PAK vs ENG Match Preview
The contest is essentially between England's batting and Pakistan's bowling but with a shortened game likely, you must try and see who the players are that the teams will depend on in a shortened contest. Someone like Shadab Khan becomes very vital for Pakistan with his big-hitting abilities while someone like Shan Masood may not immediately get an opportunity.
Similarly, Mohammad Haris and Mohammad Rizwan could also play an important role for Pakistan with the bat.
Shaheen Afridi with the new ball and Mohammad Wasim Jr with his yorkers will also be crucial if the game is shortened.
For England, we think Buttler and Hales are the obvious picks but players like Livingstone and Ali will be important as they could get promoted in a reduced-overs match. Sam Curran has been the best death bowler for England and is a must-have but the spinners may not get much of a chance to show what they are capable of.
Mark Wood was warming up nicely and we expect him to play. In fact, both he and Chris Jordan could be in the playing eleven thanks to their death bowling skills and extra pace.
There is a 95% chance of rain for Sunday and the forecast is the worst around the time that the match is supposed to start. We still think we should be able to get a few overs in but a reduced-overs contest seems like a certainty.
The pitch has been covered for some time and will offer some help to the fast bowlers. Swing and seam will be on offer. There is also steep bounce that could make batting a real challenge. We think teams will be happy with around 8-8.5 runs an over at the MCG.
England vs Pakistan - A Familiar story
A seven-match series just before the T20 World Cup (4-3 England) and the warm-up match have meant that the two teams are very well-versed with each other. The two teams have meat each other 28 times in T20 internationals where England has won 18, Pakistan 9, and one no-result. England has also managed to defeat Pakistan both times it has played Pakistan in the T20 World Cup prior to this match.
Mark Wood appears to be likely to make a comeback but we don't think England is going to worry about Dawid Malan in this contest.
PAK vs ENG Probable 11
PAK Playing 11
- Mohammad Rizwan (Wk)
- Babar Azam (C)
- Mohammad Haris
- Shan Masood
- Iftikhar Ahmed
- Shadab Khan
- Mohammad Nawaz
- Mohammad Wasim Jr
- Shaheen Afridi
- Haris Rauf
- Naseem Shah
ENG Playing 11
- Jos Buttler (C)
- Alex Hales
- Phil Salt
- Harry Brook
- Ben Stokes
- Moeen Ali
- Liam Livingstone
- Sam Curran
- Chris Jordan
- Adil Rashid
- Mark Wood
A close contest was always likely between these two teams but the rain has only made that likelihood even greater! England, though, is better suited to the conditions. Its batters are in good form and its bowlers will look to expose the weaknesses of the Pakistani batters against the short-pitched length. We think England could end up winning this match and cementing its place as the best white-ball team in the world.
Mohammad Haris - He may not last very long but if he does, it will be something special to watch. He will attack from the first ball and we think he will definitely bat in the top 3 with the prospect of a shortened match.
Sam Curran - England's best death bowler in the T20 World Cup 2022 edition, Sam Curran is also capable of hitting a few balls out of the park if it comes to that.
Liam Livingstone - Perhaps the most versatile T20 cricketer in the world, Livingstone can bowl off-spin and leg-spin with ease. He can also bat anywhere in the lineup. A must-have in your Dream11 team and a good captaincy candidate as well.
PAK vs ENG Dream11 Team 1
Keeper: J Buttler (C), M Haris
Batters: A Hales, M Ali, Iftikhar-Ahmed
All-rounders: L Livingstone (VC), S Curran, S Khan
Bowlers: M Wood, S Afridi, M Wasim