Pakistan will kick start its Asia Cup 2022 campaign, playing the first game against India on the 28th of August. This will be the first game for both sides in the ACC event. It looks that what seems to be Pakistan’s starting XI against the men in blue is rather unbalanced. There are still some areas where some tweaks might be made. It will be interesting to see who will be picked on the day of the match.
Pakistan’s Starting XI: Which batsmen are expected to play?
Shaheens’ batting might be their most valuable asset. The likes of Babar Azam, Mohammad Rizwan, and Fakhar Zaman are all certain to play. It leaves the rest of the positions to be open for the rest of the batsmen to be picked on. The likes of Haider Ali, Khudshil Shah, Asif Ali, and Ifthikhar Ahmed will be picked for the remaining three positions.
It looks like Shah and Asif will be playing as they provide the team with some big hits at the end of the innings. Their task will be to come in with 5-6 overs remaining and maximize the number of runs scored for the Men in Green. The number four area is rather indecisive. It will be between Haider and Ifthikhar.
Both have pros and cons. Haider seems to have the X-factor, and Ifthikar is a utility player. The former does have to work on his shot selection. The young Peshawar Zalmi player seems destined to play against the Men In Blue. It will be interesting to see who plays as the middle order has struggled as of yet.
Which All-Rounders are expected to play?
Well, this one is a lot easier as there are only two real all-rounders that have been selected. Shadab Khan is the vice-captain and will play bar any injuries. He will provide a deeper batting lineup and can be a crucial asset with his leg spin.
He is one of the best in the world when it comes to fielding, so he fits the role of a three-dimensional player.
Mohammad Nawaz is also set to play, and he will be pretty crucial to the side. His presence during the start of the innings could be vital. He needs to be able to bowl quick overs and try to keep it tidy with the economy. Nawaz isn’t necessarily a wicket-taker but he will try to constrict the flow of runs. The offspinner is a very decent batsman and can be handy under pressure situations.
Which bowlers are most likely to play?
This might be the most debated topic on who will be the main three bowlers to play. The biggest what-if is whether Naseem Shah or M. Hasnain will play. Haris Rauf and Muhammad Wasim are going to be there. They have proven their position over a certain period. Naseem certainly has the upper hand as he excelled in the series against the Netherlands. Hasnain has been named the replacement for the injured Shaheen Shah Afridi. Rather surprisingly, many would say.
He has not played as much cricket as the other players due to a ban on his action.
Now he is back and seems to be bursting back on the international scene.
It seems as though Shahnawaz Dahani could be in the mix but Usman Qadir shouldn’t be unless the pitches seem to change the view.