Hello! It’s Friday evening and we climb back on the white-ball merry-go-round, this time with a different England squad and a shorter format. Yes, the big boys are (mostly) back despite England mark three having a fine old time thrashing Pakistan in the one-dayers.
Four of the hastily-thrown together England squad make it through from those games: Saqib Mahmood, man of the series who dismissed Babar Azam early at Cardiff and Lord’s, Matt Parkinson, purveyor of occasional balls of distinction, Lewis Gregory, who impressed with both bat and ball, and Dawid Malan – the world’s no. 1 ranked T20 batter (Babar is second).
Pakistan had their moments of brilliance despite the whitewash, but their fielding and catching will need a transformation for them to have a chance against the No.1 ranked T20 side in the world. Pakistan are currently fourth, tucked between New Zealand and Australia.
Ben Stokes, Sam Curran, Mark Wood and Chris Woakes are rested in anticipation of the Test series, while Hasan Ali will miss the first match as a precautionary measure due to a strain in his left leg.
England squad: Eoin Morgan (Middlesex – captain), Moeen Ali (Worcestershire), Jonny Bairstow (Yorkshire), Jake Ball (Nottinghamshire), Tom Banton (Somerset), Jos Buttler (Lancashire), Tom Curran (Surrey), Lewis Gregory (Somerset), Chris Jordan (Sussex), Liam Livingstone (Lancashire), Saqib Mahmood (Lancashire), Dawid Malan (Yorkshire), Matt Parkinson (Lancashire), Adil Rashid (Yorkshire),…