The opening pairings of Pakistan and England were compared prior to the T20 World Cup Final

Cricket World Cup opening

In light of the fact that Pakistan and England are both hoping that a dynamic opening pair will put them on the right track toward winning the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup, the partnerships that are expected to light up the Final are compared here.

Both Pakistan and England demonstrated in their decisive victories in the semi-finals how important a powerful Powerplay can be, and both teams have the openers necessary to aim for another lightning-fast start in the Twenty20 World Cup Final.

Even though Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan came into the competition as the most dangerous partnership in the format, it took until their semi-final match against New Zealand for them to click with a 105-run stand in order for them to win the match.

That was their third century partnership in Twenty20 World Cups, setting a new record to go along with the nine centuries they have scored together across all Twenty20 Internationals, which is four more than the next best partnership.

However, the English pairing of Jos Buttler and Alex Hales outdid the Pakistani pair in their semi-final thrashing of India with an unbroken 170-run stand that established a new standard for all partnerships at a Twenty20 World Cup.

We take a look at how these four openers stack up against one another in the ICC MRF Tyres Men’s T20I Batting Rankings, their career records, and – perhaps most importantly – with their performances at this T20 World Cup so far. All four openers are currently enjoying strong runs of form at the right time.

Babar Azam

babar azam opening of world cup t20

The Pakistani captain experienced a rare slump in performance when he scored just 14 runs in his first four T20 World Cup innings, but he has since been on a path to peaking just in time.

Pakistan qualified for the semi-finals thanks to a patient 25 off 33 balls against Bangladesh, but Babar made sure they advanced by scoring a stylish 53 off 42 against New Zealand.

The 28-year-old, who can be difficult to move once he gets going, will be aiming to match his recent T20I series against England in Pakistan, where he scored 110 from 66 balls and 87 from 59, respectively.

Ranking of T20I batting

Current ranking | 4
Highest ranking | 1 (from 27 January 2018)

T20 World Cup 2022

Matches | 6
Runs | 92
Average | 15.33
Strike rate | 87.61

T20I career record

Matches | 98
Runs | 3323
Average | 41.53
Strike rate | 127.95

Mohammad Rizwan

The Pakistani wicketkeeper-batsman experienced a meteoric ascent in the rankings of Twenty20 international batters in 2020, but he has since cemented his position as possibly the most consistent opener in the game.

Before cruising to 57 from 43 balls in the victory over New Zealand in the semi-final of the T20 World Cup, Rizwan had not quite matched that with his impact at the tournament.

The 30-year-old is an expert at striking the appropriate balance between attack and defense, particularly during the Powerplay, and he is likely to be extremely important to Pakistan’s hopes of winning the decider.

Ranking of T20I batting

Current ranking | 2
Highest T20I Ranking | 1 (from 8 September 2022)

T20 World Cup 2022

Matches | 6
Runs | 160
Average | 26.66
Strike rate | 109.58

T20I career record

Matches | 79
Runs | 2620
Average | 49.43
Strike rate | 126.75

Jos Buttler 

The England captain struggled to get going in the T20 World Cup but excelled in the crucial Super 12 match against New Zealand.

Buttler destroyed the Black Caps for 73 off 47 balls before improving that with an unbeaten 80 from 49 balls in the semi-final against India to finish the tournament with 199 runs, which was the fifth-most in the Super 12 stage.

Since taking over as captain in July, the 32-year-old has hardly missed a beat, and he is peaking just in time to guide England to victory in the T20 World Cup.

Ranking of T20I batting

Current ranking | 13
Highest ranking | 8 (from 5 November 2021)

T20 World Cup 2022

Matches | 5
Runs | 199
Average | 49.75
Strike rate | 143.16

T20I career record

Matches | 102
Runs | 2576
Average | 34.81
Strike rate | 144.15

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