Pakistan Playing X1: Pakistan Announced it’s Playing X1 for the 1st Match of Asia Cup 2023 Against Nepal.

Pakistan Playing X1: Pakistan vs Nepal - Asia Cup 2023: Host Nation Pakistan Takes on Debutants Nepal in Season Opener

Pakistan Playing X1: Pakistan vs Nepal - Asia Cup 2023 Season Opener Preview.

     Pakistan Playing X1:  Introduction:

      The 16th edition of the Asia Cup is all set to commence on August 30, and the anticipation is at its peak as host nation Pakistan prepares to take on debutants Nepal in the opening match at Multan Cricket Stadium. With Pakistan holding the prestigious title of the number 1 ODI team and Nepal marking their first appearance in this coveted tournament after winning the 2023 Men’s Premier Cup, cricket enthusiasts are in for an exciting contest.

     Match Preview:

     Pakistan, led by the exceptional Babar Azam, enters the Asia Cup with an aura of confidence following their recent 3-0 victory against Afghanistan. The team boasts an impressive lineup, featuring star players such as Fakhar Zaman and Imam ul Haq, who are ranked 5th and 3rd respectively in the ICC ODI batter rankings. Additionally, Babar Azam, the captain himself, holds the top spot in the ODI batting rankings, adding immense strength to Pakistan’s batting department.

     On the bowling front, Pakistan flaunts the talents of Shaheen Afridi, currently ranked 9th in the ICC ODI bowler list. The inclusion of talented bowlers like Naseem Shah and Haris Rauf further bolsters Pakistan’s bowling attack.

     In contrast, Nepal steps onto the Asia Cup stage as relative newcomers, with limited international exposure. Despite their underdog status, Nepal’s presence in the tournament is a testament to their rapid cricketing progress. However, none of the Nepalese players find themselves ranked within the top 10 in either the ICC ODI batting or bowling lists.

     Match Analysis:

     The Multan Cricket Stadium, the venue for the opener, has historically seen an average first-inning score of 254, and powerplay scores are expected to hover around 50-65. Given Pakistan’s dominance in the ODI format and their commendable track record, they are undoubtedly the favorites in this contest.

     While Nepal’s entry into the Asia Cup is a remarkable achievement, the gulf in experience and rankings between the two teams presents a significant challenge. Pakistan’s status as the number 1 ODI team, coupled with the star power of Babar Azam and their well-rounded squad, tips the scale in their favor.

     Opening Ceremony:

     Before the clash of the titans unfolds, cricket enthusiasts worldwide are eagerly looking forward to the grand Asia Cup 2023 Opening Ceremony. Scheduled to take place on August 30, 2023, at the Multan Cricket Stadium, the ceremony promises to set the stage for a thrilling tournament ahead.

     As the cricketing world holds its breath for the first ball to be bowled, all eyes will be on Multan as Pakistan and Nepal mark the beginning of their Asia Cup campaigns. The clash between the experienced giants and the spirited newcomers is sure to be a captivating spectacle that will kickstart the tournament in style.

     Pakistan Playing X1:

     Brief about players:

     [ 1 ] Fakhar Zaman

Pakistan Playing X1
Courtesy Stat Sensei.

     Pakistan Playing X1:  Fakhar Zaman, emerging from Pakistan’s domestic cricket scene, is a left-handed opener known for his precise timing. His breakthrough came with a stellar Quaid-e-Azam trophy in 2016-17. Notably, his debut ODI century in the 2017 Champions Trophy final earned him recognition, and he continued to shine in ODIs and Asia Cup matches, amassing 3221 runs at 46.68.

   Here are Fakhar Zaman’s career stats in One Day Internationals (ODIs):

  • Matches: 74
  • Innings: 74
  • Not Outs: 5
  • Runs: 3221
  • Highest Score: 210*
  • Average: 46.68
  • Balls Faced: 3466
  • Strike Rate: 92.93
  • Centuries: 10
  • Half-Centuries: 15
  • Fours: 372
  • Sixes: 56

     Please note that these stats are accurate as of the provided information and may not include the latest matches or updates.

