Asia Cup 2018: Pakistan's Predicted Squad
As the fourteenth edition of Asia Cup is less than a month away, all the participating teams are keenly looking forward to picking the best possible squad.
The 2018 Asia Cup is scheduled to be played at UAE which is preferably Pakistan's home venue, giving an extra edge to Men in Green for the mega trophy.
Unlike the previous edition, Asia Cup will be played in One Day format in which five teams including Afghanistan will clash for the title.
Previously, India was the venue for the tournament which though was changed to UAE owing to the stained Indo-Pak relationship.
The defending champions, India are the early favourites of the tournament but nonetheless, Pakistan could be the team to watch out for. They have had a dream run from last few months in ODI cricket as they defeated Zimbabwe by 5-0 and earlier won the T20I Tri-Series as well.
Pakistan will be looking forward to pick the squad they think can win them the Asia Cup. Here is our take on who can those be:
In the opening slot, Imam-Ul-Haq and Fakhar Zaman have been in phenomenal form and have been providing Pakistan with the vital starts. Their recent performances sideline the Ahmed Shehzad who hasn't done well enough with the bat in recent past. The number 3 spot is well occupied by sensational Babar Azam who is considered as one of the finest current batting talents in Pakistan.
Vintage, Shoaib Malik will be spearheading the middle-order alongside experienced Mohammad Hafeez. They will be supported by one of the Pakistan Super League picks, Asif Ali. While as one among the youngsters, Haris Sohail and Hussain Talat, might make it to the squad, Haris did well enough in the domestic arena, giving him an extra edge.
Skipper Sarfraz Ahmed will have to play a part in handling the innings lower down the order, where he will be supported by all-rounders Faheem Ashraf and Shadab Khan.
Mohammad Amir will be heading the seam bowling department, which has always been Pakistan's strong point over the decades, while Hasan Ali and Junaid Khan will give him company. It would be interesting to see who they pick as fourth pacer. In Zimbabwe ODI series, Usman Khan was picked over Wahab Riaz, where he had a decent show with the ball. Yet, Pakistan may opt for Riaz knowing how damaging he can be with his pace and bounce.
Mohammad Nawaz and Shadab Khan are the best possible spin options for Pakistan and probably Yasir Shah may be skipped with Pakistan already having various spin options in-likes of Mohammad Hafeez and Shoaib Malik. Hafeez though has been struggling with his remodelled action.
So, the probable fifteen men squad can look as under:
Imam-Ul-Haq, Fakhar Zaman, Babar Azam, Shoaib Malik, Mohammad Hafeez, Sarfraz Ahmed (C)(WK), Asif Ali, Haris Sohail, Faheem Ashraf, Shadab Khan, Mohammad Nawaz, Junaid Khan, Mohammad Aamir, Wahab Riaz, Hasan Ali