Pakistan and England opening pairs compared ahead of T20 World Cup Final

With both Pakistan and England looking for a dynamic opening pair to put them on the path to ICC Men’s T20 World Cup glory, we compare the partnerships put in place to light up the final.

Pakistan and England showed in their emphatic semi-final victories just how crucial powerful Powerplay can be, and each have the openings to aim for another blistering start in the T20 World Cup final.

Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan entered the tournament as the most dangerous partnership in the format, but it took until their semi-final against New Zealand for them to click with a stand of 105 points.

It was their third-century partnership in the T20 World Cups, a new record to go with the nine they scored in all T20Is, four more than the next best.

T20 World Cup
12 Nov 22

Pakistan v England Preview | Final | T20WC 2022

England and Pakistan face off in Melbourne for the ultimate T20I cricket prize, in a repeat of the match and venue for the 1992 Cricket World Cup final

But England duo Jos Buttler and Alex Hales overtook the Pakistani duo in their semi-final against India, with an unbroken stand of 170 points that set a new benchmark for all partnerships at a T20 World Cup .

As the four openers find form at the right time, we take a look at how they stack up against the ICC MRF Tires Men’s T20I batsman rankings, their career bests and – perhaps most importantly – with their performances so far at this T20 World Cup.

The Pakistani skipper suffered a rare drop in form with just 14 points in four innings to start the T20 World Cup but has since been on course to peak at the right time.

A patient 25 from 33 in the crucial clash with Bangladesh helped secure Pakistan a place in the semi-finals, but Babar then ensured they took the next step with an elegant 53 from 42 against the New Zealand.

The 28-year-old can be tough to move once he gets going and hopes to match the 110* from 66 balls and 87* from 59 balls, which he crushed against England in their recent T20I series at the Pakistan.

Ranking of T20I hitters

Current rank: 4
Highest rank: 1 (as of January 27, 2018)

T20 World Cup 2022

Matches: 6
Races: 92
Average: 15.33
Strike rate: 87.61

Career file T20I

Matches: 98
Tracks: 3323
Average: 41.53
Strike Rate: 127.95

T20 World Cup
November 09 22

Rizwan and Babar demolish New Zealand pacers | T20WC 2022

Mohammad Rizwan and Babar Azam started well for Pakistan in their pursuit of New Zealand’s 153-point goal in the 2022 ICC Men’s T20 World Cup Semi-Final.

The Pakistani keeper-batterer saw a rapid rise in the T20I batting rating in 2020, but has since established himself as the format’s most reliable fly-half.

Rizwan hadn’t quite matched that with his impact at the T20 World Cup until he went 57 from 43 in the semi-final triumph over New Zealand.

The 30-year-old is a master at striking the right balance between attack and defence, especially during Powerplay, and is emerging as crucial to Pakistan’s chances in the tiebreak.

Ranking of T20I hitters

Current rank: 2
Highest T20I rank: 1 (as of September 8, 2022)

T20 World Cup 2022

Matches: 6
Races: 160
Average: 26.66
Strike Rate: 109.58

Career file T20I

Matches: 79
Tracks: 2620
Average: 49.43
Strike Rate: 126.75

T20 World Cup
November 09 22

Half a century of Rizwan propels Pakistan to T20 World Cup final | Highlights | T20WC 2022

Mohammad Rizwan propelled Pakistan to the final with a brilliant 43-ball 57 against New Zealand in the 2022 ICC Men’s T20 World Cup Semi-Final.

The England skipper got the T20 World Cup off to a slow start but showed his prowess in the decisive Super 12 clash with New Zealand.

Buttler beat the Black Caps for 73 from 47 balls, then improved that with an unbeaten 80 from 49 balls in the semi-final against India, to have 199 tournament points – the fifth most in the Super 12 stage .

The 32-year-old has barely skipped a beat since taking over as captain in July and is hitting his peak at just the right time to be poised to lead England to T20 World Cup glory.

Ranking of T20I hitters

Current rank: 13
Highest rank: 8 (as of November 5, 2021)

T20 World Cup 2022

Matches: 5
Races: 199
Average: 49.75
Strike Rate: 143.16

Career file T20I

Matches: 102
Tracks: 2576
Average: 34.81
Strike Rate: 144.15

T20 World Cup
November 10 22

Half-Century Buttler Rubs Salt Into India’s Wounds | T20WC 2022

Jos Buttler scores half a century and England raced towards their goal of 169 points against India.

It was a remarkable career recovery for the England fly-half who, for multiple reasons, did not play a T20I between March 2019 and September 2022.

But since returning to England from Jonny Bairstow’s injury, the 33-year-old has shown why he rose to No. 1 in the T20I batting charts in 2013.

Hales scored fast and hard in the T20 World Cup, scoring 47 or more in his last three rounds to have the third-most points in the Super 12 stage with 211.

Ranking of T20I hitters

Current rank: 35
Highest rank: 1 (as of August 30, 2013)

T20 World Cup 2022

Matches: 5
Races: 211
Average: 52.75
Strike Rate: 148.59

Career file T20I

Matches: 74
Races: 2073
Average: 31.40
Strike Rate: 138.47

T20 World Cup
November 04 22

Alex Hales grabs his second chance with England | T20WC 2022

England wide opener Alex Hales grabs his second chance with both hands at the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup.

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