Pakistan Predicted XI vs Australia: Babar Azam frets over Mohammad Rizwan and Shoaib Malik's availability in semi-final
- Each and every player of Pakistan's team, which remains unchanged from the very first game, has contributed in some way or the other and that is why they have been the most complete and consistent side so far. Before the clash begins, let's take a look at Pakistan's Predicted XI vs Australia
Babar Azam's Pakistan will take on Aaron Finch's Australia in the second semifinal of T20 World Cup 2021 in Dubai on Thursday. Pakistan are the only unbeaten side in the tournament so far, having won all their five Super 12 matches in Group 2, and head into the clash as favorites. However, a World Cup knockout game brings a different level of pressure with it and it will be interesting to see how Azam and Co., who have barely set a foot wrong so far, deal with the pressure. Each and every player from their team, which remains unchanged from the very first game, has contributed in some way or the other and that is why they have been the most complete and consistent side so far.
On the other hand, Finch's yellow army have picked up form off late as well. Their only so loss came against Group 1 toppers England, and apart from that, they have looked a very assured unit. The biggest positive for them has been David Warner's form. But can they stop a formidable Pakistan side?
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Before the clash begins, let's take a look at Pakistan's Predicted XI vs Australia:
1) Mohammad Rizwan (WK): The question on every Pakistan fan's mind right now - Is Rizwan fit enough to play the semi-final against Australia? The wicketkeeper-batter missed Pakistan's practice last night due to a mild flue. He is the highest run-scorer in T20 cricket this year and the sixth-highest this tournament - with 214 runs in 5 matches. Moreover, the right-hander has been spectacular behind the stumps, making him an indispensable member of the side.
2) Babar Azam (C): The skipper has led from the front quite literally. With 264 runs in 5 matches, at a staggering average of 66, he is the tournament's highest run-scorer so far. His opening stands with Rizwan often prove to be match-winning in T20 cricket. Australia will need to be wary of him.
3) Fakhar Zaman: The southpaw hasn't scored a whole lot of runs but managed to play a few handy cameos in the Super 12 stage. On his day, he is the cleanest and the biggest hitter of the cricket ball. Getting his wicket early will do a world of good for the Aussies.
4) Mohammad Hafeez: "The Professor", as he is fondly called by the team, can do everything. He can bowl and pick up wickets, play aggressive cricket and hold fort whenever requires. He is a big asset for Babar Azam and Co.
5) Shoaib Malik: Another man who is doubtful today. Malik too has the same mid flue as Rizwan and will be in a race against time to be fit for today's match. He was initially included in the squad as a replacement but little did they know he would go on to create the kind of impact he has. He heads into the semifinal after hitting the fastest fifty in a T20WC game by a Pakistan batsman.
6) Asif Ali: Pakistan's finisher this T20 WC has provided fans across the world with top-notch entertainment. He smashed a series of towering sixes against New Zealand and Afghanistan to bail his team out of a tricky situation and take them all the way to victory. He is an extremely important member of the middle-order as well.
7) Shadab Khan: The right-arm leg spinner has bagged 4 wickets so far and like Imad Wasim, he has stemmed the run-flow considerably in the middle overs. He has put his experience of playing on UAE pitches to great use. Against Australia, he will hold key once again.
8) Imad Wasim: The rise of Imad Wasim as a bowler has been phenomenal. The fact that he is bowling regularly in the powerplays bears testament to his improvement. Alongside Shaheen Afridi, he has ensured that the opposition batters aren't able to take away the game early.
9) Hasan Ali: He is a live wire on the field who often catches people's attention with his celebration. Even though Hasan Ali has been a tad expensive in crucial stages, he has always managed to scalp a wicket or two. You just can't take your eye off him.
10) Haris Rauf: With 8 wickets in 5 matches, the right-arm speedster is the side's highest wicket-taker so far in the tournament. Be it picking up wickets in the powerplay or bowling tight overs in the middle, or finishing the innings on a high, Rauf has played all the roles very efficiently.
11) Shaheen Afridi: The lanky left-arm pacer's menacing spell against India in their opening game will become a part of the folklore. After bagging a three-wicket haul in Dubai, Afridi hasn't looked back. He has been an instrumental part of the side by bowling tight overs in the powerplays and getting his team off to a strong start. Every over he bowls in the powerplay is an event in itself.
Pakistan Predicted XI vs Australia: Mohammad Rizwan (WK), Babar Azam (C), Fakhar Zaman, Mohammad Hafeez, Shoaib Malik, Asif Ali, Shadab Khan, Imad Wasim, Hasan Ali, Haris Rauf, Shaheen Afridi