Pakistan Predicted Playing 11 for ICC Cricket World Cup 2019: The Sportsrush present before you Pakistan’s Playing 11 for their first match vs West Indies.
From losing 0-5 against Australia in UAE and losing 0-4 against England in England to losing their first warm-up match against Afghanistan and losing the second one to rain, Pakistan have had a torrid build-up to the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019.
In the 15 ODIs that Pakistan have played this year, they have won only twice. With their last ODI victory coming more than four months ago, Pakistan will require something drastic to stop their losing spree. Their dismal record this year in association with a couple of more defeats in the tournament will put a significant dent to their confidence.
Pakistan Predicted Playing 11 for ICC Cricket World Cup
With their own player expressing disappointment at the squad for the World Cup, Pakistan would be looking to take the field in their World Cup opener against West Indies at Nottingham on May 31 with the best possible combination.
A facet in their squad where Pakistan should be least bothered is their top-order. Opening batsmen in Fakhar Zaman and Imam-ul-Haq followed by a reliable No. 3 in Babar Azam have it in them to both go after the opposition bowling attack and respect it when the situation demands.
Opened the innings in 24 ODIs, Fakhar and Imam have scored 1,269 runs at average of 57.68 runs per over. The duo has the best average when it comes to any Pakistan opening pair which has scored more than 1,000 runs. Fourth-highest for Pakistan in terms of most runs scored, Fakhar and Imam have the joint-highest century partnerships (4) at the top of the order.
At No. 4, Pakistan will have to select one out of Mohammad Hafeez or Haris Sohail. While Hafeez will bring with him more than a decade and a half-long experience, Sohail has done much better in the recent times.
Since the start of 2018, Hafeez has scored 402 runs in 15 matches at an average of 33.50 and a strike rate of 88.35 including five half-centuries. On the contrary, Sohail has scored 546 runs in 12 matches at an average of 54.60 and a strike rate of 83.48 including two centuries and three half-centuries.
— ICC (@ICC) May 29, 2019
With 38-year old Hafeez not the bowler that he once was, Pakistan should opt for Sohail in the middle-order. With veteran batsman Shoaib Malik, captain Sarfraz Ahmed and all-rounder Imad Wasim also present in the middle-order, the trio will have to continually finish innings for their team.
Despite playing his last ODI during the tour of South Africa, leg-spinner Shadab Khan is most likely to be included against West Indies. Among the fast bowlers, Hasan Ali and Shaheen Shah Afridi should also take the field on Friday primarily because of their record in the recent times.
Much like No. 4, another conundrum for Pakistan lies in their third fast bowler. The same will be a toss-up between Mohammad Amir, Wahab Riaz and Mohammad Hasnain. Since the start of 2018, Amir has picked five wickets in 15 matches at a horrendous average and strike rate of 92.60 and 121.2 respectively.
Riaz, who was selected because of his experience and ability to bowl reverse-swing, last played an ODI during ICC Champions Trophy 2017. 19-year old Hasnain made his ODI debut against Australia a couple of months ago but his economy rate of 7.39 in five matches decreases his chances of playing against the hard-hitting West Indies’ batsmen.
Pakistan Predicted Playing 11 for ICC Cricket World Cup – 1) Fakhar Zaman 2) Imam-ul-Haq 3) Babar Azam 4) Haris Sohail 5) Shoaib Malik 6) Sarfaraz Ahmed (c & wk) 7) Imad Wasim 8) Shadab Khan 9) Hasan Ali 10) Wahab Riaz / Mohammed Amir 11) Shaheen Shah Afridi