@Ben_Wisden 4 minute read
A combined XI from England’s 1-1 T20I series draw with Pakistan.
Tom Banton: 137 runs @ 45.66, SR: 153.93, HS: 71
Jonny Bairstow: 46 runs @ 15.33, SR: 148.38, HS: 44
Tom Banton, England’s best player this series, gets in without question, but the other slot is tougher. Babar Azam made a half-century in his first innings and got a start in his second, while Jonny Bairstow made two single figure scores and a high score of 44. But that 44 came off just 24 balls, giving England the start they needed to complete their highest home chase, while Babar’s 56 in the same game arguably came so slowly as to be the difference between the sides in the final analysis. Bairstow played one good knock to Babar’s none, and so gets in.
The middle order
Mohammad Hafeez: 155 runs @ 155, SR: 175.13, HS: 86*
Eoin Morgan: 90 runs @ 30, SR: 187.50, HS: 61
Haider Ali: 54 runs @ 54, SR: 163.63, HS: 54
Moeen Ali: 70 runs @ 23.33, SR: 166.66, HS: 61, 1 wicket @ 20, ER: 10.00
Apart from these four and the aforementioned Babar, only one man reached a half-century this series: Dawid Malan. He’s the theoretical 12th man in this fanciful XI, with his second-game fifty a good knock, but one overshadowed by Morgan and Bairstow, and he loses ground on the others for his slow starts in all three games.
Mohammad Hafeez is the most sure of his spot, Player of the Series and arguably in the form of his very lengthy career, with Morgan in a similarly rich vein of form, but getting out early twice. Then you have to two stars of the final game, one of whom announced himself to the world while the other confirmed rumours of his demise had been grossly exaggerated.
Imad Wasim: 3 wickets @ 32, ER: 8.72
Shadab Khan: 15 runs @ 15, SR: 136.36, HS: 15, 5 wickets @ 23, ER: 9.58
With Moeen also able to chip with some offies, the only question is whether to pick one spinner or two; Adil Rashid’s tonking in the third game rules him out, despite his excellence in the second. Both Pakistan’s twirlers earned their places, with Imad Wasim miserly as ever, and Shadab the leading wicket-taker in the series.
Wahab Riaz: 2 wickets @ 13, ER: 6.50
Shaheen Shah Afridi: 2 wickets @ 41, ER: 8.94
Chris Jordan: 3 wickets @ 23, ER: 8.75
Wahab Riaz only played one game, but what a game it was. The 35-year-old claimed 2-26 even as 375 runs were scored in the game, taking a wicket for three runs and effecting run out in the 19th over to derail England’s rousing chase. Chris Jordan was England’s best bowler that same game, and did well despite ending with modest figures in the second. Shaheen got Morgan-ed in the second game, leaking 20 runs off an over, but made up for it with his delivery to Bairstow in the third T20I, and off-stump-clipping yorker that was arguably the ball of the series.