     [ 2 ] Imam-ul-Haq

Pakistan Playing X1
Courtesy NDTV Sports

     Pakistan Playing X1:   Imam ul Haq, starting amid doubts of privilege, swiftly proved himself with a stellar international debut, including a century against Sri Lanka. He continued his strong form with three centuries in Zimbabwe, setting a record with four ODI hundreds in his first nine matches. A left-handed opener and descendant of a cricket legend, he showcases confidence in his skills, though he’s yet to face tough conditions and top opposition. Despite a less striking start in Tests, he holds promise and opportunities ahead to solidify his role as a long-term opener.

     Here are Imam ul Haq’s career stats in One Day Internationals (ODIs):

  • Matches: 63
  • Innings: 63
  • Not Outs: 6
  • Runs: 2889
  • Highest Score: 151
  • Average: 50.68
  • Balls Faced: 3519
  • Strike Rate: 82.09
  • Centuries: 9
  • Half-Centuries: 18
  • Fours: 224
  • Sixes: 26

     Please note that these stats are accurate as of the provided information and may not include the latest matches or updates.


     [ 3 ] Babar Azam ( C )

Pakistan Playing X1
Courtesy The Times of India.

     Pakistan Playing X1:  Babar Azam, a disciplined and composed right-hand batsman, established himself in Pakistan’s lineup with a trio of consecutive ODI centuries in 2016. Rising through age-group cricket, he debuted during Pakistan’s isolated phase due to security concerns. His success continued with a Test debut, succeeding the likes of Younis Khan and Misbah-ul-Haq. Over time, he became Pakistan’s premier batsman, excelling in ODIs and T20Is. Rapidly reaching milestones, he’s known for his consistency and adaptability in all formats, even as he captains across them, showcasing promising modern thinking. With numerous records and achievements, Babar Azam is among Pakistan’s finest ever batsmen.

     Here are Babar Azam’s career stats in One Day Internationals (ODIs):

  • Matches: 104
  • Innings: 102
  • Not Outs: 12
  • Runs: 5353
  • Highest Score: 158
  • Average: 59.47
  • Balls Faced: 5988
  • Strike Rate: 89.39
  • Centuries: 19
  • Half-Centuries: 28
  • Fours: 482
  • Sixes: 56
  • Catches: 45
  • Stumpings: 0

     Please note that these stats are accurate as of the provided information and may not include the latest matches or updates.

     [ 4 ] Mohammad Rizwan (wk )




Pakistan Playing X1
Courtesy CrisToday

     Pakistan Playing X1:  Mohammad Rizwan, a talented Pakistani cricketer, has proven his worth in the ODI format. With 1542 runs in 61 matches, including 2 centuries and 10 half-centuries, he boasts an average of 34.3 and a strike rate of 87.9. His consistent performances have made him a vital asset in Pakistan’s lineup, showcasing his ability to contribute significantly in crucial ODI matches.

     ODI Stats:

  • Matches: 61
  • Innings: 56
  • Not Outs: 11
  • Runs: 1542
  • Highest Score: 115
  • Average: 34.3
  • Strike Rate: 87.9
  • Centuries: 2
  • Half-Centuries: 10
  • Fours: 129
  • Sixes: 13

     [ 5 ] Agha Salman

Pakistan Playing X1
Courtesy Crictoday

     Pakistan Playing X1Agha Salman is a versatile all-rounder who represents Lahore Lions in domestic cricket. Renowned as a key player, he boasts a highest score of 141 in first-class games. Despite not featuring in Under-19 cricket for the national team, he’s highly regarded among Pakistan’s emerging talents. As of August 2015, he awaits his international debut. In ODIs, he has amassed 401 runs in 15 matches, averaging 40.1 with a strike rate of 100.5. In bowling, he has taken 4 wickets in ODIs with an economy rate of 5.44.

[ 6 ] Iftikhar Ahmed

Pakistan Playing X1
T20 World Cup

      Pakistan Playing X1:    Iftikhar Ahmed, hailing from Peshawar, Pakistan, is a proficient top-order batsman and a versatile off-spinner. Having represented Pakistan across all formats, he featured in the memorable Test series against England in 2016 that concluded with a 2-2 draw. Although his debut in a critical match at the Oval was overshadowed, his determination is evident.

