5 Player battles to look forward to in Pakistan v World XI series
After a short preparatory session in Dubai, the World XI arrived in Lahore on Monday.
Published - Sep 11, 2017 11:45 pm | Updated - Sep 12, 2017 12:05 pm
March 3, 2009 witnessed arguably the most ghastly attack ever in cricketing history which left cricketing enthusiasts in a state of shock and dismay. 12 terrorists opened fire on the Sri Lankan national team which was touring Pakistan near the Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore resulting in serious injuries and a cloud over Pakistan’s ability to effectively host international matches. The incident resulted in a blanket ban over Pakistan’s viability as a potential host for any international cricket. Subsequently, the UAE was declared as the adopted home of Pakistan cricket.
The introduction of the PSL with the scheduling of the PSL final in the country itself tilted the momentum further in favor of Pakistan. The ICC’s decision to send a squad of 14 players consisting of some of the best in the business to Pakistan is further expected to play a major role in boosting the possibility of Pakistan playing host for international clashes in the future.
With the two sides all set to battle it out for supremacy from tomorrow, let’s take a look at the 5 player battles fans will be excited to witness:
1. Sarfaraz Ahmed v Imran Tahir
The Pakistan captain who operates as a wicket-keeper batsman has gained cult status and drawn comparisons to legendary Pakistan captain Imran Khan after leading his side to victory in the 2017 Champions Trophy. The icing on the cake was that they triumphed over arch-rivals India in the final by a huge margin. His ability to dominate the spinners and negotiate them shrewdly will surely hold him in good stead against wily South African spinner Imran Tahir who originally hails from Pakistan itself. Tahir’s ability to restrict the flow of runs with his variations and even deceive the batsman with subtle changes in length, makes him one of the lethal bowler in the format. This battle will surely be one to watch out for.
2. Fakhar Zaman v Morne Morkel
Sharjeel Khan’s absence due to suspension at the cusp of the Champions Trophy must have certainly contributed to an increase in the amount of greying hair on chief selector Inzamam Ul Haq’s beard. Fakhar Zaman emerged out of the shadows like a messiah scoring runs at will and cementing a reputation of being one who deserves to be respected by the opponent. His aggressive and unorthodox gameplay will surely face a stern test against the Proteas speedster Morkel, who is more than capable of racking up deliveries at a speed of 150 km/h on a consistent basis.
3. Imad Wasim v Faf du Plessis
Imad Wasim is Pakistan ‘s leading spinner at the moment and has been hailed because of his ability to bowl effeciently and effectively. Faf Du Plessis is one of South Africa ‘s most talented prospects and is more than capable of giving the Pakistan bowling attack a run for their money if given an oppprtunity to settle down.
4. Sohail Khan v David Miller
Sohail Khan is one of Pakistan’s most highly rated pace bowlers at the moment with his ability to bowl with great accuracy and immense maturity highlighted as one of his major strengths. South African David Miller who enjoys a reputation of being a hard hitter, especially in shorter formats, will be determined to knock him out of the park and negate the threat of a fine bowler.
5. Hasan Ali v Hashim Amla
Hasan Ali has been the revelation of the Champions Trophy 2017 for Pakistan emerging as a wicket-taker and pace spearhead. He will be expected to again strike with vital blows during the first 10 overs and restrict the world XI to a low score. Hashim Amla is currently one of the best batsmen in the game and has a considerable amount of experience even in T20 cricket. Amla is more than capable of guaranteeing a quickfire start at the top of the order and leading a chase with maturity. Hasan Ali’s job will be to knock over Amla, who recently scored 2 hundreds in the IPL.