AFG vs PAK Match Preview
The Afghanistan skipper will be happy to have received this opportunity to have a go at the Pakistanis in these conditions that suit them. Another thing that might benefit the Afghanistan outfit is that Pakistan's management has decided to rest some of its key players. But Afghanistan does not have a good record against top-ranked sides in the world and they will desperate to turn this game around by playing positively. The Afghan opening batters Ibrahim Zadran and Rahmanullah Gurbaz have to provide a good batting performance in this match.
These openers will have to face the barrage from the potent Pakistani fast-bowling unit. The Afghan outfit will also look for runs from the middle order from the likes of Mohammad Nabi, Najibullah Zadran, and Afsar Zazai. These batters have the experience and have done well on this ground earlier. The Afghan batting order runs deep and they have all-rounders such as Karim Janat, Azmatullah Omarzai, and Rashid Khan in the lower middle order to support the top-order batters. Afghanistan will look at Mujeeb ur Rahman and Omarzai to pick some early Pakistan in wickets. Rashid Khan and co will come into play in the middle overs.
Pakistan will still be a formidable opponent even though they have rested some top players for this series. Shadab Khan will lead the team in the series. These players have done a great job in the PSL and will be fancying their chances on tracks that are similar to what they get in Pakistan. However, Afghanistan will be a difficult opposition to beat in these conditions. But Pakistani players are youngsters out to prove a point and they will be fighting hard to justify their place in the playing eleven.
Pakistan will look at the openers Mohammad Haris and Shan Masood to do well at the top of the order and set up a platform for the rest of the batting order. The middle order will be in the hands of Iftikar Ahmed, Saim Ayub, and the skipper Shadab Khan. The Pakistani bowling attack will look for early breakthroughs from young fast bowlers such as Naseem Shah and Zaman Khan, Shadab Khan himself will not mind at all bowling on this surface and a great showing from him will help the team undoubtedly.
We are expecting bright and sunny weather during the game. The temperature will hover close to 23 degrees during the match. You can also expect winds in the region of 20 km/hr. The relative humidity during the game will be close to 60% and there might be some cloud cover although it is a distant possibility.
We have seen the Sharjah Cricket Stadium play host to 29 T20 internationals so far. The side batting first has won 16 games while the side batting second has recorded a victory on 12 occasions. So, batting first will be a clear advantage on this track. The average first innings total on this venue is 151 runs.
Pakistan leads the head-to-head between the two teams.
Pakistan has not dropped a game against Afghanistan ever. They lead the head-to-head between the two teams 3-0.
Rashid Khan has had a terrific strike rate in the last 10 games.
Rashid Khan has had a terrific strike rate for Afghanistan in the last 10 matches having picked 14 wickets from 10 matches with a strike rate of 17.14.
This is a start to the series and you can expect the entire teams will be available for selection. Pakistan has rested some top players such as Shaheen Afridi and Fakhar Zaman but there do not seem to be any injury updates.
AFG vs PAK Probable 11
AFG Playing 11
- Rashid Khan (C)
- Rahmanullah Gurbaz
- Ibrahim Zadran
- Afsar Zazai (Wk)
- Karim Janat
- Najibullah Zadran
- Azmatullah Omarzai
- Mujeeb Ur Rahman
- Fareed Ahmad Malik
- Mohammad Nabi
PAK Playing 11
- Shadab Khan (C)
- Mohammad Haris (Wk)
- Shan Masood
- Iftikhar Ahmed
- Mohammad Nawaz
- Mohammad Wasim Jr
- Zaman Khan
- Naseem Shah
- Imad Wasim
- Saim Ayub
Although Pakistan is playing away from home, they are an established side in this format. There are several top players from the national side missing from the competition. Afghanistan on the other hand is taking its full and best available side into this game. They might pull a surprise in this match over Pakistan. But all things considered, Pakistan start as the favorite to win this game.
Rahmanullah Gurbaz: Rahmanullah Gurbaz is a dashing opening wicketkeeper-batsman for Afghanistan. You can bet on him to score big runs in this game as is also in good form scoring runs at a strike rate of 141.50 in his last 10 appearances.
Shan Masood: Shan Masood has scored 208 runs in his last 10 games for Pakistan with an average of 34.66 and a strike rate of 114.91.
Rashid Khan: The Afghan captain is a significant cog in the Afghanistan bowling attack. He controls the middle overs with his leg spin bowling. He has picked up 14 wickets in his last 10 matches with a strike rate of 17.14.
Shadab Khan: Shadab Khan is the Pakistani captain and has picked up 13 wickets from his last 10 matches with a strike rate of 17.53.
AFG vs PAK Dream11 Team 1
Keeper: R. Gurbaz
Batters: Najubullah Zadran, S. Masood, I. Zadran, S. Ayub
All-rounders: M. Nabi, I. Wasim (VC), S. Khan (C)
Bowlers: Rashid Khan, N. Shah, F. Farooqi