Head to head, England and Pakistan have played four T20 matches, and are on level terms having won two games each. Of the last three matches between the two, England have won two. The last match, in fact, was won by Pakistan.
If you are looking for a clue as to which team has the psychological advantage ahead of the 13th match of the T20 World Cup, these stats won’t help you a great deal. Particularly so, as we are dealing with an unpredictable Pakistan team.
There’s no knowing what this team will do on a given day, or what sort of mood their players will be in. We often talk about the glorious uncertainties of the game; let’s talk instead about the glorious – and sometimes, not so glorious — uncertainties of the Pakistan squad.
In other words, we might get a better insight into how the match is likely to unfold, by paying greater attention to more conventional factors, such as batting, bowling and captaincy.
First, let’s take a look at the relative batting strengths of the two teams. England are clearly at an advantage in this department. They have a solid middle order bolstered by the likes of Pietersen, Collingwood and Morgan. Their openers have been consistent, and some of their tail enders can swing a mean willow, such as for instance, Swann and Broad.
In the bowling department, however, Pakistan trump England. The advantage rests with the Pakistan bowlers owing to the wicket taking ability of the four A’s: Aamer, Asif, Ajmal and Afridi. So, it’s definitely an A-plus to Pakistan, in bowling.
When it comes to captaincy, there’s not much to chosse between Collingwood and Afridi in their keenness to win. But Collingwood leads from the front, in batting. In Afridi’s case, the spirit is willing but the bat is weak. Though Afridi tries gamely to make up with the ball. (In fact, Afridi’s bowling won him the Man of the Series award in the inaugural T20 World Cup in 2007.)
The Sehwag Factor: Neither team has an opener who can win the match off his own bat.
The result of the match will hinge on the nature of the wicket. For Pakistan to be able to win, there has to be some semblance of help for the bowlers.
But if the wicket plays true, the overall balance of the Engand team might prove too strong for the defending champions to match.
About the Author (Author Profile)
Jinxatious is the Chief Editor of SportingAttitude.com
An avid writer, on an eclectic range of subjects, he brings to bear editorial experience garnered with a national newspaper in South-East Asia. He also has sportscasting experience, as a cricket commentator, and his passion for sport extends beyond Cricket, to Football, Tennis, and Olympic Sports.