Full‑time white-ball captain Jos Buttler is struggling to be fit for the start of the trip next month
Details indicate that Jos Buttler, England’s full-time white-ball skipper, is having difficulty getting ready for the trip’s start the following month. Due to a calf injury, he was had to withdraw from the remainder of the Hundred last week. Since then, he has disclosed he is aiming the “back end” of Pakistan’s seven-match Twenty20 international series in order to be prepared for the T20 World Cup in Australia in October.
The tour group is expected to travel in Pakistan on September 14 – two days after the projected last day of the third Test against South Africa at the Oval – ahead of the opening match in Karachi on September 20. Moeen, 35, is said to be the favourite to LEAD in his absence.
Since 2005, senior England men’s teams have not visited the nation; instead, “away” series have been held in the United Arab Emirates due to security concerns.
Last winter, England had agreed to play two T20 matches in Pakistan, but the cancellation of New Zealand’s previous trip due to an anonymous death threat, as well as a conflict with the rescheduled Indian Premier League, prevented this from happening.
Moeen has served as Buttler’s vice‑captain since Eoin Morgan’s retirement in June and has led England in four Twenty20 internationals previously. The 35-year-old is also among those English players who have played in the Pakistan Super League.
This T20 squad – named at the end of the week – is likely to feature a mix of mainstays and World Cup hopefuls initially, with Liam Livingstone (ankle) another injury doubt and the Test players Ben Stokes and Jonny Bairstow expected to be given a break.
There is also a decision to be made over Jason Roy, with the opener having endured a flatlining run of form this year. Phil Salt, Will Smeed, Will Jacks and, possibly, Alex Hales are also in contention for the tour.
Mark Wood and Chris Woakes should also get the chance to prove their fitness after respective elbow and knee operations this summer. Both seamers, out since the Caribbean tour in March, have reported encouraging progress.
England will play seven T20Is on their first tour of Pakistan in 17 years. Karachi will stage matches on 20, 22, 23 and 25 September, while Lahore will be the venue for the remaining three matches on 28 and 30 September, and 2 October.