Pakistan and England might have won their warm up T20 matches quite easily against Hong Kong and United Arab Emirates respectively, but both the nations are aware that the upcoming three-match T20 series starting on Thursday in Dubai is going to be very competitive.
Pakistan will be eager to defeat England after their below par showing in the ODI series, which they lost 1-3 after clinching the first ODI. Pakistan, who will be led by their ever charismatic T20 skipper, Shahid Afridi, will ask his players to give it their all and provide a perfect start in the T20 series.
The men in green are not short of quality players in their squad as they have experienced players such as Shoaib Malik, Umar Akmal alongside Afridi, who needs to deliver in the T20 series.
England, on the other hand, will depend on the services of their skipper, Eoin Morgan, who is one of the most dangerous batsmen in world cricket, Alex Hales, Joe Root and Chris Woakes. England resemble a solid batting line up with Hales and JJ Roy at the top of the order and Morgan with his clever hitting will be a huge player for England during the middle overs.
Morgan will also want his heroes of the ODI series, Woakes and Reece Topley to deliver the goods with the ball and make life miserable for the Pakistan batsmen, who needs to come with a better showing in the T20 series.
The English players are going to have a spring in their stride after having outclassed Pakistan in the last three ODI matches. Apart from their current record, England have been decent in the last two T20 matches against Australia and New Zealand, which they won.
Talking about T20 form, even Pakistan have been great as they defeat Zimbabwe and Sri Lanka in their last T20 series as well.
Irrespective of the form both the teams may have been of late, it is going to be a completely different ball game in Dubai, where both the teams have to come fresh, all guns blazing in the first T20.
The second and the third T20 matches are set to be played in Dubai and Sharjah on Friday and Monday respectively.
Pakistan T20 squad: Shahid Afridi (c), Sarfraz Ahmad, Ahmad Shehzad, Mohammad Hafeez, Umar Akmal, Shoaib Malik, Sohaib Maqsood, Mohammad Rizwan, Bilal Asif, Anwar Ali, Imran Khan, Amir Yamin, Wahab Riaz, Mohammad Irfan, Imad Wasim, Rift Ullah Mohmand and Sohail Tanveer
England T20 squad: Eoin Morgan (c), Moeen Ali , Sam Billings, Jos Buttler, Alex Hales, Chris Jordan, Stephen Parry, Adil Rashid, Joe Root, Jason Roy, Reece Topley, James Vince, David Willey, Chris Woakes and Liam Plunkett
Pakistan vs England 1st T20
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Date – 26 November
Time – 8pm local time (9:30pm IST, 4pm GMT, 9pm PKT)
Venue – Dubai International Cricket Stadium
TV listings: PTV (Pakistan), Ten Cricket (India), Sky Sports (the UK) and Willow TV (the US)