IRE vs PAK 2024: Pakistan’s best playing XI for the T20I series against Ireland

May 9, 2024

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Pakistan are gearing up to face Ireland in an eagerly anticipated three-match T20I series, set against the picturesque backdrop of Clontarf Cricket Club Ground in Dublin. The inaugural clash is slated for Friday (May 10), promising a thrilling start to the series, with subsequent encounters scheduled for May 12 and May 14 at the same venue.

Pakistan’s squad reinforcements and omissions

The Pakistan contingent has meticulously assembled a formidable squad for the series, under the astute leadership of Babar Azam. The return of seasoned pacers Haris Rauf and Hasan Ali, alongside the versatile all-rounder Salman Agha, injects a renewed sense of vigor and depth into the team. However, notable exclusions include spinner Usama Mir and pacer Zaman Khan, who featured prominently in the recent New Zealand T20I series but now find themselves omitted from the squad.

Road to the T20 World Cup 2024

The upcoming series holds immense significance for both teams as they gear up for the highly anticipated T20 World Cup 2024, set to kick off on June 1 in the United States of America (USA) and the West Indies. With Pakistan and Ireland sharing the same group in the World Cup, their clash on June 16 in Lauderhill promises to be a pivotal encounter. In the ICC T20I Rankings, Pakistan currently occupies the fifth position, showcasing their formidable standing in the format, while Ireland holds the 11th spot.

Also READ: Here’s why Pakistan haven’t unveiled their T20 World Cup 2024 squad

Pakistan’s top-choice playing XI for the T20I series against Ireland:

1. Babar Azam (Captain):

Quality: Consistency, adaptability, world-class batting technique.
Performance: One of the best white-ball format batters globally, captaincy experience.
Best Shot: Cover drive – exquisite timing and placement.
Fast Scorer: Can accelerate innings without taking undue risks, ensuring a high strike rate.
Best for T20I: Ability to anchor innings while maintaining a high strike rate, ensuring stability and aggression in the batting lineup.

2. Fakhar Zaman:

Quality: Explosive left-handed opener, aggressive batting style.
Performance: Known for blitzkrieg starts, capable of dismantling opposition attacks.
Best Shot: Lofted drive over mid-off – clears the infield with ease.
Fast Scorer: Can quickly accumulate runs, putting pressure on the opposition from the outset.
Best for T20I: Provides momentum in powerplay overs, sets the tone for the innings with aggressive strokeplay.

3. Saim Ayub:

Quality: Emerging talent, solid technique.
Performance: Impressive performances in domestic cricket, capable of anchoring innings.
Best Shot: Classical cover drive – showcases his technique and timing.
Fast Scorer: Capable of rotating strike and accelerating innings when required.
Best for T20I: Provides stability in the top order, can build partnerships and accelerate the scoring rate.

4. Azam Khan (Wicketkeeper):

Quality: Hard-hitting batter, explosive strokeplay.
Performance: Emerging talent with the ability to clear boundaries consistently.
Best Shot: Pull shot – powerful and well-timed.
Fast Scorer: Capable of scoring quick runs, particularly effective in the death overs.
Best for T20I: Dynamic middle-order batter, capable of shifting momentum with aggressive batting.

5. Shadab Khan:

Quality: Multi-dimensional all-rounder, proficient with bat and ball.
Performance: Regular wicket-taker with the ball, handy lower-order batter.
Best Shot: Sweep shot against spinners – adept at finding gaps.
Fast Scorer: Capable of scoring quick runs in the death overs, with innovative strokes.
Best for T20I: Offers spin variation and crucial breakthroughs, adds depth to batting lineup.

6. Iftikhar Ahmed:

Quality: Middle-order batter, handy off-spin bowler.
Performance: Versatile player with the ability to stabilize innings or accelerate as needed.
Best Shot: Straight shot for six – showcases his class and timing.
Fast Scorer: Can accelerate innings with calculated risks, often turning the tide of the game.
Best for T20I: Provides flexibility in batting order, can rotate strike or clear boundaries as per the team’s requirements.

7. Imad Wasim:

Quality: Crafty left-arm spinner, handy lower-order batter.
Performance: Economical in the middle overs, knack for picking crucial wickets.
Best Shot: Reverse sweep – adds variety to his batting repertoire.
Fast Scorer: Can accelerate innings with innovative strokeplay, particularly effective against spinners.
Best for T20I: Controls run flow, can chip in with vital contributions with both bat and ball, crucial in the middle overs.

8. Abrar Ahmed:

Quality: Right-arm leg-break and googly spinner, possesses deceptive variations.
Performance: Emerging talent with potential to trouble batters with his leg-spin.
Bowling Style: Relies on variations including leg-breaks, googlies, and flippers.
Turn: Generates sharp turn and bounce on conducive pitches, challenging for batters to read.
Control: Developing control over his variations, improving accuracy and consistency.

9. Naseem Shah:

Quality: Young fast bowler with raw pace and potential.
Performance: Promising performances in domestic and international cricket.
Bowling Style: Aggressive seam bowler, generates bounce and movement off the pitch.
Pace: Capable of bowling consistently at high speeds, unsettling batters.
Variations: Developing a repertoire of deliveries, including the yorker and bouncer.

10. Hasan Ali:

Quality: Premier fast bowler, aggressive and wicket-taking.
Performance: Strikes early with the new ball, adept at bowling yorkers in death overs.
Bowling Style: Seam bowler with an ability to swing the ball both ways.
Swing: Generates late movement in the air, particularly effective with the new ball.
Yorkers: Mastery over yorker length, effective in the death overs.

11. Shaheen Afridi:

Quality: Exciting left-arm pacer, capable of generating pace and bounce.
Performance: Takes wickets upfront, applies pressure with his raw pace.
Bowling Style: Left-arm angle, bowls a probing line and length.
Swing: Known for swinging the new ball, particularly lethal in overcast conditions.
Yorkers: Developing accuracy with yorkers, adds another dimension to his bowling.

Also READ: Pakistan’s probable 15-man squad for the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2024

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