batsman with a minimum of 300 runs, Malan has the best average in the history of T20Is, that of 54.6.
Another impressive feature in Malan’s batting is his numbers against spin. In T20s, he averages 37.48 against spin, the best in the current England squad. This was seen in the second T20I as well where he took on Shadab & Co and came out trumps. In a lineup that has often faltered against spin, Malan could be the X-factor for Morgan.
The Criclytics Player Projection says Malan will score 16-39 runs in the third T20I in Manchester.
Mohammad Hafeez’s place in the T20 side has always come with a lot of questions especially considering the number of youngsters waiting in the squad. But the 39-year-old has time and again proven his credentials like he did in the second outing. Hafeez like Babar has been extremely consistent in the T20 format over the last few games. In his last 10 T20I innings, Hafeez has scored 396 runs at an average of 66. His age will always remain a factor but with the experience of close to 290 T20 games under his belt, Hafeez is one player who can help you attain a lot of points on his day.
The Criclytics Player Projection says Hafeez will score 12 to 35 runs against England on Tuesday.