Ramiz Raja joins Nikhil Naz to pick a fantasy XI (7:57)
England v Pakistan, 3rd T20I, Manchester
Our XI: Babar Azam, Fakhar Zaman, Tom Banton, Jonny Bairstow, Mohammad Hafeez, Dawid Malan, Eoin Morgan, Moeen Ali, Shadab Khan, Haris Rauf, Shaheen Afridi
NOTE: We might not always be able to tip you off about late injury (or other relevant) updates, so do keep an eye out for the toss before making your final picks.
Captain: Babar Azam
Arguably the most consistent batsman in T20 cricket. Azam may not bludgeon those big sixes and score at a strike rate of 200, but an average of 50 in T20I cricket means he is likelier to give you good returns at the top of the order, just like his 56 in the second T20I.
Vice-captain: Dawid Malan
If Pakistan have Azam, England have Malan. The presence of more powerful hitters in the England side means Malan can more often than not take his time to build his innings. In his young, 12-match-old T20I career, Malan has reached the double-figures every time. The unbeaten 54 in the last game was already his seventh score of 50 or more in T20Is.
Eoin Morgan: Player of the Match in the last game for his 33-ball 66, Morgan may well be the best batsman in this power-packed England line-up. While he is more comfortable against pace, spin is not a weakness. Despite his back problems and the fact that he will be 34 in ten days’ time, he has been hitting the ball as well as ever.
Mohammad Hafeez: Last week, Dwayne Bravo said 40 is the new 30, and Hafeez immediately proved him right by smashing a 36-ball 69 that included four sixes and five fours. As a top-order batsman, with a big score behind him, Hafeez presents a strong case to be included in your fantasy XI.
Tom Banton: One of the most promising young batsmen going around, Banton boasts an average of over 30 and a strike rate of 157 in T20 cricket. He is a 360-degree player, of which he gave an exhibition during his 71 off just 42 balls in the first T20I.
Jonny Bairstow: Of the two wicketkeepers, Mohammad Rizwan and Bairstow, it’s prudent to go for the latter simply because he is a better batsman and opens the innings for his side. Rizwan, though a superior wicketkeeper, may not even get a chance to bat. Basically, pack your side with top-order batsmen.
Shadab Khan: Khan has been the pick of the bowlers – his five wickets so far are the most in the series. A legspinner, who can also bat a bit, is always a valuable pick.
Point to note
With the first match being washed out, the three-match series is still alive. So England may once again field an unchanged side. Still, keep an eye out on the toss and the final XIs.
Source: ESPN Crickinfo