Manner of tour suggests Pakistan can beat England in first T20
England’s dominance in the one-day series has seen them installed as favourites for the first of three T20 internationals with Pakistan, but given the nature of the tour to date, it would be no surprise to see the hosts triumph at 1/1 in the cricket odds.
Heading into the initial Test series, England’s ranking as number one in the world in the discipline saw them made favourites, but they were trounced 3-0.
Because of this and England’s dreadful one-day record in recent series’, it was then Pakistan who were largely expected to dominate again in the following one-day series, but they duly lost 4-0.
With England now having the momentum and being the reigning T20 World Cup champions, it is logical to expect them to triumph in the next series.
However, everything has seemingly gone against the grain on the tour, so there is no reason to predict change now.
Pakistan’s raft of spinners struggled to exert the same pressure in the one-day series as they were forced to bowl shorter spells, but a more attacking field in the T20 set up could play to their advantage.
Meanwhile, the uncertainty in the England batting line-up will not help their preparation.
There are a few injuries lingering in the squad, including to Ravi Bopara, while captain Stuart Broad has a tough decision in picking who should open.
Alastair Cook is pushing for a place after impressing with two centuries in the one-day series, but England do seem liable to reject the urge to pick the opener.
Craig Kieswetter and Alex Hales have opened in the last four T20 games, but with Kevin Pietersen also filling this role so adeptly in the one-day series and clearly being in form, it is hard not to promote him up the order again.
England’s odds are 4/5 to beat Pakistan, with Pietersen 10/1 to continue his good form by scooping the man of the match accolade for the third successive encounter with Pakistan.