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England and Pakistan will clash in the T20 World Cup 2022 final at Melbourne Cricket Ground on Sunday (November 13). England beat tournament favorites India in the second semi-final while Pakistan overcame New Zealand in the first semi-final clash with a dominant win.
England struggled for consistency in the Super 12 stages but managed to finish in the second position with seven points from five games in Group 1 fixtures. But they put in their best performers against India in the semi-final round with a dominant ten-wicket win. Chris Jordan took three wickets to restrict India to 168/6 and then openers Jos Buttler and Alex Hales smashed unbeaten half-centuries to chase the target in just 16 overs.
Both Mark Wood and Dawid Malan missed the semi-final fixture with minor injuries and were replaced by Jordan and Phil Salt respectively. Wood has taken nine wickets from just four innings in the tournament and is likely to return to the starting eleven for the final but Malan remains a big doubt.
Let’s look at England’s probable playing XI against Pakistan:
Openers: Jos Buttler (c & wk) and Alex Hales
Jos Buttler and Alex Hales continue to remain as one of the best opening pair in the T20 cricket with another big performance in the last game. Buttler and Hales formed an unbeaten 170-run partnership against India while chasing a big 169-run target.
Buttler scored 80 runs off 49 balls against India and has scored overall 199 runs from five innings in the tournament. Hales is leading the runs chart for England with 211 runs from five innings after scoring an unbeaten 86 runs off just 47 balls with the help of four fours and seven sixes against India in the last game.
Middle-Order: Phil Salt, Ben Stokes, Harry Brook
With both the openers in great form, middle order batetrs are yet to make a big impact in the tournament so far. Dawid Malan missed the last game against India with a minor injury and was replaced by young wicketkeeper-batter Phil Salt, who didn’t get a chance to bat.
Ben Stokes‘ best performance with a bat came against Sri Lanka when he scored 42 runs off 36 balls in England’s last Super 12 group-stage fixture. He has been excellent with a ball with five wickets at an impressive economy rate of 6.40 so far.
Harry Brook won the player of the series award when England travelled to Pakistan for a seven-match series before the tournament. His perfoamcnes earned him a place in England’s World Cup squad but he is yet to make any big impact with just 36 runs from four innings.
All-rounders: Liam Livingstone, Moeen Ali, Sam Curran
Liam Livingstone smashed 29 runs off 21 balls against Afghnaistan in the opening Super 12 clash but struggled for the big knocks in the last three innings. He has been impressive with blowing with three wickets, which came against Ireland, at an impressive economy rate of 7.27.
Moeen Ali has also failed to make any impact in this tournament with both bat and ball so far. He has scored 38 runs from four innings and has failed to take any wickets from two innings. Sam Curran has been the England’s best bowler in this tournament with 10 wickets from just five innings at an economy rate of 7.28. He has also been shortlisted for the player of the tournament award.
Bowlers: Chris Woakes, Mark Wood, Adil Rashid
England’s bowling performance has been at exceptional level so far and can make a big difference in the final. Chris Woakes took a big wicket of KL Rahul to give England an opening in the semi-final clash and has taken five wickets from five innings in the tournament.
Adil Rashid proved the best bowler economically with a wicket of Suryakumar Yadav while conceding just 20 runs from his four-over spell against India. Rashid has taken only two wickets in the tournament but has maintained an impressive economy rate of 6.25 so far.
Mark Wood has been enjoying a sensational form since returning from his injury after four months of gap. He took six wickets from just two T20I innings against Pakistan last month and has taken nine wickets from just four innings in the T20 World Cup. He missed the semi-final clash with a minor injury he suffered while fielding against Sri Lanka but is likely to make a return to the starting eleven and replace Chris Jordan for the final clash on November 13.
England’s Predicted XI against Pakistan: Jos Buttler (c & wk), Alex Hales, Phil Salt, Ben Stokes, Harry Brook, Liam Livingstone, Moeen Ali, Sam Curran, Chris Woakes, Mark Wood, Adil Rashid.
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