Xtra Time Web Desk: The stage is set for the blockbuster clash between India and Pakistan in the ongoing T20 World Cup 2022 at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on Sunday. The return of Shaheen Shah Afridi and emergence of Naseem Shah will be a huge boost for Men in Green going into the big clash against India. The injury to experienced Fakhar Zaman is a setback for Pakistan no doubt, but Babar Azam will be banking mostly on his pace trio of Shaheen Shah Afridi, Naseem Shah and Haris Rauf.
The Men in Green had a rigorous training session on Friday. Babar Azam and his boys could not train outdoors at MCG on Saturday due to rain. But the entire team had a fielding session under the lights at MCG.
Going by the practice session, the entire focus in the Pakistan team revolves around Shaheen Shah Afridi and the fast-bowling group. Pakistan’s fast bowling consultant Shaun Tait and consultant Mathew Hayden has been sharing their inputs at the training on the areas where to bowl in Australia pitches.
Much of Pakistan’s core is set, with Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan being the torchbearers at the top of the order. Shan Masood, Haider Ali, Mohammad Nawaz and Shadab Khan will take the responsibility of middle-order, with Asif Ali being the side’s designated finisher.
With Shadab Khan and Mohammad Nawaz taking up spin duties, Babar Azam will opt for a four-pronged pace attack with conditions suiting fast bowling. Shaheen Afridi will naturally lead the attack with Haris Rauf and Naseem Shah. Mohammad Wasim Jr’s batting ability helps leapfrog Mohammad Hasnain in the pecking order, and will slot in at No.8.
Should Pakistan want to extend their batting, they could add another batter to their line up with Nawaz and Shadab pushing down the order.
Here is the probable Pakistan playing XI against India: Babar Azam, Mohammad Rizwan, Shan Masood, Haider Ali, Iftikhar, Shadab Khan, Mohammad Nawaz, Asif Ali, Haris Rauf, Shaheen Shah Afridi & Naseem Shah