Pakistan will face England in their final pool match of the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2023 on Saturday in Kolkata.
The Men in Green are currently ranked fifth in the 2023 World Cup points table with eight points and a net run rate of +0.036 and in order to reach the semi-final round of the mega-event, they will have to beat England by around 287 runs while batting first or by about 284 balls to spare while chasing the target.
Babar Azam is pinning his hopes on Fakhar Zaman to give Pakistan an aggressive start, hence Fakhar Zaman and Abdullah Shafique will continue as the designated openers.
Following a negative MRI report, fast bowler Haris Rauf also rejoined the training session and was seen bowling in the nets. Rauf had exited the field during the Pakistan versus New Zealand match due to a suspected rib sprain. Subsequently, he underwent examinations at a local Kolkata hospital after experiencing discomfort in his ribs.
On another front, Shadab Khan, who missed the last two games against Bangladesh and New Zealand due to a concussion sustained in the game against South Africa, also returned to the field and actively participated in the practice sessions at Eden Gardens.
Even though Shadab has recovered, he is likely to remain on the bench, as Pakistan is expected to field an unchanged playing XI from their last game against New Zealand.
Pakistan’s expected playing XI:
Fakhar Zaman, Abdullah Shafique, Babar Azam (C), Mohammad Rizwan (wk), Saud Shakeel, Iftikhar Ahmed, Salman Ali Agha, Hassan Ali, Shaheen Afridi, Mohammad Wasim Jr, Haris Rauf
Pakistan squad for World Cup:
Babar Azam (C), Shadab Khan (VC), Fakhar Zaman, Imam ul Haq, Abdullah Shafique, Mohammad Rizwan (wk), Agha Salman, Saud Shakeel, Iftikhar Ahmed, Mohammad Nawaz, Usama Mir, Shaheen Afridi, Haris Rauf, Hassan Ali, Mohammad Wasim Jr