Pakistan vs Afghanistan: CWC 2019 Warm-up Preview, Head-to-head stats, Key Players and Squads

Afghanistan and Pakistan will face each other in the first warm-up game of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 at the County Ground in Bristol. As per playing conditions, both teams are permitted to field their 15 players during the match.

Head to Head Stats : In three official ODI meetings between the two countires, the Afghans are yet to beat Pakistan, who won all three games.

Telecast Details: Pakistan – Ten Cricket and PTV Sports; Afghanistan – Hotstar

Pakistan

The Men in Green are struggling in the 50-over format and were hammered by the World Cup hosts England in the recent ODI series. For Pakistan, the two warm-up games are the last chance to cover-up their loopholes. Meanwhile, the team management will be aiming to test all of their 15 players in these two warm-up fixtures before laying down a final XI for the marquee event.

Vital Cogs

Babar Azam, Imam-ul-Haq and Fakhar Zaman are their key batters, while Hasan Ali and Imad Wasim are their vital bowling options. Except these five, skipper Sarfraz Ahmed and Mohammad Hafeez are team’s strength in the middle order.

Players under Scanner

While the above mentioned players are assured of their place in the final XI, there are some vacant seats. To fill those places, some of the key players, including the experienced Shoaib Malik and Haris Sohail will be closely monitored during the warm-up games. While the last-minute entries Asif Ali, Mohammad Amir and Wahan Riaz are the other players to watch out for.

World Cup Squad

Sarfaraz Ahmed (C & W), Shoaib Malik, Babar Azam, Mohammad Hafeez, Fakhar Zaman, Wahab Riaz, Mohammad Amir, Haris Sohail, Imam-ul-Haq, Asif Ali, Imad Wasim, Shadab Khan, Hasan Ali, Shaheen Afridi and Mohammad Hasnain.

Afghanistan

The Blue Tigers have all the capabilities to trounce any side on their day, but they lack consistency in their approach. They need to address this issue before heading into the World Cup. Their most recent ODI series was against Ireland, which finished at 1-1. The team have faced a structural change recently, with Gulbadin Main being promoted to captaincy.

Vital Cogs

Mohammad Shahzad is undoubtedly among the vital cogs in this line-up and their chances of progression mostly depends on him. While Asghar Afghan and Hasmatullah Shahidi are known for their steady approach in the middle order, they also have Najibullah Zadran, who can lift the scoring rate at a brisk rate. While Mohammad Nabi and Rashid Khan will be seen serving the duties from both ends with the ball.

Players under Scanner

The surprising inclusion of Hamid Hassan into the World Cup squad certainly raised a few eyebrows and the veteran is likely to be closely monitored during these warm-up games. Noor Ali Zadran, Dawlat Zadran and Rahmat Shah will also be itching to prove their ability in the warm-up games. Mujeeb ur Rahman was found struggling during the IPL but the young gun is expected to make a strong statement in these games.

World Cup Squad

Gulbadin Naib (C), Hamid Hassan, Asghar Afghan, Mohammad Nabi, Hazratullah Zazai, Noor Ali Zadran, Rahmat Shah, Samiullah Shenwari, Mohammad Shahzad, Aftab Alam, Dawlat Zadran, Hashmatullah Shahidi, Najibullah Zadran, Rashid Khan, and Mujeeb Ur Rahman.

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