The eighth season of the Pakistan Super League (PSL) is currently underway and has been full of twists and turns. One of the standout performers of the tournament has been Shaheen Afridi, who is the captain of Lahore Qalandars. He and his team are leading the points table with some impressive performances.
On the other hand, Peshawar Zalmi, led by Babar Azam Pakistan’s new T20I Captain, is having a challenging time trying to secure a spot in the semi-finals. Despite having a talented squad, they have struggled to consistently perform with bowling and find themselves fighting for a place in the knockout stages of the tournament.
Following the conclusion of the Pakistan Super League (PSL), the Pakistan cricket team is set to play three T20I series against Afghanistan. The matches are scheduled to take place on March 24th, 26th, and 27th, with all three games being played at Sharjah International Stadium.
In preparation for the upcoming World Cup, the Pakistan Cricket Board has decided to rest the team’s captain, Babar Azam, and wicket-keeper batsman M. Rizwan. This will provide an opportunity for the standout performers of the PSL to showcase their talents at the international level. Also, Shaheen Shah Afridi will get a chance for captaincy for becoming Pakistan’s new T20I Captain.
Read More: Peshawar Zalmi’s Bowling Woes: A Major Hurdle in PSL 2022 Season
Are We Taking Afghanistan Easy?
The Pakistan Cricket Board’s (PCB) decision to rest their captain Babar Azam and wicket-keeper batsman M. Rizwan for the upcoming T20I series against Afghanistan has drawn criticism on social media. Many cricket fans and experts have expressed their concerns over this move, especially considering the fact that Afghanistan is a formidable opponent in the T20 format, and the matches will be played in Sharjah, a venue known to favour spin bowlers.
Afghanistan has an impressive bowling lineup that includes the likes of Rashid Khan, Mujeeb-ur-Rehman, and Mohammad Nabi, who are all known for their ability to bamboozle even the best of batsmen with their variations and accuracy. Rashid Khan, in particular, is widely regarded as one of the best T20 bowlers in the world and can single-handedly turn the tide of the game with his leg spin.
Moreover, Afghanistan’s opening batsman Rahmanullah Gurbaz is also a dangerous player, capable of taking the game away from the opposition with his explosive strokeplay. He has already made a name for himself in the T20 format with some impressive performances in the domestic leagues around the world.
Given these factors, it is understandable why many cricket fans are questioning the PCB’s decision to rest their key players for such an important series. Afghanistan is a team that cannot be taken lightly, especially in the T20 format, where they have a proven track record of causing upsets against some of the top teams in the world.
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Shaheen Shah Afridi’s captaincy in the ongoing PSL season has been nothing short of exceptional. Despite being relatively new to the role, he has led his team, Lahore Qalandars, to the top of the table with some outstanding performances with both bat and ball. Shaheen’s ability to remain calm under pressure and make smart tactical decisions on the field has earned him praise from fans and experts alike. It will be interesting to see how he continues to lead his team in the knockout stages of the tournament. But he has never captained the Pakistan Cricket Team and is very young. So the question is does he have the ability to become Pakistan’s new T20I Captain?
PCB’s Weird Decision
It remains to be seen how Pakistan will fare against Afghanistan in the upcoming T20I series, and whether the PCB’s decision to rest Babar Azam and M. Rizwan and give a chance to the PSL stars will pay off in the long run. However, there were rumours about Shaheen Afridi leading the team which were slightly true as some media reports suggested Shaheen Shah Afridi refused to captain the side. Vice-captain Shadab Khan is Pakistan’s new T20I captain and he will be leading the young side in Pakistan vs Afghanistan T20 Series.
What Social Media Had To Say About Pakistan’s New T20I Captain
The Pakistan cricket team squads were announced on 13th March 2023:
1. Shadab Khan (captain) (Islamabad United)
2. Abdullah Shafique (Lahore Qalandars)
3. Azam Khan (Islamabad United)
4. Faheem Ashraf (Islamabad United)
5. Iftikhar Ahmed (Quetta Gladiators)
6. Ihsanullah (Multan Sultans)
7. Imad Wasim (Karachi Kings)
8. Mohammad Haris (Peshawar Zalmi)
9. Mohammad Nawaz (Quetta Gladiators)
10. Mohammad Wasim Junior (Islamabad United)
11. Naseem Shah (Quetta Gladiators)
12. Saim Ayub (Peshawar Zalmi)
13. Shan Masood (Multan Sultans)
14. Tayyab Tahir (Karachi Kings)
15. Zaman Khan (Lahore Qalandars)