Last Update on: October 3rd, 2023 at 01:54 pm
Pakistan will be desperate to enter the ICC World Cup 2023 on a winning note. Not very long ago, the Babar Azam-led side was the top-ranked ODI side in the world and was widely regarded as one of the firm favorites to win the ODI World Cup.
However, a poor performance in the Asia Cup has made many doubt their credentials. The Men in Green suffered a humiliating 228-run loss against India before going down by 2 wickets against Sri Lanka to crash out of the continental championship. An unfortunate injury to their star bowler Naseem Shah only made things worse for Babar Azam & Co.
And the loss against New Zealand in the warm-up game last week has put another question mark on Pakistan’s form. Despite posting a big total of 345 runs in 50 overs, Pakistan failed to win the game as the Black Caps chased down the huge total in less than 44 overs.
Here’s why Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan are not playing against Australia:
Pakistan will be desperate to enter the World Cup on a winning note. They are locking horns against Australia in their second warm-up game on Tuesday (October 3) and will be looking to register a much-needed win. A victory against the five-time world champions will definitely boost Pakistan’s confidence.
And while the task would not be an easy one, it has only become tougher due to the absence of Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan. Both the batsmen have decided to skip the warm-up game to take some rest. Stand-in captain Shadab Khan confirmed the news during the toss, saying:
“Babar is okay. He wanted to rest. Rizwan is resting as well. We are like a family. We are best friends. That’s the beauty of our team. We will win or lose as a team. Winning is always a habit. We want a win. Great opportunity for our team to get some confidence from here.
With Rizwan resting, Mohammad Haris will don the wicketkeeping gloves for Pakistan. Meanwhile, Australia have won the toss and opted to bat first.
Pakistan (Playing XI):
Abdullah Shafique, Imam-ul-Haq, Babar Azam, Saud Shakeel, Mohammad Haris(w), Agha Salman, Iftikhar Ahmed, Fakhar Zaman, Mohammad Nawaz, Shadab Khan(c), Usama Mir, Mohammad Rizwan, Hasan Ali, Shaheen Afridi, Haris Rauf, Mohammad Wasim Jr
Australia (Playing XI):
David Warner, Mitchell Marsh, Steven Smith, Josh Inglis, Alex Carey(w), Glenn Maxwell, Cameron Green, Matthew Short, Pat Cummins(c), Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood, Marnus Labuschagne, Marcus Stoinis, Sean Abbott, Travis Head, Adam Zampa