news

Rashid Latif picks his playing XI for Pakistan’s T20 WC opener against USA

Pakistan's campaign in the T20 World Cup 2024 kicks off on Thursday, June 6, against co-hosts the United States at the Grand Prairie Stadium in Dallas

Rashid Latif picks his playing XI for Pakistan’s T20 WC opener against USA PHOTO: FILE

Former Pakistan cricketer Rashid Latif has suggested a well-rounded and strategic playing XI for Pakistan's opening match against the USA.

Leading the lineup are the reliable openers Mohammad Rizwan and Babar Azam, known for providing a solid start. Notably absent from Latif’s XI is wicketkeeper-batter Azam Khan, indicating that Rizwan is expected to take on wicketkeeping responsibilities.

Usman Khan and Fakhar Zaman are included to inject aggression and maintain momentum through the middle overs. In the middle order, Iftikhar Ahmed offers stability and the ability to accelerate the run rate when necessary. Imad Wasim adds depth with his batting and left-arm spin, enhancing the team's flexibility. All-rounder Shadab Khan, with his batting and leg-spin, is a key player.

The bowling unit is spearheaded by Shaheen Afridi, whose pace and swing are crucial, and Mohammad Amir, bringing experience and expertise. Haris Rauf, renowned for his pace and efficiency in the death overs, bolsters the pace attack. Finally, Abrar Ahmed’s leg-spin provides variety and the potential to exploit turn-friendly conditions.

Latif's playing XI for the T20 World Cup opener:
Mohammad Rizwan (wk), Babar Azam (c, Usman Khan, Fakhar Zaman, Iftikhar Ahmed, Imad Wasim, Shadab Khan, Shaheen Afridi, Mohammad Amir, Haris Rauf, Abrar Ahmed

It is worth noting that Pakistan's campaign in the T20 World Cup 2024 kicks off on Thursday, June 6, against co-hosts the United States at the Grand Prairie Stadium in Dallas. Despite a recent 0-2 series loss to England in T20Is, which was significantly disrupted by rain, Pakistan is diligently preparing for the tournament. The USA, while not traditionally a top-ranked team, has shown potential with a recent series win over Bangladesh and an impressive victory over Canada in their tournament opener.