England’s first T20I against Pakistan called off due to rain

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England’s first T20I against Pakistan called off due to rain

Jofra Archer’s return to the England international scene was delayed due to the first T20I against Pakistan at Headingley being washed out.

The first of the four-match T20I series was entirely lost to rain with the game officially being called off at 5.30pm at Headingley and leaves three matches to play before their T20 World Cup defence begins on June 4.

England’s fast bowler Archer, who has not played international cricket since March 2023 due to a stress facture in his back, was expected to make his comeback as he builds towards the World Cup – live on Sky Sports.

England vs Pakistan fixtures

  • May 22 – First T20, Headingley – Match abandoned
  • May 25: Second T20 – Edgbaston, 2.30pm
  • May 28: Third T20 – Sophia Gardens, Cardiff, 6.30pm
  • May 30 – Fourth T20 – The Kia Oval, 6.30pm

The second T20I game against Pakistan will be on Saturday May 25 with the two sides heading to Edgbaston before travelling to Sophia Gardens (Tuesday May 28) and The Kia Oval (Thursday May 30) respectively.

England beat Pakistan in a thrilling World Cup final to claim the T20 crown at the Melbourne Cricket Ground in Australia two years ago and Jos Buttler’s side are using this white-ball series to help prepare for their title defence.

Pakistan clinched a 2-1 victory over Ireland in their most recent T20I series with captain Babar Azam smashing a brilliant 75 and fast bowler Shaheen Shah Afridi taking a three-for.

England have not played T20 series since a 3-2 defeat in the Caribbean prior to Christmas.

England’s players travelled back from the Indian Premier League early to prepare for this series and missed out on the play-offs.

Jonny Bairstow, Headingley, Rain (PA Images)

Image: England and Pakistan will hope for better weather in the second T20 international at Edgbaston on Saturday

Morgan: England’s key players need game time

Former England white-ball captain Eoin Morgan, talking to Sky Sports:

“It’s not ideal preparation right from the get-go.

“The ultimate challenge is how well you can gel in the lead-in to tournaments as when you are under pressure in the World Cup cracks will form, as we saw in the ODI World Cup last year [as England were knocked out in the group stage].

“Before they won the T20 World Cup in Australia in 2022, they had wonderful preparation, winning a series 4-3 in Pakistan and leaders grew around Jos Buttler.

“Now they have a lot of players that haven’t been in great form or haven’t had a lot of time in the middle, so key players Jos thinks will be in his XI need game time before that World Cup match against Scotland [on June 4].

“They have been pulled back from the IPL, where they were getting game time – the likes of Liam Livingstone, Moeen Ali, key all-rounders. You want the individual roles to be ironed out before you board the flight to Barbados.

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Eoin Morgan believes England should experiment with different line-ups without comprising the ability to win in the remainder of their T20 series against Pakistan

“I think they learnt as a team from the terrible experience in India and taken it into their preparation.

“What makes me think they have learnt is that in that five-match T20I series in the West Indies [in December] they made changes to the batting order – Phil Salt as opener, Will Jacks at No 3 – and have kept to that for this World Cup.

“There wasn’t clarity before the 50-over World Cup last year – there was the saga of Jason Roy being in the squad and then out of it – and then when we got to India some guys had contracts, some didn’t.

“I want to see absolute clarity throughput the preparation and this World Cup.”

Broad: Crucial Archer plays next three games

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Archer made an impressive return to action for Sussex’s second XI, claiming a wicket in a six-over spell against Kent

Former England bowler Stuart Broad on Jofra Archer:

“Games like these are miles in the legs but also sharpening your mind to match fitness. You can bowl 10 overs in the nets but nothing in the nets will match international match intensity.

“We use data when we bowl and you can’t match bowling in an international fixture. Your body is under so much more stress, so these games will be crucial for Jofra for body and mind.

“A second-team game is fine when you are a much higher standard than who you are playing against but as soon as internationals start ramping you and hitting you over your head for six, you want to be sharp in your game-plan and you don’t want to be catching up at the World Cup.

“It will be crucial for the team he plays the next three games, for sure.”

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England captain Jos Buttler says Jofra Archer is back fit and bowling fast ahead of the T20 World Cup

    How should England approach rest of Pakistan series?

    Eoin Morgan says:

    “Because of the strength in depth within that England side, you are never compromising trying to win the game as every player adds value where they are strongest – but you have to put them in their strongest position.

    “If you think Ben Duckett is the spare batter to open, you can bring him in for a couple of games to open. If he is not, don’t bother, don’t waste it. Give Jos and Phil Salt, who has been in magnificent form in the IPL, time in the middle.”

    Watch England T20I series against Pakistan, and the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup in the Caribbean and USA live on Sky Sports Cricket. Also stream with NOW.

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