T20 World Cup 2024: Pakistan’s strongest predicted playing XI against India

Jun 8, 2024

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USA vs Pakistan. (Source – Getty Images)

Pakistan (PAK) had a forgettable outing in their first match of the 2024 T20 World Cup. Babar Azam and Co. were forced to keep their heads down by the United States (USA) as the hosts pulled off a historic victory over the former champions. A dismal performance in both departments cost Pakistan the game as the Americans held their nerves to clinch a victory via Super Over. 

The shocking defeat has put the Men in Green’s Super 8s qualification in jeopardy and also took a huge hit to their confidence. Their next match is against arch-rivals India (IND) and they will need nothing less than a win to keep them in the hunt for the next round of the marquee event.

India, meanwhile, registered a comfortable eight-wicket victory against Ireland at New York. The Men in Blue dominated Pakistan in the previous edition, and this time they will be looking to avenge their loss. However, looking at the current situation, it will be a difficult task for them as they might need to enforce a few changes to their playing combination. 

Here’s the strongest predicted playing XI for Pakistan against India in Match 19:

Openers: Mohammad Rizwan (wk), Saim Ayub

Pakistan did not have a great start in the last game. Bringing Saim Ayub to the top order might solve this problem. With keeper-batter Mohammad Rizwan playing the anchoring role, Ayub can play aggressively and make good use of the powerplay.

The stylish left-handed batter can replace Azam Khan, who was very ordinary and was dismissed for a golden duck against the USA, in the playing XI. This also strengthens their middle-order with Fakhar Zaman and Usman Khan pushing down their batting positions.

Middle-order: Babar Azam (c), Fakhar Zaman, Usman Khan

Babar Azam faced a lot of criticism for his sluggish knock against the USA. He was the team’s second top-scorer with 44 runs, but those numbers came at a concerning strike rate of 102.33. The captain will need to lead the team from the front in the upcoming high-profile encounter, and his traditional batting position at number three may help him bring out his best.

Fakhar Zaman made a good start to his innings against the USA but failed to continue the momentum. The left-hander is capable of finding gaps and clearing the ropes with ease. Pakistan will need Zaman to patrol the middle order against India.

All-rounders: Iftikhar Ahmed, Shadab Khan, Imad Wasim

Iftikhar Ahmed is not in top form, but the all-rounder is expected to perform well in the crucial matches. The 33-year-old can contribute some vital quick runs in the lower middle order and chip in with some overs in the middle stages of the game.

Shadab Khan is one of the key players in the Pakistan line-up, thanks to his all-round prowess. His 25-ball 40 was crucial in helping the team reach a respectable score against the USA. Pakistan are likely to replace Usman Khan with Imad Wasim in the playing XI to strengthen their all-round department. As the pitches help the bowlers more, left-arm spinner Wasim’s addition will be effective.

Bowlers: Shaheen Afridi, Naseem Shah, Haris Rauf, Mohammad Amir

There was a lot of hype about Pakistan’s pace attack ahead of the tournament, but the USA batters shunned them all. While Mohammad Amir bowled decently in the first 20 overs, he conceded 18 runs in the Super Over, including seven extras. Haris Rauf was their worst bowler in terms of economy, as the right-arm pacer gave away 37 runs in his four overs. 

Left-arm pacer Shaheen Shah Afridi and his partner-in-crime Naseem Shah have good records against India, and both need to make strides early on to give Pakistan a chance to win the upcoming match. If the pace bowlers are able to wreak havoc in the powerplay, Babar & Co might gain the upper hand.

Pakistan’s Probable XI:

Mohammad Rizwan (wk), Saim Ayub, Babar Azam (c), Fakhar Zaman, Iftikhar Ahmed, Shadab Khan, Imad Wasim, Shaheen Afridi, Naseem Shah, Haris Rauf, Mohammad Amir

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