Pakistan are set to announce their 15-member squad for the upcoming ICC World Cup 2023 this week. As per reports from Pakistani media, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), the selection panel, and the team management are currently finalizing the squad for the marquee event.
Not very long ago, Pakistan were looking like a settled unit in the ODIs. They registered an impressive 3-0 win over Afghanistan and entered the recently concluded Asia Cup 2023 as the number-one ranked team in the world. However, the heavy defeats against India and Sri Lanka have exposed a number of weaknesses in the team and it could force the decision-makers to make some changes to the squad ahead of the World Cup.
The loss against India exposed Pakistan’s weak links such as spinners as well as fragile batting order. Even against Sri Lanka, Pakistan’s spinners had failed to leave a mark. Shadab Khan’s place in the team is reportedly under the scanner after his poor performance in the Asia Cup.
Pakistan’s likely squad for ICC World Cup 2023:
According to a report in Cricket Pakistan, the Pakistan selectors could make a number of changes to the team that was selected for the Asia Cup. The likes of Mohammad Haris, Usama Mir, Mohammad Wasim Jnr, and Faheem Ashraf are likely to be left out of the Pakistan squad for the World Cup.
The report further stated that pacer Hasan Ali and mystery spinner Abrar Ahmed are likely to find a place in the team. Hasan missed the Asia Cup due to an injury while Abrar is yet to make his ODI debut. Out-of-form Fakhar Zaman is likely to retain his spot in the team and Shadab Khan is also expected to be given another chance.
Out-of-favour allrounder Imad Wasim could be considered too despite not playing an ODI since 2020. The selectors are reportedly discussing his name due to his experience in international cricket. Imad is a handy spinner and a lower-order batter.
Pakistan’s probable 15-member squad for the World Cup 2023:
Babar Azam(C), Imam-ul-Haq, Fakhar Zaman, Abdullah Shafiq, Salman Ali Agha, Iftikhar Ahmed, Saud Shakeel, Mohammad Rizwan(wk), Mohammad Nawaz/Imad Wasim, Shadab Khan, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Haris Rauf, Hassan Ali, and Zaman Khan.
Pakistan’s schedule for ICC World Cup 2023:
October 6: Pakistan v Netherlands, Hyderabad, 2 pm
October 10: Pakistan v Sri Lanka, Hyderabad, 2 pm
October 14: Pakistan v India, Ahmedabad, 2 pm
October 20: Pakistan v Australia, Bengaluru, 2 pm
October 23: Pakistan v Afghanistan, Chennai, 2 pm
October 27: Pakistan v South Africa, Chennai, 2 pm
October 31: Pakistan v Bangladesh, Kolkata, 2 pm
November 4: Pakistan v New Zealand, Bengaluru, 10:30 am
November 11: Pakistan v England, Kolkata, 2 pm