Despite registering a win in the first T20I, Pakistan were far from their best. The issues in the middle order were once again exposed as the visitors could only manage 149-7 in their 20 overs. Apart from Danish Aziz, who scored 15, none of the middle order batsmen could reach the double digits. This is an issue Pakistan is dealing with for a long time which is adding too much pressure on the trio of Babar Azam, Mohammad Rizwan and Fakhar Zaman. Any given day, their top order fails to fire, Pakistan could be under serious pressure.
The management had earlier planned to give opportunities to Sharjeel Khan, uncapped all-rounder Mohammad Wasim Jnr and pacer Arshad Iqbal during the series. However, their mediocre performance in the first T20I meant that the chances of these players getting a chance in the second T20I looks very grim. They may get a game if Pakistan performs well in the second T20I.
Also, has been reported by ‘Cricket Pakistan’ that the Pakistan squad is not happy with the facilities provided by the Zimbabwe cricket board. There have been complaints of lack of a decent gym, desi food, no access to the swimming pool etc. Meanwhile, all the remaining 11 members of the Pakistan test squad have reached Harare and will join rest of the squad after serving the three-day mandatory quarantine.
Pakistan managed to defeat Zimbabwe by 11 runs in the first T20I but the hosts challenged them to the core. Had Mohammad Rizwan not played a magnificent inning of 82, the result could have been different. Talking about the hosts, Brendan Taylor missed out on the last match due to a gastrointestinal infection and Zimbabwe will hope that the wicket-keeper batsman recovers from infection and is available for selection in today’s game. His inclusion will be a massive boost for a batting order that looks too dependent on Sean Williams and Craig Ervine at the moment. The return of Taylor will bolster the side.
Probable XI: Tinashe Kamunhukamwe, Wesley Madhevere, Brendan Taylor/Tadiwanashe Marumani, Craig Ervine, Sean Williams (c), Ryan Burl, Regis Chakabva (wk), Luke Jongwe, Wellington Masakadza, Blessing Muzarabani, Richard Ngarava
Probable XI: Mohammad Rizwan (wk), Babar Azam (c), Fakhar Zaman, Mohammad Hafeez, Haider Ali, Danish Aziz/Asif Ali, Faheem Ashraf, Mohammad Nawaz, Usman Qadir, Mohammad Hasnain, Shaheen Afridi/Haris Rauf
Also read what ICC has to say about the T20 WC
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