Asia Cup 2022: Match 6 – Predicted Pakistan Playing XI vs Hong Kong

Pakistan will aim to win the game so as to meet India again in the Super Four game on Sunday.

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Pakistan Team
Pakistan Team. (Photo Source: Twitter)

Pakistan and Hong Kong are set to lock horns in the sixth game of the Asia Cup 2022. Winning both the fixtures of Group A, India has already sealed a Super Four berth, and the team that makes it to the second spot on the points table will make its way to the Super Four. The upcoming fixture is a crucial one for both Pakistan and Hong Kong as a win would take them further in the tournament.

Both the teams faced a defeat against India and would try to work on the mistakes from their respective first game. Pakistan’s Naseem Shah, who made his debut in the first game proved to be the key bowler in the absence of Shaheen Afridi. He suffered an injury on Sunday and thus, Pakistan would look to rest him and give him a good time to heal.

Haris Rauf looked a little off during the previous game, but because he did not receive much game time, he will be expected to continue in the side. Muhammad Hasnain will be expected to take Naseem Shah’s place in the playing combination and Pakistan would be good to go. It is a do-or-die situation for both teams and thus, it’ll be a contest worth watching.

Openers – Babar Azam, Mohammad Rizwan

The 27-year-old skipper will lead the batting unit, and he will be the one to look out for. One of the finest players across all formats, Babar Azam faced a blow when he was dismissed early in the game against India. He needs a good comeback to get going in the tournament, and the upcoming game will be a perfect opportunity for him.

The wicketkeeper's position will be filled by Mohammad Rizwan, who has excelled starting for Pakistan in T20I matches. Rizwan has a good average in the game, and his partnerships with Babar do wonders for the team. He has become much more confident playing alongside him in the opening slot. Just like the previous game, he will attempt to keep the scoreboard ticking.

Middle Order – Fakhar Zaman, Iftikhar Ahmed, Asif Ali

Fakhar Zaman’s abilities with the bat are known to all, and he’s one of the most lethal players on the side currently. He can turn the game in Pakistan’s favor once he finds his rhythm in the game. He was backed with some fine performances against the Netherlands, but could not work his magic against India in the previous fixture. Thus, he would look to work on that.

Even though Iftikhar Ahmed has been with the team since his international debut in 2016, he has only participated in 19 T20Is. Batting at No. 4, he showed some good composure in the previous game when he tried to build up a partnership and anchor the innings. Given the chance, he will prove to be critical in the team.

Asif Ali is one of the finest finishers that Pakistan has in the game and his performances at the previous T20 World Cup where he smashed the ball for some amazing shots speak for him. If the openers lay a solid foundation, the 30-year-old might be moved up the order because he can easily hammer big scores, which is highly valued in shorter forms.

All-rounders – Khushdil Shah, Shadab Khan, Mohammad Nawaz

Khushdil Shah was considered purely as a batter in the previous game and was not given the opportunity to bowl even a single over against India, but he can chip in as the sixth bowler in the side. Even with the bat, he was not impressive as he was dismissed for a seven-ball two-run, courtesy of Hardik Pandya.

Shadab Khan has developed tremendously over the past several years and is making great strides as an all-round player. Pakistan will be aiming to make the most of his leg spin, which has proved to be extremely useful for them. He was decent with the ball in the last game but went unimpressive with the bat.

Mohammad Nawaz has been a helpful all-round option in the lower order and has given respectable efforts for the side both with the bat and the ball. Though it was not his day with the bat against India, he picked up three wickets in the first innings with the ball, that of Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, and Ravindra Jadeja.

Bowlers – Haris Rauf, Muhammad Hasnain, Shahnawaz Dahani

Haris Rauf has made his place in the team, thanks to the additional pace that he brings in during the death overs. With Shaheen Afridi being out of the tournament, the pacer will be in charge of the bowling lineup. He was hit for 35 runs in the previous game and would look to plan his strategy accordingly now.

Muhammad Hasnain has been waiting for a game badly, and this might just be his chance. Having been out of the international setup due to his actions, he needs a comeback game to prove his worth in the side. He was named a replacement player in the side and because Naseem Shah is likely to be rested, Pakistan might make this one change in their lineup.

Shahnawaz Dahani, being a proper bowler, impressed everyone with his batting skills against India. While defending the target, he could not pick a single wicket for Pakistan, but in the first innings, when his side was struggling with a low score, he chipped in with a quick 6-ball 16-run knock to take Pakistan to a defendable score.

Pakistan’s Predicted XI vs Hong Kong: Babar Azam (c), Mohammad Rizwan (wk), Fakhar Zaman, Iftikhar Ahmed, Asif Ali, Khushdil Shah, Shadab Khan, Mohammad Nawaz, Muhammad Hasnain, Haris Rauf, Shahnawaz Dahani

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