Throughout this World Cup, Pakistan have tried and failed in the bid to find their best eleven.
Their struggle continued on the eve of the must-win World Cup game against equally rattled South Africa here at Lord’s on Sunday.
A beleaguered Pakistan take on an equally harrowed South Africa in their ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 encounter at Lord’s on Sunday.
Both the teams need a miracle to make the World Cup semi-finals. Pakistan have managed to win just one game so far – an upset victory over hosts and tournament favourites England. The Green Shirts have lost three matches – against West Indies, Australia, and India – while their fixture against Sri Lanka was washed out.
To have any chance of making it to the top four, Pakistan would need to win all four of their remaining matches, while New Zealand, who are so far unbeaten in the tournament, would have to lose all four of their remaining matches. Statistically possible? Yes. Probable? Not very much.
Pakistan is likely to make two changes to their playing XI for match against South Africa on Sunday, June 23, during the ongoing 2019 International Cricket Council (ICC) World Cup in England and Wales.
According to details, the Sarfaraz Ahmed-led unit will prefer middle-order batsman Haris Sohail and young pacer Mohammad Hasnain over veteran all-rounder Shoaib Malik and right-arm quick Hasan Ali.
Malik has been going through a lean patch in past few ODIs and has only notched up eight runs in his previous three innings — which includes two consecutive ducks in last couple of matches.
On the other hand, Hasan has been unable to spur magic with the ball and has only claimed two wickets at an economy rate of 7.5 in his last three outings during the 2019 World Cup.
Malik’s replacement, Sohail, will be brought in to provide more stability to the batting department, while his slow left-arm spin can also add another dimension to Pakistan’s bowling.
Meanwhile Hasnain, who is yet to play a match during the ongoing World Cup, is likely to get the nod of the team management as well. The right-arm pacer was touted as Pakistan’s ‘surprise package’ before the beginning of the mega event by Chief Selector Inzamamul Haq because of his raw pace.
Pakistan desperately need a win to stay alive in the mega event, as they only have three points from five games during the 2019 World Cup so far. The match will be played at the historic Lord’s Cricket Ground in London.
While acknowledging that his team is facing an uphill task, Pakistan captain Sarfaraz Ahmed believes they still have a chance.
“Losing to India was definitely a tough thing for us. But we gave a two-day rest to the players after the game. We’ve been practicing hard [since] so the morale is very high for us.
“[Following England’s loss], the tournament is now open so we have a chance. We are focussing match by match. Hopefully we will try to win tomorrow’s match,” Sarfaraz commented in his pre-match press conference here at Lord’s on Saturday