Home » talkSPORT betting tips – Cricket bets and advice for the England v Pakistan T20

talkSPORT betting tips – Cricket bets and advice for the England v Pakistan T20

England’s first outing of the summer is at Headingley on Wednesday night when they face Pakistan in the first of a four-match T20I series.

The world champions of the format are warming up for a title defence in the Caribbean next month and face a Pakistan side looking to avenge their defeat in the final two years ago.

England v Pakistan First T20 Tips

  • Phil Salt Runs – Over 22.5  @ 17/20
  • Pakistan Top Batter 1st Innings – Mohammed Rizwan @ 2/1
  • Highest Individual Score – Under 71.5 @ 17/20

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Salt ready to make instant impact 

Ben Stokes guided England to that five-wicket win in Melbourne with an unbeaten 52 from 49 balls, but he asked not to be considered for the upcoming tournament or this series.

The other big team news from the home side concerns the return of Jofra Archer after more than a year out because of an elbow injury.

The form of captain Jos Buttler, who lit up the Indian Premier League last month with two unbeaten centuries in the space of 10 days, appears to be tailing off.

He averaged just over 13.3 across his last three innings for the Rajasthan Royals with a top score of 21.

Step forward Phil Salt, who outshone Buttler as the best-performing England batter at the 2024 IPL – finishing his Kolkata Knight Riders stint with 439 runs at 39.5.

Salt’s six-hitting ability should come into play here as well as he is arguably England’s fastest starter in a high-octane batting line-up.

The right-hander struck 24 maximums in his 12 IPL games, while his current international T20 ratio of around 1.5 per game is also on the rise.    

Salt was in imperious form when last seen in England colours too, smashing a series-best 331 runs at an average of 82.75 and a strike rate of 186 against the West Indies before Christmas. 

Seasoned Rizwan should succeed 

Although they are yet to name their final 15-man squad for the T20 World Cup, there is a settled look about Pakistan’s side.

Rising star Saim Ayub has been partnering the experienced Mohammed Rizwan at the top of the order, allowing Babar Azam to come in at his preferred position of three ahead of power hitters Azam Khan and Iftikhar Ahmed.

The return to fitness of Haris Rauf brings some much-needed death-bowling nous to the attack, while Shaheen Afridi’s ability to swing the new ball at pace frightens even the very best batters in the world.

Rizwan finished as the top series runscorer when the two sides faced off in an epic seven-match series two years ago, managing a handful of runs more than Babar.

But the 31-year-old’s consistency against England marks him out as a real dangerman for the hosts on Wednesday.

The wicketkeeper-batter has plundered six half-centuries in 15 T20 internationals against the Three Lions and comes into this match-up off the back of scoring 75 not out and 56 in the final two matches of Pakistan’s 2-1 win over Ireland.

Rizwan also top-scored for Pakistan on their last visit to Headingley in this format, which remains the only-ever men’s T20 international played at Yorkshire’s home. 

Forecast conditions to make it tough to get tons

T20 tons have become more commonplace over the past few years, but the forecast overhead conditions should make things tough for batters to get in on a wicket that gets trickier under cloud cover.

For some reason, Headingley’s pitch plays more unpredictably when there is moisture around and the outlook suggests there will be some rain in the vicinity on Wednesday afternoon.

There is still good scope to get a full 20 overs per side in, but history suggests there may not be an individual score of more than 71.5 on this occasion.

Buttler top-scored with 59 when the sides met at Headingley in 2021 and that was on a parched surface in July. 

The pitch for Wednesday’s game could play a little more unevenly and there should be some early swing for the quick bowlers to exploit.

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