It was surprising to see Pakistan announce playing XI for the first T20 Against Australia. As both teams prepare themselves for the series opener of the 3 match series; this was seen as an unusual move for sure by fans and experts. Cricketers announced to be part of the opening game include M. Hafeez, Fakhar Zaman, Babar Azam, Hussain Talat, Sarfaraz Ahmed (Captain and WK), Asif Ali, Imad Wasim, Shahdab Khan, Faheem Ashraf, Hassan Ali and Shaheen Shah Afridi.
So, here is a look at 5 things to note from the development.
Sign of Over-Confidence or a Mind Game?
Pakistan don’t normally do this. In fact, they are always hesitant and only name their playing eleven minutes before a game is supposed to be played. So why do they make such a move?
Well, they have recently beaten the Aussie boys in a T20 series in Zimbabwe and in a Test series in UAE. The men in green then, want the opposition to know that they are still hungry and ready to get going. Therefore, this may as well be nothing but a mind game to show dominance.
Nevertheless, it is no secret that the green caps can are either be under or over-confident more often than not. Hence, for Pakistan’s sake let’s just hope that they don’t mess things up in the middle, the way they usually do when everyone expects them to win.
Hafeez Replaces Sahibzada Farhan
Hafeez’s good form means Sahibzada Farhan will have to make way and wait for a proper opportunity for a little longer.
The 22 year old Farhan made his debut during the final of the tri-nation series in Zimbabwe i.e. in the last T20 that Pakistan played.
Spin-friendly conditions and a lack of good performance during the Asia Cup, 2018 have resulted in Usman Khan Shinwari losing his place in Pakistan’s T20 XI. The right-arm medium fast bowler then, has some work to do to reclaim his lost position.
Hussain Talat Survives but Only Just
A string of poor performances could have easily cost Hussain Talat his place in Pakistan’s T20 eleven. Malik’s absence owing to family reasons then has allowed breathing space to the 22 year youngster who will have to deliver today in order to keep his place.
Imad to Open Bowling?
With no Amir or Shinwari in the side and with wicket expected to provide assistance to spinners either Imad Wasim or M. Hafeez are likely to open the bowling with Shaheen Afridi. Hassan Ali and Faheem Ashraf then are likely to be introduced at a later stage of the innings.