Misbah wary of England strength in depth

15 July 2021 19:47:35 GMTPlus10

Pakistan coach Misbah-ul-Haq has praised England's depth of talent but admits his side must improve significantly in the Twenty20 series.

Misbah's men were beaten 3-0 by a much-changed England team in the ODIs and they are 2.50 to bounce back with victory over the 1.53 hosts in Friday's first T20 international at Trent Bridge.

Ben Stokes was the only England regular available for the one-dayers yet Pakistan's batting let them down in the first two matches when they were bowled out for 141 and 195.

Captain Babar Azam scored 158 in the third ODI at Edgbaston but England still managed to chase down a target of 332 with three wickets and two overs to spare.

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Stokes has been rested for the three-match Twenty20 series but England have a dazzling array of star players returning with skipper Eoin Morgan joined by Jos Buttler, Jason Roy, Jonny Bairstow and first-choice spinner Adil Rashid.

Both teams will use this series to gear up for October's T20 World Cup in the UAE and Oman. After Friday's opener in Nottingham there are fixtures at Headingley on Sunday and Old Trafford on Tuesday.

Pakistan were impressive during April's tour of South Africa, where they won both the ODI and T20 series, and Misbah was struggling to explain their underwhelming displays against England.

At a press conference, Misbah told reporters: "I don't know why the team was totally off-colour in this series and lost its momentum but it is a very worrying sign for me as head coach. No one can defend our performance.

"England has the luxury of a strong pool of players that we don't have. We have limitations at certain positions, especially in the middle-order spaces, where no one has settled down for a while."

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