Pakistan will head into the Asia Cup 2022 cricket tournament as a major threat to defending champions and favourites India, with its lineup of world-class players who have delivered top-notch performances for their side during crucial times.
With only two titles to their name as opposed to five by India and Sri Lanka having won twice, the Pakistani side will be desperate to prove themselves as Asia’s most dominant team. However, the absence of their pace spearhead Shaheen Afridi, will come as a major blow.
With only days to go before the Asia Cup 2022 cricket tournament kicks-off and the much-anticipated India-Pakistan clash set to take place, we take a look at Pakistan’s playing XI for Asia Cup 2022:
1. Babar Azam – Azam will be leading the Pakistan side in the Asia Cup for the first time. As Pakistan’s skipper and top batter, he’s the team’s No. 1 choice.
2. Mohammad Rizwan – With his form and classy batting style, Mohammad Rizwan is a certain candidate to form the opening pair with Azam in the Asia Cup 2022.
3. Fakhar Zaman – The ever-aggressive left handed batter is capable of taking apart any bowler on his day. Zaman is among Pakistan’s most important limited overs players in the batting lineup and with over 1200 T20I runs to his name, he will be a major part of the team.
4. Asif Ali – Asif Ali has been a crucial player in the Pakistani batting lineup in recent times. The right-hander has a massive strike rate of 133 in his T20I career.
5. Khushdil Shah – Strengthening the middle order is Khushdil Shah, a game changer capable of hitting big sixes in the death overs. He’s also a handy bowler.
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6. Iftikhar Ahmed – Another all-rounder with the ability to hit the ball hard and bowl a good spell with the ball, Iftikhar Ahmed is expected to feature in the Pakistan’s playing XI especially against India.
7. Shadab Khan – The 23-year-old Shadab Khan has contributed in crucial times with with both bat and ball, making him one of the most effective all-rounders. He possesses a strike rate of 136.7 in T20Is and has taken 73 wickets in 64 T20I games.
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8. Usman Qadir – Spinner Usman Qadir, with his variations and pace, will play an important role especially in the UAE, where spin plays an important role. His selection in the playing XI seems quite certain.
9. Haris Rauf – One of Pakistan’s fastest bowlers, Haris Rauf has the ability to bowl regularly at speeds of 145 kmph and above. He also had a great run during the T20I World Cup last year. His ability to take wickets and slow down the runs in the death overs makes him a definite choice.
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10. Hasan Ali – Hasan Ali is another important member of Pakistan’s pace battery and could be effective during the Asia Cup 2022. His pace and variation makes him an important T20I bowler for Pakistan.
11. Mohammad Hasnain – Replacing the injured Shaheen Afridi, Hasnain could end up in the playing XI. While we can’t be certain of his immediate selection, he has played 18 T20Is for Pakistan and already picked up 17 wickets along with a hat-trick.
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