Pakistan take on arch-rivals India in an Asia Cup Group A match at the Dubai International Stadium on Sunday. Pakistan will be oozing with confidence, having defeated India at the T20 World Cup last year at the same venue. The focus will be on captain Babar Azam, who has been in excellent form with the bat across formats, especially in the absence of injured pacer Shaheen Afridi, who broke the back of India’s top-order during their last encounter with India. Pakistan faced another setback after another pacer, Mohammad Wasim Jr, was ruled out the tournament on Friday.
Here’s how Pakistan might line against India:
Babar Azam: Currently the top-ranked batter in T20Is, Babar has been a revelation for Pakistan in the last two years. His form will key to Pakistan’s chances in the match.
Mohammad Rizwan: Rizwan is another player who has been in top form for Pakistan with the bat in the last two years. His partnership with Babar, at the top of the order, will be key for Pakistan.
Fakhar Zaman: The southpaw is another player who has scored a lot of runs with the willow in the white-ball cricket. He will add more balance to the Pakistan’s batting line-up.
Khushdil Shah: The 27-year-old batter has emerged as a pinch hitter for Pakistan, finishing games down the order for his team. He is likely to get a nod ahead in the playing XI.
Mohammad Nawaz: The all-rounder was one of the players who impressed the most during the ODIs in Netherlands. Apart from his ability to contribute with the bat, Nawaz can also prove to be handy with the ball.
Shadab Khan: The all-rounder has proved his mettle time and time again. While his ability with the ball is undoubtable, Shadab can also contribute with the bat, if the opportunity arrives.
Haris Rauf: With Shaheen out injured, the onus will be on Haris Rauf to deliver the goods with the ball.
Naseem Shah: The young pacer will lead Pakistan’s bowling attack alongside Haris. Naseem proved to be a match-winner for Pakistan during their tour of the Netherlands, and the management will hope the youngster can continue his form at the Asia Cup.
Usman Qadir: The pitches in Dubai are expected to help the spinners and Usman Qadir is likely to get a place in the playing XI.
Mohammad Hasnain: Hasnain was roped in as Shaheen’s replacement and is expected to get straight into the playing XI.
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