Tough challenge for Pakistan against Scotland
Pakistan will be wary of Scotland after they beat England in a 50-overs international for the first time in their history. Although T20 is a different beast, Scotland are ranked higher in T20 (11th) than in 50-over cricket (13th), though that did not stop them defeating the number-one ranked side in that format on their home patch in Edinburgh last Sunday.
As in the Test tour of England and Ireland, Sarfraz Ahmed will lead a young inexperienced side for two T20 Internationals against Kyle Coetzer’s Scotland. But although they will miss seasoned players like Mohammad Hafeez, the number one ranked all-rounder in white ball cricket, it does present the opportunity to blood young talent. Indeed, for recent debutants like Asif Ali, Hussain Talat and Shaheen Afridi, this will be their first outing overseas and a valuable lesson in their cricketing education.
Scotland will be confident and therefore dangerous after their unexpected but not undeserved win over England. They bat deep with Calum MacLeod, Kyle Coetzer, George Munsey and Richie Berrington, the most experienced.
MacLeod scored a stunning hundred in their 371-run total against England, a score which their workmanlike attack was able to defend despite the true pitch and small boundaries at the Grange ground in Edinburgh.
But with Sarfraz keen to finish the tour with a winning flourish and with Pakistan possessing three of the most dynamic T20 players in world cricket, Shadab Khan, Shoaib Malik and Faheem Ashraf, Scotland will need more heroics if they are to prevent Sarfraz’s team from enjoying a victorious farewell.