T20 series preview: Pakistan vs England


England's tour of the UAE is nearly at an end, with three T20s standing between them and a plane back to their families for the festive season, and they'll want to wrap things up with another series win.

With Pakistan winning the Test series and England the ODIs, these three games will break the deadlock, and the favourites will be England, who looked a different unit during the one-dayers.

England have by far the superior record against Pakistan in T20s too, having never lost a T20 series against them, and the last time they played in the UAE, three years ago, England won 2-1.

The visitors will be delighted that their openers, Jason Roy and Alex Hales, have found form on this tour, while wicketkeeper Jos Buttler has also been in the runs, after that blistering century in the ODIs.

Bowling-wise, young paceman Reece Topley will be hoping to add to his solitary T20 cap, after doing relatively well in the ODI series, and taking a wicket in the warm-up match on Monday.

Pakistan have added wicketkeeper Umar Akmal to the squad, after he had been left out initially while the PCB investigated reports of 'immoral behaviour' at a party. But nothing came of it, so he can play.

All-rounder Imad Wasim has been ruled out though, after picking up a finger injury, meaning Bilal Asif gets the place in the squad. All eyes will be on 39-year-old Rafatullah Mohmand though, to see if he gets a debut at last.

Key men

For Pakistan, all-rounder Shoaib Malik will be key. His form in T20s over the past few months has been impressive, and he took a number of wickets with his spin in the Tests before retiring.

England will also have an eye on an all-rounder, with David Willey's ability to win a match all on his own a key factor. He has the Big Match Temperament, just ask anyone who's watched him in the T20 Blast.

Last Five Head-To-Head Results

2012 Third T20: England won by five runs in Abu Dhabi
2012 Second T20: England won by 38 runs in Dubai
2012 First T20: Pakistan won by eight runs in Dubai
2010 Second T20: England won by five wickets in Cardiff
2010 First T20: England won by six wickets in Cardiff


Pakistan: Ahmed Shehzad, Mohammad Hafeez, Rafatullah Mohmand, Shoaib Malik, Sohaib Maqsood, Iftikhar Ahmed, Shahid Afridi, Mohammad Rizwan, Sarfraz Ahmed, Anwar Ali, Bilal Asif, Imran Khan, Mohammad Irfan, Sohail Tanvir, Wahab Riaz, Aamer Yamin, Umar Akmal

England: Eoin Morgan, Moeen Ali, Sam Billings, Jos Buttler, Alex Hales, Chris Jordan, Stephen Parry, Liam Plunkett, Adil Rashid, Joe Root, Jason Roy, Reece Topley, James Vince, David Willey, Chris Woakes


First T20: 26 November in Dubai
Second T20: 27 November in Dubai
Third T20: 30 November in Sharjah