For the first time since December 2005, Pakistan host England on Tuesday in the first of seven T20Is, which is huge for the cricketing nation of Pakistan. This first three matche will be played in Karachi so expect humid conditions and temperatures in the high-20s can be expected throughout.
Lately, both teams have been off the pace in this format so this series will be for prepapring for of the 2022 T20 World Cup which starts in Australia next month. The home side reached the final of the Asia Cup earlier this month but lost their last two matches, including the final against Sri Lanka. Meanwhile, England have lost four of their last 13 games in this format and were outplayed by South Africa, India and West Indies in their last three T20I series.
Although Pakistan did get to the final of the 2022 Asia Cup, they were not at their best for the majority of the tournament. However, England have struggled in this format lately and we fancy Pakistan to win at home. Also note, that six of the eight T20I victories at the National Stadium have been by the team batting first. The visitors enjoyed a 13-6 lead in their overall T20I head-to-head history with Pakistan and won the last two games between the sides in July 2021.
Keeper-batter Mohammad Rizwan had an excellent competition and finished as the leading run-scorer with 281 runs at an average of 56.20.
The injury to Jonny Bairstow has also seen Alex Hales return to the England fold – he was last selected in March 2019 before a public falling out with former captain Eoin Morgan. Hales remains a destructive presenceat the top of the order and has been playing in various T20 leagues around the world so expect some runs in his return.
The average first innings T20I score in Karachi is a very healthy 192, climbing to 197 for the teams who defended their total. Expect one player to score a hundred on Tuesday.
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