- Pakistan include Mohammad Haris, Nawaz, Zaman, Saud and Wasim Jr in a must-win game to qualify for Asia Cup final
Pakistan on Wednesday announced their playing XI for the last Super 4 Asia Cup match against Sri Lanka, overhauling nearly half the lineup for a virtual semi-final at the Premadasa Cricket Stadium in Colombo tomorrow.
It is a must-win game for the Green Shirts to qualify for the final of the Asia Cup 2023 against India on Sunday. In case of a washout, Sri Lanka will go through with 3 points and a better run rate.
Pakistan have made five changes to their squad that took a bashing at the hands of arch-rival India on Monday.
Wicketkeeper-batter Mohammad Haris has replaced out-of-form Fakhar Zaman, while Faheem Ashraf made way for spin all-rounder Mohammad Nawaz.
The two injured fast bowlers, Haris Rauf and Naseem Shah, have been replaced with Mohammad Wasim Jr, and Zaman Khan, respectively.
Similarly, left-arm batter Saud Shakeel has replaced Salman Ali Agha, who got hit by a ball on his face on Monday.
The announcement comes after team management confirmed Zaman Khan’s induction into the squad in place of injured Naseem Shah.
Speaking to reporters in Colombo, Pakistan bowling coach Morne Morkel said injuries to their premier quicks are a big blow ahead of a must-win Asia Cup match but a “fantastic opportunity“ for up-and-coming talent.
“A big blow, picking up those little niggles, but in this same sort of thing what a fantastic opportunity for the guys coming in,” Morkel told reporters.
“After going down against India, it’s a must-win game for us come tomorrow, and I’m quite excited to see the new guys stepping in, their character, and how they respond.”
Zaman flew in from Pakistan and is already a popular name in national cricket after his heroics in this year’s PSL for champions Lahore Qalandars.
He made his T20I debut against Afghanistan earlier this year and will make his ODI debut against Sri Lanka tomorrow.
Pakistan XI: Mohammad Haris, Imam ul Haq, Babar Azam (c), Mohammad Rizwan, Iftikhar Ahmed, Saud Shakeel, Shadab Khan, Mohammad Nawaz, Shaheen Afridi, Mohammad Wasim Jr, Zaman Khan.