#PAKvNZ: A Look At Pakistan’s Likely XI For The First T20 Today

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First #PAKvNZ T20 of the five match series is scheduled to be played today and so, here is a look at the playing XI that the green shirts are likely to field in Lahore. It is worth mentioning here that regular skipper Babar Azam, wicket-keeper batter Mohd. Rizwan and pacer Shaheen Afridi are expected to return after all three of them were rested for the previous T20 series against the Afghans.

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#PakvNZ: Babar Azam & Mohd. Rizwan Expected To Return As Openers 

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The men in green are expected to open the innings with regular openers Babar Azam and Mohd. Rizwan. Fakhar Zaman, Iftikhar Ahmed and either Mohd. Haris or Saim Ayub are expected to be part of the country’s middle-order during the inaugural game. Nevertheless, Saim Ayub has been in good form recently and hence, he is likely to play ahead of Haris who had a pretty ordinary series against the Afghans. 

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Lower-order

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Source: The Express Tribune

Spin bowling all-rounders Imad Wasim, Mohd. Nawaz and Shadab Khan are expected to play a crucial role in the country’s lower-order. They are also expected to shoulder the responsibility in the spin-bowling department.

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Fast Bowlers

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Shaheen Afridi and Haris Rauf are almost certain to lead the fast bowling department. Either Naseem Shah or Ihsanullah then will support the senior pacers. Ihsanullah’s recent form however suggests, that he stands a better chance of playing the first T20. 

Read: Misbah-ul-Haq Praises Ihsanullah, Saim Ayub & Mohd. Haris

Likely Playing XI

Babar Azam (c), Mohd. Rizwan (wk), Mohd. Haris/Saim Ayub, Fakhar Zaman, Iftikhar Ahmed, Shadab Khan (vc), Imad Wasim, Mohd. Nawaz, Shaheen Afridi, Haris Rauf, Ihsanullah/Naseem Shah.