Pakistan will go up against England in their final ICC World Cup 2023 league phase match on Saturday, November 11. Eden Gardens in Kolkata will host this fixture, scheduled to start at 2:00 PM IST. With four wins and four defeats in eight matches, Pakistan’s semi-final qualification chances hang in balance. They need to win the upcoming match and hope for favourable results elsewhere to make it to the last four. In their previous match, the Babar Azam-led side defeated New Zealand by 21 runs (DLS method) to keep their semis dream alive.
Opener Fakhar Zaman played a blinder of an innings in that victory, smashing an unbeaten 81-ball 126, laced with 11 sixes.
Even though the Pakistani bowlers had an off day last time out against the Kiwis, the team management is set to back them for the upcoming match against the defending champions.
Openers: Fakhar Zaman, Abdullah Shafique
Southpaw Fakhar Zaman has made the most of the opportunities since making it to the starting lineup in place of Imam-ul-Haq, amassing 219 runs in three matches at a staggering strike rate of 128.82. He has smashed one half-century and a century to cement his place at the top of the batting order.
Abdullah Shafique, on the other hand, is a consistent source of runs for Pakistan. In the seven matches he has featured in, Shafique has piled up 336 runs at an average of 48.00, including one ton and three fifties.
Middle-order: Babar Azam, Mohammad Rizwan, Saud Shakeel
Captain Babar Azam hasn’t been at his free-flowing best, but has chipped in with handy knocks throughout the tournament. The right-handed batter has accumulated 282 runs in eight innings with the help of four 50+ scores.
Wicket-keeper batter Mohammad Rizwan is Pakistan’s leading run-getter in the ICC World Cup 2023, having scored 359 runs in seven innings at a terrific average of 71.80. His only century (131*) came in the six-wicket win versus Sri Lanka.
Saul Shakeel has gotten off to good starts whenever he has had the chance to contribute with the bat. His ICC World Cup 2023 scores read 68, 31, 6, 30, 25 and 52. The 28-year-old will look to capitalise on these and produce a big performance when he faces England in the next game.
All-rounders: Iftikhar Ahmed, Agha Salman
Iftikhar Ahmed has showcased his all-round skills in the ongoing competition, scoring 139 runs at an average of 27.80 and taking three wickets at an economy of 5.46. His valuable contributions, which includes crucial runs and timely breakthroughs, makes him a reliable asset for Pakistan in the tournament.
Having played just two matches in the ICC World Cup 2023, Agha Salman is yet to make a noteworthy offering on the field. He is yet to bat and with the ball, his solitary spell against the Kiwis accounted for 0/21 in two overs.
Bowlers: Hasan Ali, Shaheen Afridi, Mohammad Wasim, Haris Rauf
Hasan Ali has had the responsibility of filling in the shoes of injured Naseem Shah and he has done that willfully with nine wickets in six matches. Bowling in tandem with Shaheen Afridi in the powerplay, Ali has been successful in providing early wickets for his side.
Left-arm fast bowler Shaheen Afridi had a rare poor outing against the Black Caps in the previous match where he finished with 0/90. Apart from that, the lead pacer has taken at least one wicket in every match, with 5/54 against Australia being his best show.
Mohammad Wasim, who started featuring in the latter half of the ICC World Cup 2023, has been on the money with his accurate line and length. His figures in three matches so far are 2/50 (vs South Africa), 3/31 (vs Bangladesh) and 3/60 (vs New Zealand).
Even though Haris Rauf has proved to be fairly expensive with an economy rate of 6.79, the right-arm seamer has fared decently with 13 wickets. Rauf’s 3/43 in the opening match against the Netherlands is his best individual performance in the ongoing tournament.
Pakistan Predicted Playing XI
Babar Azam (c)
Mohammad Rizwan (wk)
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