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    England's Buttler set to miss the third Pakistan T20 as Moeen prepares to lead
England's Buttler set to miss the third Pakistan T20 as Moeen prepares to lead
Moeen Ali (right) is expected to captain England in Cardiff. Source: theguardian.com

England's Buttler set to miss the third Pakistan T20 as Moeen prepares to lead

England selected what they believe to be their strongest XI for Saturday's game at Edgbaston and won by 23 runs, but indications are that for the third match of the series - the Headingley opener was rained out - they will field the majority of the players who missed out in Birmingham. This also lets them rest Jofra Archer, who grabbed two wickets on Saturday in his first international game in almost a year.

Archer trained on Monday, albeit at a reduced intensity, and is likely to return to the team for the series' final game on Thursday at the Oval. "He's going to be massive for us," Will Jacks remarked.

“It’s great for all English fans, even cricket fans all over the world. Everyone wants to see him bowl. He’s been bowling at good speed in the nets, good speed in the middle, good yorkers at the death. He’s a massive asset.”

After making an 84 off 51 balls in Birmingham, Buttler was named man of the match. However, he departed the team before they left for Cardiff on Sunday. Although the management has not ruled him out of Tuesday's match, it seems doubtful that he will return, especially given that heavy rain is forecast for the majority of the day. It is anticipated that the clouds will part in the evening, allowing for some playtime. Tom Hartley is probably going to make his debut in the Twenty20 international format, alongside Mark Wood and Sam Curran.

A change in the top of the batting order would be necessary due to Buttler's absence; Bairstow, Jacks, and Ben Duckett may all fill in as openers alongside Phil Salt. Although Jacks has an advantage because he and Salt had a great starting partnership for the Pretoria Capitals in the SA20, Jacks would want to continue getting used to a somewhat new role at number three.

Even though he didn't train as hard as he should have on Monday, Archer is likely to be back in the lineup for Thursday's series finale at the Oval. For us, he's going to be huge, Will Jacks said.

“Me and Phil, we’ve played a lot of cricket together which helps when it comes to England,” Jacks said. “We understand each ­other’s games very well and we’re both that kind of free‑flowing top-order batsmen which everyone has nowadays.”

Although Jacks has opened most of his Twenty20 career, he has come in at first drop in his last seven international matches, much like he did during his successful time in the Indian Premier League with Royal Challengers Bengaluru. “I kind of proved to myself I can do it at No 3,” he said. “Every time I bat there now I’m gaining more experience, learning new things and just building my repertoire of things I can do. I’m new to batting at No. 3, I’m learning on the job. I’d like to think I’ve improved.”

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