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Sports

We will test our bench strength now, says captain Babar

  • Sharjeel, Waseem, Nawaz in contention for the first T20 against West Indies
Updated 28 Jul 2021

Swashbuckling opener Sharjeel Khan is likely to take the field when Pakistan takes on West Indies in the first of the four-match T20i series Kensington Oval, Barbados on July 28 (today).

The match is scheduled to start at 7pm PST.

Captain Babar Azam had hinted at changes when he virtually spoke to media on Tuesday.

“We did not get a lot of chances to try different combinations during the series against England. We will test our bench strength now,” said the skipper in response to a question.

He also spoke about the possible inclusion of Sharjeel Khan in the playing XI.

West Indies, Pakistan re-arrange four-match T20 series

“Sharjeel plays in the top order. If he gets a chance, it will be in the top order.”

There is a strong possibility that Sharjeel will get a change in place of Sohaib Maqsood in the final XI, Geo News reported quoted inside sources.

In such a case, he would open the batting with Mohammad Rizwan while Babar Azam would bat one down, with Fakhar Zaman, Mohammad Hafeez, and Azam Khan in the middle order.

Given the conditions in the Caribbean and the host’s record against the spin, Pakistan is more likely to go with a spin-heavy bowling attack in the series. Hence, spinner Usman Qadir is expected to retain his place in the playing XI.

Misbah optimistic of Pakistan to perform better in series against West Indies

Another possibility could be to drop Qadir to add an extra batsman and use Hafeez against the left-handed batsmen. The combination will be finalized according to the conditions.

Meanwhile, the management has decided to give Azam Khan another go after his dismal performance in the England series.

Reports suggest that Islamabad United all-rounder Muhammed Wasim is also in contention for a debut in the series opener, while either Muhammad Nawaz or Imad Wasim will make it to the final XI.

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