ODI World Cup 2023: Pakistan's team combination and strategy for the clash with Australia
Get ready for an in-depth analysis of Pakistan's predicted lineup and their strategy as they face off against Australia in the ICC Men's World Cup 2023.
The stage is set for another thrilling confrontation as Australia and Pakistan gear up to face each other in the ICC Cricket World Cup 2023 this Friday. The match will take place at the M. Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru. Despite a less-than-ideal start to the tournament, Australia found some positivity in their match against Sri Lanka, with their bowlers delivering an exceptional performance, and Josh Inglis and Mitchell Marsh steering them to their inaugural win in the ICC World Cup 2023. Pakistan made a strong opening in the tournament, showcasing their prowess with both bat and ball against the Netherlands in their first match, and comfortably accumulating two points. In the clash with Sri Lanka, their bowlers faced some challenges, but Mohammad Rizwan and Abdulla Shafique's centuries ensured a victory for the team.
However, in the much-anticipated match against arch-rivals India, Pakistan's performance fell flat. Babar Azam achieved his first fifty of the tournament and was constructing a substantial partnership with Mohammad Rizwan. Yet, a surprising collapse saw them lose eight wickets while managing to score only 36 runs. Rohit Sharma's rapid fifty prevented any comeback by the Pakistani bowlers, ultimately leading to their defeat by seven wickets.
Opening Batsmen: Abdullah Shafique, Imam-ul-Haq
Abdullah Shafique is likely to maintain his spot, given his remarkable century against Sri Lanka in a challenging run chase. The 23-year-old batsman might keep Fakhar Zaman out of the XI, who has struggled to find his form in ODIs this year. Shafique, who boasts an average of over 50 in Test matches, is still making his mark in ODIs, with only six matches played so far.
Imam-ul-Haq is another batsman who hasn't been consistent in ODIs this year. Nevertheless, he has a fantastic record against Australia in the 50-over format, having scored two centuries and two half-centuries in seven innings, accumulating 414 runs at an impressive average of 69.
Middle Order: Babar Azam, Mohammad Rizwan, Saud Shakeel
Despite his struggles in matches against Netherlands and Sri Lanka, Babar Azam appeared in good form against India. The Pakistani captain reached his half-century before being dismissed by Mohammed Siraj. Saud Shakeel made a valuable contribution with a splendid half-century against the Netherlands and showcased his skills against Sri Lanka as well.
However, Mohammad Rizwan has been the standout performer among the Pakistani batsmen. His fifty against the Netherlands stabilized the innings, while his century against Sri Lanka played a pivotal role in Pakistan's successful chase of a substantial target. With 248 runs in three matches, he stands as the leading run-scorer for Pakistan in the World Cup 2023, second only to Devon Conway in the tournament's run-scoring charts.
All-rounders: Iftikhar Ahmed, Shadab Khan
The expectation from Shadab Khan is to make valuable contributions with both bat and ball, but thus far, his performance has not been particularly impressive. He faced challenges in matches against Sri Lanka and India, but he did deliver a decent spell of 1/45 in eight overs against the Netherlands.
Iftikhar Ahmed has primarily contributed with the bat, as the bowling resources have been performing well. However, he possesses the ability to pick up wickets when required. He concluded the game effectively with the bat against Sri Lanka but had single-digit scores against India and the Netherlands.
Bowlers: Haris Rauf, Shaheen Afridi, Hasan Ali, Mohammad Nawaz
Shaheen Afridi is Pakistan's key new-ball bowler and has secured two wickets in the match against India, making it four wickets in three matches in the tournament. His new-ball partner, Haris Rauf, has impressed with five wickets, and his pace could pose a significant threat to the Australian batsmen.
Mohammad Nawaz serves as their primary spin option. Although he has only managed to secure two wickets in the tournament so far, he is expected to retain his place. Hasan Ali is anticipated to share new-ball responsibilities and contribute crucial overs during the death stages of the innings.