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Three changes that Pakistan should make for T20I series against England

Visitors will be looking to change their fortunes in the T20I series

Three changes that Pakistan should make for T20I series against England PHOTO COURTESY: PCB

Pakistan were whitewashed three-nil by England’s second-string side in the recently-concluded One-day International (ODI) series and will be looking to change their fortunes in the upcoming three-match Twenty20 International (T20I) series against the hosts, starting from Friday in Nottingham.

Following are the three changes that visitors can make to challenge the hosts, who will be back with their full-strength side in the aforementioned series:

Usman Qadir replaces Shadab Khan

Unlike Shadab Khan who usually capitalises on batsman’s mistake to pick a wicket, Usman Qadir has the ability to create a dismissal with his variations. The leg-spinner can outfox batsman with his guile and is known for inducing dismissals like bowled and stumpings.

With T20 World Cup likely to take place in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), where spinners will play an important part, it is an ideal opportunity for Pakistan to test Qadir’s ability against world-class batsmen.

Qadir has so far played against Zimbabwe and South African side, which was missing their key players. The England T20Is will provide an opportunity for the leg-spinner to know where he stands and which area he needs to improve on.

The Lahore-born claimed during the sixth edition of the HBL Pakistan Super League (PSL) that he had learned a lot by spending time with South African leg-spinner Imran Tahir, while representing Multan Sultans. It is about time he put those skills to test with 15 T20Is remaining for Pakistan before the T20 World Cup.

Mohammad Wasim Jnr plays instead of Faheem Ashraf

Mohammad Wasim Jnr displayed his talent in the sixth edition of PSL, where he took 12 wickets in 11 matches. The right-arm pacer impressed with his death bowling against the likes of Sharjeel Khan and Babar Azam.

The North Waziristan-born cricketer has the ability to confuse the batsman with his change of pace and can play a perfect supporting role for the Pakistan’s pace spearheads, Shaheen Afridi and Hasan Ali.

Pakistan team management are aware of Faheem Ashraf’s potential, so it would not be a bad idea to rest him in the upcoming T20I series, as his confidence is already down after a poor ODI series.

Wasim Jnr is no mug with the bat, having scored his maiden List A fifty in 24 deliveries earlier in the year during Pakistan Cup. His addition in place of Ashraf will strengthen the lower-order and give Pakistan an opportunity to score at a higher strike-rate during the death overs.

Azam Khan and Sohaib Maqsood strengthen lower middle-order

Pakistan’s quest for a power-hitter is still on and it could come to an end if they give proper opportunities to Azam Khan and Sohaib Maqsood in the upcoming series.

Sohaib Maqsood was in prime form in PSL 6, scoring 428 runs at a strike-rate of 156.7, which prompted the selectors to include him for the England tour. Although, Maqsood didn’t play a big innings in the ODI series, he showed glimpses of his power hitting talent in his various brief stays at the crease. Pakistan can make use him of Maqsood at number 5 spot in the batting-order with top-order being occupied by Babar Azam, Mohammad Rizwan, Sharjeel Khan and Mohammad Hafeez.

Pakistan can look to include Azam Khan to add more firepower to their batting-order, which is made up of anchors. Although Azam Khan had a mediocre season in this year’s PSL, he has shown his ability to tear apart bowling attacks in various other leagues around the world, due to which he has the highest strike-rate (153.3) among all Pakistan batsmen. So it won’t be a bad idea to hand out a debut to Azam Khan.