     Iftikhar marked his entry into international cricket through T20Is and ODIs in 2016 and 2015 respectively. Despite initial challenges in those limited appearances, his consistent domestic performances ensured his name remained on the national radar. He commenced his T20 journey with Karachi Kings and now contributes to Peshawar Zalmi’s lineup. At 27, his aspiration to don the Pakistan jersey remains alive.

     Batting Career Summary:

  • Matches: 15
  • Innings: 14
  • Not Outs: 6
  • Runs: 402
  • Highest Score: 109
  • Average: 50.25
  • Balls Faced: 378
  • Strike Rate: 106.35
  • Centuries: 1
  • Half-Centuries: 1
  • Fours: 36
  • Sixes: 10

     Bowling Career Summary:

  • Matches: 15
  • Innings: 11
  • Balls: 396
  • Runs: 358
  • Wickets: 8
  • Best Bowling: 5/40
  • Economy Rate: 5.42
  • Average: 44.75
  • Strike Rate: 49.5
  • 5-Wicket Hauls: 1

     Please note that these stats are accurate as of the provided information and may not include the latest matches or updates.

[ 7 ] Shadab Khan

Pakistan Playing X1
Courtesy Hindustan Times

     Pakistan Playing X1:    Shadab Khan, born in 1998, is a rising Pakistani bowler known for his leg-breaks and deceptive wrong’uns. Rising through the ranks, he showcased his talent in the Under-19 World Cup. Unlike typical modern limited-overs spinners, Shadab uses a loopy trajectory and various angles to befuddle batsmen. His consistent performances earned him a spot in Islamabad United for PSL, where he impressed with his variations and ended with 9 wickets in 8 games.

     He made his T20I debut in 2017, impressing with figures of 3/7. Known for his fitness and exceptional fielding, he received Man of the Match awards for his all-round contributions. His participation in the ICC Champions Trophy-winning squad of 2017 and subsequent Test debut exemplify his potential. As a teenage sensation with an unorthodox style, Shadab Khan remains a valuable asset for Pakistan.

     Career Bowling Stats:

  • Matches: 60
  • Innings: 58
  • Balls Bowled: 2950
  • Wickets: 81
  • Best Bowling: 4/27
  • Economy Rate: 5.09
  • Average: 30.9
  • Strike Rate: 36.4
  • 4-Wicket Hauls: 5
  • 5-Wicket Hauls: 0

     Please note that these stats are accurate as of the provided information and may not include the latest matches or updates.

[ 8 ] Mohammad Nawaz

Pakistan Playing X1
Courtesy Dawn

     Pakistan Playing X1:     Mohammad Nawaz, a versatile all-rounder from Rawalpindi, made his mark at the junior level and played a crucial role in Pakistan’s Under-19 cricket. Representing Quetta Gladiators in the inaugural Pakistan Super League, he impressed with his all-round abilities and emerged as the third-highest wicket-taker. This performance led to his inclusion in Pakistan’s national side for the Asia Cup 2016.

     Nawaz made his ODI debut against Ireland in 2016, showing promise as both a batsman and bowler. He has played 30 ODIs, scoring 313 runs and taking 40 wickets with a best of 4/19. Despite a solid start, his opportunities were limited due to competition from established spinners. Nonetheless, Nawaz’s talent and versatility remain assets for Pakistan’s cricketing future.

     ODI Batting:

  • Matches: 30
  • Runs: 313
  • Average: 18.41
  • Strike Rate: 89.68
  • Highest Score: 53
  • Fifties: 1

     ODI Bowling:

  • Matches: 30
  • Wickets: 40
  • Best Bowling: 4/19
  • Economy Rate: 4.96
  • Average: 30.07
  • Strike Rate: 36.4

     Please note that these stats are accurate as of the provided information and may not include the latest matches or updates.

[ 9 ] Naseem Shah

Pakistan Playing X1
Courtesy Crictoday

     Pakistan Playing X1:      Naseem Shah, a rising star in Pakistan’s fast bowling legacy, burst onto the scene with his maiden Test call-up at just 16 years old. Known for his impressive pace, disciplined approach, and swing/seam abilities, Naseem has generated significant excitement. Despite being relatively raw in First-class cricket, his selection for Australia showcased Pakistan’s faith in his potential. Representing Pakistan at U16 and U19 levels, his rapid rise is attributed to the guidance of Misbah-ul-Haq, now Pakistan’s head coach and chief selector.

