ODI World Cup 2023: Pakistan's strongest predicted playing XI against Afghanistan

Pakistan and Afghanistan will face each other in a crucial tie in the ongoing ODI World Cup 2023 on Monday, October 23 in Bengaluru.

By Ahsan Jami

Updated - 23 Oct 2023, 13:32 IST

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5 Min Read

The MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai is all set to host another thrilling match in the 2023 ODI World Cup as Pakistan (PAK) takes on Afghanistan (AFG) on Monday, October 22.

Pakistan began their campaign with impressive victories against the Netherlands and Sri Lanka. Babar Azam's team created history by successfully chasing down the highest target in World Cups when they p;ayed against Sri Lanka. However, their winning streak came to an end with a disappointing seven-wicket loss to their arch-rivals India at the massive Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad.

Pakistan then lost against the formidable Australian team in their fourth match as their bowling anf fielding performance was below par. They will be eager to improve their performance in this crucial clash against Afghanistan.

Here's Pakistan’s predicted XI against Afghanistan:

Openers: Abdullah Shafique, Imam-ul-Haq

Imam-ul-Haq. (Photo: X)

Abdullah Shafique, who has displayed remarkable consistency recently, will open the innings alongside Imam-ul-Haq in this important match against Afghanistan. Shafique has been scoring consistently since his World Cup debut and even managed to score a solid fifty in the previous match against a high-quality Australian bowling attack.

Imam-ul-Haq has been a reliable performer for Pakistan in ODI cricket over the years. However, he has yet to make a significant impact in this edition of the World Cup. He did manage to score a good fifty against Australia, which helped him regain some form, and he will be hoping to continue his positive batting display.

Middle Order: Babar Azam (C), Mohammad Rizwan (WK), Iftikhar Ahmed, Saud Shakeel

Babar Azam. (Photo Source: ASIF HASSAN/AFP via Getty Images)

Babar Azam, who is known for his exceptional batting skills, has not lived up to his usual high standards so far in the tournament. He was dismissed cheaply by both the Netherlands and Sri Lanka. Although he scored a fine half-century against India, he could only manage 18 runs in the last match against Australia. Pakistani fans are eagerly waiting for him to find his form again in this crucial clash against Afghanistan.

Mohammad Rizwan has been the standout performer for Pakistan in the ongoing World Cup. He has amassed an impressive 294 runs in four games at an astonishing average of 98. His century against Sri Lanka is being hailed as one of the finest innings played by a Pakistani player in the history of World Cups.

Saud Shakeel has also proven his worth with the bat and has successfully solved Pakistan's number 5 batting problem. Shakeel played a brilliant knock of 68 off just 52 balls against the Netherlands and was awarded the Player of the Match for his exceptional performance. He also played a crucial role against Sri Lanka, forming a vital partnership with Rizwan that took the team close to victory.

Iftikhar Ahmed had a slow start in the matches against the Netherlands and India, however, he showcased his power-hitting abilities during the record-breaking chase of 345 runs against Sri Lanka. Iftikhar scored an unbeaten 22 off just 10 balls, helping Pakistan reach the daunting target comfortably. In the last match against Australia, he once again displayed his big-hitting prowess by scoring a quickfire 26, including three massive sixes, but could not convert it into a substantial innings.

Also Check: Most Runs in ODI World Cup 2023

All-rounders: Mohammad Nawaz, Usama Mir

Mohammad Nawaz Bowling. (Photo Source: Gettyimages)

Mohammad Nawaz has not made any significant impact in the ongoing tournament, but his all-rounder skills provide balance to the Pakistan team. His notable contribution came in the match against the Netherlands, where he scored a crucial 39 off 43 balls after a mini-collapse in the batting lineup.

Despite a poor outing in the last match against Australia, Usama Mir might get another chance in this game. He struggled with his bowling and also dropped an important catch of David Warner early on, which proved quite costly to his team. He will be eager to showcase his true abilities at Chepauk, which will assist spinners.

Bowlers: Shaheen Afridi, Haris Rauf, Hasan Ali

Shaheen Afridi. (Photo Source: ISHARA S.KODIKARA/AFP via Getty Images)

Pakistan's pace attack, consisting of Shaheen Afridi, Haris Rauf and Hasan Ali, has failed to impress in this tournament so far. However, in the last match, Shaheen stood out by taking a brilliant five-wicket haul. Unfortunately, his efforts were in vain as Pakistan lost to Australia.

Haris Rauf has been struggling in the tournament so far. The batters have been able to score runs against him easily and his pace has not been effective. He will be hoping to regain his form and contribute to a crucial win for his team.

On the other hand, Hasan Ali has shown some glimpses of good form in the tournament. He has been able to swing the ball early on in matches. However, he has not been able to produce a match-winning spell yet. In Naseem Shah's absence due to injury, the team is relying on Hasan to step up, but the pacer has not been able to meet the expectations so far.

Also Check: Most Wickets in ODI World Cup 2023

Pakistan predicted XI: 

Abdullah Shafique, Imam-ul-Haq, Babar Azam (C), Mohammad Rizwan (WK), Iftikhar Ahmed, Saud Shakeel, Mohammad Nawaz, Usama Mir, Shaheen Afridi, Haris Rauf, Hasan Ali

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