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T20 World Cup: England vs Pakistan warm-up match preview

This year's Twenty20 World Cup is upon us and England have one final opportunity to fine-tune their side before the beginning of the Super 12 phase on Saturday.

England will open against Afghanistan in Perth but first take on Pakistan in a World Cup warm-up contest at the Gabba in Brisbane on Monday.

These sides know one another all too well, having concluded a seven-match T20 series at the start of October, and this will be one final opportunity to test themselves before the main event gets underway.

WhatEngland vs Pakistan, World Cup Warm Up
WhereThe Gabba, Brisbane, Australia
When09.00, Monday 17th October 2022
How to watchSky Sports Cricket
OddsEngland 8/15, Pakistan 6/4

England hoping to build on promising World Cup preparations

It has been a fairly tumultuous year for England's white-ball side with Jos Buttler having replaced One-day International World Cup-winning captain Eoin Morgan as skipper back in June.

Since then, England have struggled a little for consistency but their recent performances have been improved and they are 8/15 to come out on top against Pakistan, who are 6/4, in Brisbane.

After battling hard in a 4-3 series win away to Pakistan in September and October, England followed that up by beating the Australians in their own backyard.

England beat the World Cup hosts 2-0 in the recent three-match series with the final match at the Manuka Oval having been abandoned due to rain.

Obviously it remains to be seen if England can perform like that when it matters at a World Cup, but the more optimistic followers of Buttler's team may suggest the team are hitting form at just the right time.

Pakistan contest an opportunity to tinker

Punters looking to back England to win this match may, however, want to take note of what head coach Matthew Mott had to say in the build-up to the match in Brisbane.

While Mott was quick to praise the team for getting their "mojo back", he also suggested the clash with Pakistan will be used primarily as an opportunity to assess the fitness of his squad.

And while the likes of Phil Salt and David Willey are near-certainties to miss out on a spot in the starting team, Mott and Buttler still have to decide how batting-heavy their team will be in that first contest with Afghanistan.

Some England fringe players could consequently be given game time at the Gabba, although the same is likely for Pakistan, who have another warm-up clash against Afghanistan to play on Wednesday.

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Buttler looking to again lead by example

Performing well at the crease but also as a captain is no easy task but Buttler is finding his feet as skipper now and goes into this match with Pakistan fresh from being named Player of the Series in England's three-match tussle with Australia.

England stumbled across a destructive opening partnership in that series with Buttler at one end the rejuvenated Alex Hales at two and Buttler is again worth monitoring in this contest.

He fired 68, 17 and 65 in the three matches with Australia and he has made double figures in his last seven T20 internationals.

He could be a great top runscorer selection in this contest, while, thinking ahead to the World Cup, England could also represent value in the highest opening partnership markets given the fast starts Buttler and Hales have made together recently.

Pakistan reliant on power at the crease

A lot will be made of the bowlers on display down under with the conditions set to suit pace bowlers with a lot of bounce to their game, but the Gabba in particular can also be a nice surface to bat on and Pakistan have two standout individuals who will be looking to capitalise.

Provided they do not ring the changes too much in Brisbane, Pakistan are sure to deploy the ever-reliable opening pair of Mohammad Rizwan and Babar Azam and both are often strong options in the top Pakistan runscorer markets.

Rizwan especially is enjoying a terrific 2022, having top-scored at the Asia Cup with 281 runs in six innings.

That was a tournament in which Azam was not at his best and Rizwan can also draw confidence from the scores he put up against England in September.

The opener fired 68, 88, 8, 88, 63 and one in the six matches with England and again looks the most likely to put up a big total for Pakistan. 

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