Pakistan announced Squad for Asia Cup 2023 and Afghanistan ODI Series
Inzamam-ul-Haq, the new chief selector of PCB announced Pakistan’s squad for the upcoming ACC Men’s Asia Cup. They have also scheduled a three-match One Day series against Afghanistan in Sri Lank before the Asia Cup.
An 18-man squad is selected for the ODI series Pakistan vs Afghanistan from August 22 to 26. After that, this list will be shortened to 17 members for the Asia Cup opening on August 30.
Although Pakistan is the host of the Asia Cup 2023, However, the event is set to take place using a hybrid model. As India denied to visit Pakistan, the PCB proposed a flexible mixed-method approach to host the event. Therefore, 4 matches in Pakistan including the opening match Pakistan vs. Nepal from Multan Stadium, and 9 remaining matches will be played in Sri Lanka.
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Squad for Pak-Afg ODI series and Asia Cup 2023
According to the announced squad, Pakistan relies on Abdullah Shafiq, Fakhar Zaman, and Imam ul Haq as openers. Fakhar Zaman and Imam ul Haq have more experience due to their higher number of matches played.
Zaman is aggressive in his approach where as Imam ul Haq navigates exceptionally in the ground. Abdullah Shafiq is not a new name as he has been serving Pakistan mostly in Tests and now in ODIs as well. It would be a treat to watch them all in action.
The middle order works as the backbone of a team and Pakistan rightfully boasts of it. exceptionally skilled Captain Babar Azam is a fine middle-order batsman. Furthermore, He delivers versatile shots, outstanding cover drives, and consistent performances. His calm and composed demeanor has brought unmatchable unity to the team which, in all honesty, is a hallmark of his captaincy.
Iftikhar Ahmad, known for his power hitting, is a force to be reckoned with. Salman Ali Agha has recently performed exceptionally well against Sri Lanka as an all-rounder. In consequence, he is part of this fierce squad.
The selectors specifically chose Saud Shakeel and Tayyab Tahir for the Pak vs. Afg series. This move is expected to make the playing unit more powerful and reliable.
Tayyab showcased an impressive performance in the Pakistan Cup 2022-23 and a remarkable century in the ACC Men’s Emerging Cup final. Subsequently, he received this second call-up as he previously made his debut in January against New Zealand. Even at that time, he showcased his prowess as a right-handed middle-order batsman.
Initially, Saud is currently chosen only for the Afghanistan series. He is in remarkable form as he scored a double hundred in a recent Pak-Sri Lanka Test match. He earlier represented Pakistan in 5 ODIs where in the last match Pak vs. Aus, 348 runs were chased with six wickets in hand. His remarkable performance can add him to the Asia Cup squad too.
Mohammad Rizwan and Mohammad Haris are confirmed as wicketkeepers. Rizwan is experienced in both batting and wicketkeeping. He is, so far, the best wicketkeeper Pakistan has produced.
On the other hand, Haris is a young, and energetic reserve for team Pakistan. He recently led Pakistan Shaheens in the Emerging Asia Cup 2023 and won title as a captain.
Shadab Khan has been serving Pakistan as vice-captain and leg-spinner for quite some time now. Additionally, he is a master of Googly, Flipper, and Quicker. Last but not least, he handles the bat marvelously to perform in pressing situations.
Mohammad Nawaz, the left-arm spinner is also added to the squad. His simple yet rhythmic style can be very useful for the winning cause. The team has reserved Usama Mir as a leg-break spinner who made his debut on January 09, 2023.
Faheem Ashraf makes a comeback after two years. His inclusion enhances the team’s balance as a fast-bowling all-rounder. Inzamam highlighted the need for an allrounder like Faheem due to his fast-bowling skills, especially in tournaments like the World Cup.
The pace attack of Pakistan showcases remarkable diversity through the talents of Haris Rauf, Naseem Shah, Wasim Juinor, and Shaheen Shah Afridi.
Naseem Shah has a youthful pace and promising potential which captivates the viewers and terrifies the batter.
Haris Rauf adds a fiery edge to the bowling attack of Pakistan with an immensely fast pace and specialist skills.
Shaheen Shah Afridi’s lethal swing and wicket-taking prowess stand him out. He is the first-over wicket specialist and an enthralling spectacle for wicket-hungry fans.
Moreover, Wasim Khan Junior has emerged as a left-arm seamer adding a valuable dimension to Pakistan’s pace arsenal.
The chief selector Inzmam ul Haq reflects that Shan Masood plays really well but lately, his performance has declined. Consequently, they have not selected him as part of 18 member squad for the Asia Cup. By the way, they have added him to the list of 21 players. Anyhow, He is considered a performer and potential batter to come back in the future.
In addition, Ihsanullah, the young speedster has not fully recovered from his injury. He is under observation of PCB’s medical board, as stated by Inzmam ul Haq.
Pakistan’s Schedule for Pak-Afg ODI Series :
As far as the Pakistan ODI series schedule is concerned, it will be as follows:
August 22, Tuesday 1st ODI 09:00 am PST
August 24, Thursday 2nd ODI 09:00 am PST
August 28, Monday 3rd ODI 09:00 am PST
Pakistan team will depart on 17 August for Hambantota from Pakistan. On the other hand, players who are playing Lankan Premier League and The Hundred will meet the team directly on 18 August.
Fixtures for Asia Cup 2023:
Asia Cup 2023 hosted by Pakistan will commence on August 30, at Multan Stadium. The complete schedule of the event is given below:
- August 30 Wednesday Pakistan vs Nepal, Multan
- August 31 Thursday Bangladesh vs Sri Lanka Kandy
- September 2 Saturday Pakistan vs India Kandy
- September 3 Sunday Bangladesh vs Afghanistan Lahore
- September 4 Monday India vs Nepal, Kandy
- September 5 Tuesday Afghanistan vs Sri Lanka Lahore
- September 6 Wednesday A1 vs B2 Lahore
- September 9 Saturday B1 vs B2 Colombo
- September 10 Sunday A1 vs A2 Colombo
- September 12 Tuesday A2 vs B1 Colombo
- September 14 Thursday A1 vs B1 Colombo
- September 15 Friday A2 vs B2 Colombo
- September 17 Friday Super 4s 1 vs Super 4s 2 Colombo
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