England has seen its fair share of historic moments in recent times and the trend will continue as the men’s national cricket team play their first match in Pakistan since 2005.
The first of seven T20Is will take place in Karachi on Tuesday, with England facing a Pakistani side that lost to Sri Lanka by five wickets in the Asian Cup final earlier this month.
A sold-out crowd of 35,000 is expected to be on hand to seize the moment, and England vice-captain Moeen Ali is “honored” to lead his team against in his home country, with regular skipper Jos Buttler missing. for opening for a calf injury.
“It is a great honor to be captain, no matter who he is against,” he said at a press conference. “But doing it in Pakistan, coming back after so long … moreover, having a family that emigrated from here in the past, it’s great to lead the English team. It’s fantastic.
“I’m someone who wants to play cricket in every cricket nation. Pakistan and Zimbabwe were the two I really wanted to tour. It’s amazing we’re here. It’s a great thing for England to come to Pakistan.”
With the T20 World Cup on the horizon, both teams will look to prepare themselves with a good performance in this series.
England are unbeaten in their last five T20I men’s games against Pakistan away from home, winning four and drawing one.
However, they haven’t played them outside England since November 2015.
Despite heartbreak in the recent Asian Cup final against Sri Lanka, Pakistan are in excellent shape, having won four of the last five men’s T20Is at home, with the only defeat coming in the last clash against Australia in April .
They have a 100% winning record in the seven T20Is played at the National Stadium in Karachi. Nowhere else have Pakistan won more games in the format without recording a single defeat, which does not bode well for tourists as the first four games of the series will be played there.
England entered the series after starting a new era of white football, with manager Matthew Mott and captain Buttler newly installed, taking over after Eoin Morgan’s retirement.
Moeen is taking his role as vice-captain seriously, though, and wants this tour to be the “starting point” as England look to the World Cup in Australia.
“It is important not to put pressure on ourselves and to say ‘we will win the World Cup’,” he said. “I don’t think we are favorites now. We are one of the best teams, but not favorites.
“This summer has been pretty bad for us. We haven’t played very well. This will be the starting point. You will see a real change in the way this team plays and does things.”
If they can match their test team’s change of luck, England could be on their way to putting on a show in Pakistan. Either way, the fact that they once again play in the country seems more significant than any outcome that could occur in the next seven games.
Shadab tries to climb the rankings
Pakistan’s deputy captain Shadab Khan is hoping for his own historical series.
He currently sits on 81 wickets in T20Is and it only takes five more to become Pakistan’s second best wicket take in the format, with Saeed Ajmal and Umar Gul at 85 each.
Safe hands are the key to England
T20Is can often be decided by thin margins, such as expertise in the field. To this end, England recorded an 89% catch success rate in the format in 2022, the highest rate for any full member of the ICC this year.
England have seized 47 of the 53 opportunities presented to them in this period of time.