After their 3-0 victory against Afghanistan, Babar Azam’s Pakistan became the number 1 ODI side in the world. A lethal side that has the potential to outclass their opponents on any given day, Pakistan will be a force to reckon with in the upcoming Asia Cup 2023.
Pakistan were the runners-up in the previous edition of this tournament and would be looking to win the title, this time around. They have some fabulous players in their squad and they will most certainly be one of the favourites to lift the Asia Cup 2023.
Placed along side India and Nepal in Group A, the hosts of this tournament will be beginning their campaign against Nepal. The match will be played on 30th August 2023 at the Multan International Cricket Stadium.
The big-ticket game between arch-rivals India and Pakistan will be played on 2nd September at the Pallekele International Stadium in Sri Lanka.
In this article, we take a look at the strongest playing XI of Pakistan in the upcoming Asia Cup 2023:
Openers: Imam-ul-Haq and Fakhar Zaman
The two southpaws have been indispensable parts of the Pakistan cricket team in this format in recent times. In the year 2023, Fakhar Zaman has been in sensational form and has amassed 520 runs.
Imam has been one of the most consistent performers of Pakistan in recent times and will be looking to maximize his potential in the Asia Cup 2023.
Top-order: Babar Azam, Mohammad Rizwan, Mohammad Haris
A famed batting top-order of Pakistan, the trio would be looking to anchor the innings extremely well with their batting expertise. The skipper of Pakistan, Babar Azam is a contemporary great and has mustered 5202 runs with a fabulous average of 58.4.
Rizwan and Haris can press their feet on the accelerator and have the ability to smear the opposition bowlers, all across the park. Rizwan mustered 90 runs in the recently-concluded ODI series versus Afghanistan.
Middle-order: Mohammad Nawaz and Shadab Khan
Two more versatile players in Pakistan are Mohammad Nawaz and Shadab Khan. The two all-rounders will be hoping to contribute with the bat as well as with the ball. As both of them bowl spin, the conditions in Sri Lanka would aid their bowling style.
With a reputation of scoring big knocks under pressure situations, like his 48-run-knock against Afghanistan in the 2nd ODI, Shadab Khan will be a key player to watch out for.
Notably, he is also the vice-captain of this team.
Bowlers: Shaheen Afridi, Haris Rauf, Naseem Shah and Usama Mir
The three pace bowling options in the form of Shaheen Afridi, Naseem Shah and Haris Rauf are the strength of this team. They have the ability to single-handedly win matches and the entire tournament.
Pakistan has always been a breeding ground for producing quality pacers and these 3 bowlers are a living testament to this statement. Usama Mir will be a specialist spinner for Pakistan.
Pakistan’s Strongest Playing XI in Asia Cup 2023
Fakhar Zaman, Imam-ul-Haq, Babar Azam (c), Mohammad Rizwan (w/k), Mohammad Haris, Shadab Khan, Mohammad Nawaz, Shaheen Afridi, Naseem Shah, Haris Rauf, Usama Mir
Pakistan’s Squad for Asia Cup 2023
Babar Azam (c), Abdullah Shafique, Fakhar Zaman, Imam-ul-Haq, Salman Ali Agha, Iftikhar Ahmed, Mohammad Rizwan, Mohammad Haris, Shadab Khan, Mohammad Nawaz, Usama Mir, Faheem Ashraf, Haris Rauf, Mohammad Wasim Jnr, Naseem Shah, Shaheen Afridi, Saud Shakeel