Probuddha Bhattacharjee ∙ Nov 12 2022, 6:45 AM

 Pakistan vs England: The Battles That Will Decide The Final

image-lacr6m7gBabar Azam and Jos Buttler (Source: OneCricket)

Pakistan and England have reached the finals of the ICC T20 World Cup 2022 finals. The teams will be going against each other at the Melbourne Cricket Ground for the battle that matters. 

The two teams had somewhat of similar journey to the finals. Both of them faced shock defeats against unexpected oppositions and then bounced back strongly to revive their campaign. 

In the semi-finals too, both England and Pakistan blew off their oppositions to make a place in the finals. Now, it is time for the final showdown between the two teams. Before they go against each other let us have a look at the key battles that might determine the fate of the match. 

Muhammad Rizwan vs Sam Curran

image-lacroijrMuhammad Rizwan vs Sam Curran (Source: OneCricket)

Muhammad Rizwan has been one of the mainstays of Pakistan batting for quite sometime now. In this World Cup he was not having a good time in the initial phases but regained his form in the semi-finals. 

On the other hand, Sam Curran has been the man England has depended very much with the ball in this tournament. Buttler has handed over the ball to Curran in all types of situations from the Powerplay overs to the death phase of an innings. 

In the finals also Curran will surely given a crack to try and pick up Rizwan early. 

image-lacq2r5oMuhammad Rizwan vs Sam Curran in T20Is

Who is the winner?

Rizwan has gone about his business in his own way against Curran. He has not played too many dot balls and has maintained a just over run a ball strike rate against him. While, Curran has also picked up his wicket once, so as far as the history of the face off goes, it can be said that it is quite balanced. 

Jos Buttler vs Shadab Khan

image-lacrsam9Shadab Khan vs Jos Buttler (Source: OneCricket)

India missed a trick in the semi-finals as they did not field Yuzvendra Chahal, their only leg-spin option against England. But in Shadab Khan, Pakistan has a potent and inform leg spinner. 

Babar might well bring in Shadab against Buttler very early in the innings. As the England batting have depended heavily on Buttler's starts in this tournament the fate of this contest can turn out to be pretty crucial. 

image-lacqb87kJos Buttler vs Shadab Khan in T20s (Overall)

Who will dominate the contest?

The stats clearly suggest that Shadab Khan has had an upper hand over Jos Buttler in the shortest format of the game. While Shadab has not allowed Buttler to score more than a run a ball against him, he has also picked him up twice in 21 balls. So, if Babar Azam indeed shows the courage to introduce Shadab Khan early, this face off might turn out to be crucial. 

Babar Azam vs Adil Rashid

image-lacs0v83Adil Rashid vs Babar Azam (Source: OneCricket)

We might well see Jos Buttler opting to go for Adil Rashid in the powerplay overs, much like he did against India. If he does opt to go for a similar strategy in the finals, the Babar Azam will have to face the leg-spinner. 

With Babar finding his form in the semi-finals, Adil Rashid vs Babar Azam could be a very crucial face-off in the finals. 

image-lacqmuevBabar Azam vs Adil Rashid

Which way is the balance tilted? 

Babar Azam has been dismissed every 20 balls that he has faced against Adil Rashid. The scoring rate for Babar here is 126.20. Keeping in mind the style of Babar Azam's batting and the fact that the dot percentage is quite low, we may say that Babar Azam is slightly ahead in this battle. 

Alex Hales vs Haris Rauf

image-lacs4m9zAlex Hales vs Haris Rauf (Source: OneCricket)

Besides Jos Buttler, Alex Hales has been the other pillar of English batting in this World Cup. These two have given England some solid starts and laid the foundations for their wins in the tournament. 

Haris Rauf, who came in as one of the prime bowling mainstays of Pakistan into the tournament has done a decent job with the ball. But on an occasion like the World Cup final, Rauf will look to leave his impact on the game. The best way he can do this is by picking up Hales early and helping Pakistan expose the rather under explored middle-order batting of England. 

image-lacqxnotAlex Hales vs Haris Rauf in T20s (Overall)

Who has the advantage?

Haris Rauf has been very effective against Alex Hales in T20s. Not only has Rauf been economical, he has also dismissed him twice in just 28 deliveries. As far as history is concerned it is advantage Haris Rauf. 

Also Read: What if MS Dhoni was the captain of India in T20 World Cup 2022?