In their final Super 4 match at the 2023 Asia Cup, Pakistan will face off against the reigning champions Sri Lanka on Thursday in Colombo.
After defeating India by 228 runs, the Men in Green are probably going to field a different starting XI, mainly because their frontline pacers, notably Naseem Shah and Haris Rauf, have niggling injuries.
For Agha Salman, Pakistan could use left-handed hitter Saud Shakeel. But Saud Shakeel has only seldom played for Pakistan in One Day Internationals, where he scored 76 runs in six games at a strike rate of 71.02. Despite this, he put up notable Test innings for Pakistan, including a double-hundred against Sri Lanka.
On the other hand, Agha Salman has struggled to play effectively in every Asia Cup competition he has played so far. However, his recent face injury, which occurred against India, may now possibly play a role in his anticipated absence from the upcoming encounter.
It is expected that Usama Mir will be introduced rather than Faheem Ashraf given the Colombo surface’s spin-favorability, as shown in the most recent encounter between India and Sri Lanka; nevertheless, the decision is still up in the air due to the cloudy weather.
Zaman Khan and Mohammad Wasim Jr. are more likely to start for Pakistan than Naseem and Rauf because both players have suffered minor injuries.
It is possible that Haris and Naseem may not only miss Pakistan’s final Super 4 match against Sri Lanka but also their availability for the final, should Pakistan advance there, should be noted.
After two Super 4 matches, Pakistan and Sri Lanka each have two points, making their matchup a virtual semifinal in which the victor will face India in the championship match.
If the Sri Lanka vs. Pakistan match is canceled due to poor weather, Sri Lanka will advance to the final match since they have a lower net run rate (-0.200) than Pakistan (-1.892).
Expected team for Pakistan:
Imam ul Haq, Faheem Ashraf/Usama Mir, Shaheen Afridi, Zaman Khan, Mohammad Wasim Jr., Saud Shakeel, Iftikhar Ahmed, Babar Azam (C), Mohammad Rizwan (wk), Zaman Khan, and Mohammad Wasim Jr.
Team Pakistan for the Asia Cup:
Naseem Shah, Shaheen Afridi, Mohammad Rizwan, Faheem Ashraf, Haris Rauf, Imam-ul-Haq, Salman Ali Agha, Iftikhar Ahmed, Saud Shakeel, Mohammad Rizwan, Mohammad Haris, Shadab Khan (vice-captain), Mohammad Nawaz, Fakhar Zaman, Imam-ul-Haq, and Babar Azam.