DUBAI - haroon saddiqui - Pakistan will ring some changes, with experienced batsman Younus Khan and Azhar Ali would be back to Pakistan while dashing uncapped left-handed opener Awais Zia joins the Twenty20 squad for Thursday (today) opener to be played here at the Sports City Complex.

England retained Alaistar Cook in the Twenty20 squad, after he showed great form in scoring back-to-back hundreds in the first two one-day matches as a cover for Ravi Bopara who is facing fitness problem.

Pakistan captain Misbahul Haq said that players are desperate to redress the balance in a Twenty20 international against England after a one-day series whitewash by the tourists.

Misbah wants his side to regain the upper hand, but also wants to use the match as a stepping stone towards the World Twenty20 series later this year. “This is a very important series for us, more so because we won the Tests, they won the ODIs and now it’s almost the decider,” said Misbah. “And if you consider that this is World Twenty20 year, it’s very important for us to come back.” England will defend the title they won in the West Indies in 2010 when Sri Lanka host the fourth edition of the World Twenty20. “I think we need to learn from England on how they transformed their fortunes in ODIs, and I am confident that my boys can do that,” added Misbah. “I don’t think we were dispirited, because the team wants a win desperately and that’s why we were like that. Everybody was trying to give one hundred percent and when it slips out of your hand it seems you are disjointed.”

England T20 skipper and paceman Stuart Broad meanwhile said his side would be using every opportunity possible to help prepare them for the defence of their World Twenty20 title. “Of course, we need to make use of every game we have because there isn’t many leading to the World Twenty20. And that being in the sub-continent we need to really make use of these conditions,” said Broad.

“It makes these games pretty important. We are not looking to these matches as a warm-up, we are looking to win this series and that is what we will be focusing on,” added Broad.

“Cookie is keen to play Twenty20 cricket. He has made that pretty obvious. He has been kept on in the squad because obviously we have got some injury concerns in the squad,” said Broad of Cook, retained as cover-up for injured Ravi Bopara. Stuart Broad admits he is excited by the England T20 squad as they prepare to face Pakistan in the opening 20-over clash.

England are looking to keep up their one-day dominance over the Asians afters securing a 4-0 series whitewash in the 50-over series. A few new faces will be seen in the Twenty20 side, while one-day skipper Alastair Cook has been retained as cover for the injured Ravi Bopara and due to his stellar form with the bat.

Whether or not he plays is open to question but, whoever takes to the field in Dubai, Broad is convinced that he has the players at his disposal to challenge for honours. "I look through the squad, and it excites me," he told a press conference.

"Of the guys who've come into the side in recent times, Jos Buttler's won game after game for Somerset, (Jonny) Bairstow strikes the ball beautifully, as we've seen on the international stage and Jade Dernbach's got a brilliant yorker and a great slower ball. We've got guys coming into the Twenty20 team and offering a huge amount."

SQUADS:

ENGLAND: Stuart Broad (captain), Alastair Cook, James Anderson, Jonny Bairstow, Ravi Bopara, Tim Bresnan, Danny Briggs, Jos Buttler, Jade Dernbach, Steven Finn, Alex Hales, Craig Kieswetter, Eoin Morgan, Samit Patel, Kevin Pietersen, Graeme Swann

PAKISTAN: Misbah-ul-Haq (captain), Shahid Afridi, Mohammad Hafeez, Imran Farhat, Umar Akmal, Asad Shafiq, Adnan Akmal, Awais Zia, Umar Gul, Saeed Ajmal, Abdul Rehman, Wahab Riaz, Aizaz Cheema, Junaid Khan, Hammad Azam, Shoaib Malik.