After lots of speculation, Pakistan and Bangladesh finally face off in the first of three T20Is in Lahore on Friday. Both teams are in a period of transition since the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019. While Pakistan is still finding its feet under the stewardship of Misbah-ul-Haq, Bangladesh are trying to get accustomed to playing cricket without Shakib Al Hasan. Both teams haven't had the best of times in this format of late. With the ICC T20 World Cup on the horizon, both sides would be looking to identify their best possible combination. The Gaddafi Stadium playing host to all three T20s and both sides will be eyeing a win to set the tone for the rest of the series.
Here are a few tips to help you pick your Dream11 team for PAK vs BAN.
PAK vs BAN Teams
Babar Azam (C), Khushdil Shah, Ahsan Ali, Ifthikar Ahmed, Mohammad Hafeez, Shoaib Malik, Usman Qadir, Amad Butt, Imad Wasim, Shadab Khan, Mohammad Rizwan, Haris Rauf, Mohammad Hasnain, Shaheen Afridi, Mohammad Musa
Mahmudullah Riyad(C), Tamim Iqbal, Soumya Sarkar, Najmul Hossain Shanto, Mohammad Naim, Afif Hossain, Mahedi Hasan, Aminul Islam, Liton Das, Mohammad Mithun, Mustafizur Rahman, Shafiul Islam, Al-Amin Hossain, Rubel Hossain and Hasan Mahmud
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While a couple of old faces are set to return for the home side, all eyes will be on Haris Rauf, who has had a meteoric rise in the last couple of months. The tearaway pacer is set to feature in an exciting bowling attack alongside Shaheen Afridi and Mohammad Hasnain. Babar Azam will open the batting alongside Mohammad Hafeez while the likes of Shoaib Malik and Ifthikar Ahmed provide the solidity in the middle order. Pakistan should field two spinners with Shadab Khan's performances in the Bangladesh Premier League being exemplary with both bat and ball. Mohammad Rizwan will don the gloves as Pakistan eye a winning start against a formidable Bangladesh side on Friday.
Possible XI: Azam(C), Hafeez, Rizwan (WK), Malik, Ifthikar, Khushdil, Imad, Shadab, Rauf, Hasnain/Butt and Shaheen
Also see – Ranji points table
Although Mushfiqur Rahim's absence is a big loss for the tourists, they have a very balanced roster with the likes of Mahmudullah Riyad and Tamim Iqbal leading the way. Tamim, who missed the previous series against India, should open alongside Mohammad Naim. Liton Das will don the gloves as he bats at the top order with Mohammad Mithun and Mahmudullah Riyad following him. Soumya Sarkar comes into the series on the back of great all-round performances in the recently-concluded BPL. Afif Hossain and he will provide the Bangladesh side with much-needed balance, especially in the absence of Shakib. The bowling attack will be led by left-arm pacer Mustafizur Rahman with the duo of Rubel Hossain and Shafiul Islam likely to partner him.
Possible XI: Tamim, Naim, Liton (WK), Sarkar, Mithun, Mahmudullah (C), Afif, Aminul/Mahedi, Shafiul, Mustafizur and Rubel.
Pakistan vs Bangladesh, 1st T20
24th January 2020, 2:30 PM IST
Gaddafi Stadium, Lahore
All three matches that were played in Lahore between Pakistan and Sri Lanka last year provided an even contest between bat and ball. A similar type of pitch is expected for this game although it might be a touch better for the batsmen given it is an afternoon fixture. 160 should be par on this surface with the spinners coming into play as the game progresses.
PAK vs BAN Dream11 Tips
Wicketkeeper: Liton Das had a brilliant Bangladesh Premier League campaign in which he scored over 400 runs for the Rajshahi Royals. He is a viable option alongside Mohammad Mithun, who should feature in the middle order for the tourists. Pakistani keeper Mohammad Rizwan is a viable alternative as well if one is looking to have a Pakistan player.
Batsmen: Babar Azam is a must-have in the side owing to his superior talent and form. The Pakistan captain was the standout batsman in their previous series against Australia with 115 runs in three games. With home conditions also playing into his hand, one can expect a big knock from Azam. Along with them, the likes of Shoaib Malik and Tamim Iqbal are also good picks while Mohammad Naim's successful BPL campaign also holds him in good stead.
All-rounders: Given Bangladesh's struggles against leg-spin, Shadab Khan is a must-have in the side along with Soumya Sarkar. Sarkar proved to be a valuable asset for the Cumilla Warriors in the recently concluded BPL with handy all-round performances. While Hafeez's experience could be handy as well, Afif Hossain's ability to score quick runs holds him in good stead.
Bowlers: Haris Rauf and Mustafizur Rahman are must-have players in the side for this game. While Mustafizur topped the wicket-takers charts in the BPL with 22 wickets, Haris Rauf's campaign with the Melbourne Stars in the BBL was nothing short of sensational. With 15 wickets, including a fifer and a hattrick, Rauf has catapulted himself on the national scene. Along with the aforementioned duo, Shaheen Shah Afridi is a viable option as well. As for the final pick, one of Rubel Hossain or Mohammad Hasnain should do the trick.
Captain: Babar Azam and Shadab Khan are the ideal candidates for captaincy owing to their talent. While Azam is currently the number one ranked batsmen in the format, Shadab's all-round ability makes him a worthwhile option. If one were to pick a Bangladesh player for the multiplier options, Soumya Sarkar should fit the bill.
Dream11 Team Prediction
Fantasy Suggestion #1
Liton Das, Mohammad Mithun, Babar Azam, Shoaib Malik, Mohammad Naim, Soumya Sarkar, Mohammad Hafeez, Shadab Khan, Haris Rauf, Mustafizur Rahman and Shaheen Shah Afridi.
Captain: Babar Azam, Vice-Captain: Soumya Sarkar
Fantasy Suggestion #2
Mohammad Mithun, Mohammad Rizwan, Babar Azam, Tamim Iqbal, Mahmudullah, Soumya Sarkar, Shadab Khan, Afif Hossain, Mustafizur Rahman, Mohammad Hasnain and Haris Rauf.
Captain: Babar Azam, Vice-Captain: Shadab Khan