All-rounder Chris Woakes insists whitewashing Pakistan would send out a clear message ahead of next year’s World T20 as England prepare for their final clash against Pakistan in Sharjah today.
England hold an unassailable 2-0 lead in the three-match series after navigating a tense finale to win by three runs in Dubai on Friday – their sixth successive limited-overs win in the Middle East having prevailed 3-1 in the 50-over tussles.
While today’s showdown may be a deadrubber in terms of the current series, the bigger picture for England remains the World T20 in India during March and April.
“[To] make a statement and win 3-0 would be an unbelievable effort,” said Woakes. “Everybody is focused on getting that result.
“We know Pakistan are going to come out hard and are not just going to give it away. We have got a tough task on our hands, but we will definitely give it a shot and we are hoping to come away with a series whitewash.”
England were crowned global T20 champions in the West Indies in 2010 but suffered a group-stage exit in the competition two years ago as their misery was compounded by a 45-run defeat to the Netherlands in Chittagong.
Victory on Friday night, during which Woakes held his nerve to concede just seven off the final over, was England’s fifth consecutive T20 win, with two defeats of Pakistan building on successes over India, New Zealand and Australia since September 2014.
“Momentum is huge, particularly in T20 cricket,” added Woakes. “Confidence is high, everyone is enjoying each other’s company and it is nice to be in a winning environment.”