Pakistan’s cricket team, led by skipper Babar Azam, opted to bat first after winning the toss against Afghanistan in a crucial ICC Men’s World Cup 2023 match at the historic M.A. Chidambaram Stadium.
As the tournament progresses, the stakes have escalated for the Pakistani squad, currently perched at fifth in the standings after an equal share of triumphs and setbacks in their first four games.
Pakistan team’s journey commenced with astounding victories over the Netherlands and Sri Lanka, marking a record for the most successful chase in the competition’s history. However, subsequent matches proved challenging.
Today’s game witnesses changes in the team’s composition, with Shadab Khan stepping in for Mohammad Nawaz, who is down with a fever. This tactical change indicates a nuanced strategy, considering the pitch and opposition.
ESPNCricinfo reported that the match is set on pitch No. 5, known for its unique black-soil surface; hence, Afghanistan’s selection strategy led them to include a formidable lineup of four spinners, Rashid Khan, Mujeeb Ur Rahman, Mohammad Nabi, and Noor Ahmad.
Pakistan: Abdullah Shafique, Imam-ul-Haq, Babar Azam (captain), Mohammad Rizwan (wicketkeeper), Saud Shakeel, Iftikhar Ahmed, Shadab Khan, Usama Mir, Hasan Ali, Shaheen Shah Afridi, and Haris Rauf.
Afghanistan: Rahmanullah Gurbaz, Ibrahim Zadran, Rahmat Shah, Hashmatullah Shahidi (captain), Azmatullah Omarzai, Ikram Alikhil (wicketkeeper), Mohammad Nabi, Rashid Khan, Mujeeb Ur Rahman, Naveen-ul-Haq, and Noor Ahmad.