     ODI Batting:

  • Matches: 11
  • Runs: 31
  • Average: 31.0
  • Strike Rate: 72.09
  • Highest Score: 18
  • Fours: 4
  • Sixes: 0

     ODI Bowling:

  • Matches: 11
  • Innings: 11
  • Balls Bowled: 552
  • Runs Given: 420
  • Wickets: 26
  • Best Bowling: 5/33
  • Economy Rate: 4.57
  • Average: 16.15
  • Strike Rate: 21.23
  • 5-Wicket Hauls: 2

     Naseem Shah’s journey reflects his immense potential as a future pace sensation, poised to shine across formats, with nurturing and development playing a pivotal role in his promising career.

[ 10 ] Shaheen Shah Afridi

Pakistan Playing X1
Courtesy Sky Sports

     Pakistan Playing X1:     Shaheen Shah Afridi embodies limitless potential, boasting a towering frame and an all-around cricketing prowess. With remarkable speed as a left-arm bowler and a powerful bat, he mirrors his iconic namesake’s versatility. Born in a cricket-loving family, guided by his elder brother Riaz, Shaheen’s rapid ascent in Pakistan cricket is a testament to his talent. Having matured through tennis-ball cricket, the transition was swift, accelerated by his Pakistan Super League experience.

     His international debut came in a T20I series against West Indies in 2018, followed by an impressive performance at the Asia Cup the same year. Shaheen’s standout display in the 2019 World Cup, claiming 16 wickets, showcased his skill in generating pace and applying variations. While he made his Test debut in 2019, managing his workload due to his injury-prone nature remains a priority. With his powerful contributions in shorter formats, Shaheen is a force to reckon with and a beacon of Pakistan’s cricketing future.

     ODI Batting:

  • Matches: 40
  • Runs: 133
  • Average: 14.78
  • Strike Rate: 77.33
  • Highest Score: 23
  • Fours: 10
  • Sixes: 5

     ODI Bowling:

  • Matches: 40
  • Innings: 39
  • Balls Bowled: 1993
  • Runs Given: 1801
  • Wickets: 78
  • Best Bowling: 6/35
  • Economy Rate: 5.42
  • Average: 23.09
  • Strike Rate: 25.55
  • 5-Wicket Hauls: 2

     With his dynamic skill set and burgeoning career, Shaheen Shah Afridi is poised to be a potent force in the cricketing landscape, shaping Pakistan’s success across formats.

[ 11 ] Haris Rauf

Pakistan Playing X1
Courtesy Sports

     Pakistan Playing X1:     Haris Rauf’s international journey has been marked by a swift ascent. Making his T20I debut for Pakistan against Bangladesh in January 2020, Rauf’s electrifying pace and remarkable performances soon earned him a spot in the emerging players’ category of Pakistan Cricket Board’s central contract.

     His entry into ODIs was equally impactful, as he debuted against Zimbabwe in October 2020. Rauf’s cricketing prowess and consistency led to his inclusion in Pakistan’s squads across formats, including Test cricket and ICC tournaments.

     In the 2021 ICC Men’s T20 World Cup, Rauf’s four-wicket haul against New Zealand showcased his match-winning potential. His rapid progress continued, earning him a spot in Pakistan’s Test squad for series against Australia, West Indies, and Zimbabwe.

    In August 2023, Rauf achieved a significant milestone, clinching his first international five-wicket haul against Afghanistan. With a growing reputation as a dynamic fast bowler and valuable asset, Haris Rauf’s journey epitomizes Pakistan’s tradition of producing formidable fast bowlers.

     ODI Batting:

  • Matches: 25
  • Runs: 15
  • Average: 3.0
  • Strike Rate: 33.33
  • Highest Score: 7
  • Fours: 1
  • Sixes: 0

     ODI Bowling:

  • Matches: 25
  • Innings: 25
  • Balls Bowled: 1241
  • Runs Given: 1185
  • Wickets: 46
  • Best Bowling: 5/18
  • Economy Rate: 5.73
  • Average: 25.76
  • Strike Rate: 26.98
  • 5-Wicket Hauls: 1

     Haris Rauf’s journey from debut to milestones showcases his potential to be a linchpin in Pakistan’s fast-bowling artillery across formats.