Pakistan will be up against New Zealand in the third One Day International (ODI) in the ongoing five-match series at the National Bank Cricket Arena in Karachi.
As fans wait for the third ODI to start with bated breath, Pakistan is expected to tweak its lineup, while leading the ODI series by 2-0.
While originally brought in as replacement for middle-order batter Haris Sohail, Iftikhar Ahmed will most likely replace Abdullah Shafique in the Karachi match and is expected to be placed at the fifth position, sources told Geo News.
The sources added that youngster Ihsanullah’s bowling arm was hurt during the training session on Monday, therefore, he is experiencing pain and is likely to be replaced by Shaheen Shah Afridi who didn’t play the last match.
In his bid to win the series, skipper Babar Azam will potentially lead a tweaked squad. If the Green Shirts win the ongoing ODI series, it will be their first against the Black Caps since 2011.
This series is a build-up to ICC World Cup 2023 in India for both the teams. Last two ODIs of this series will be played on May 5 and 7 at the same venue.
Babar, during his presser in Rawalpindi, had said that the ODI series against the Kiwis is a key for World Cup and Asia Cup preparations.
“These five matches are crucial for our World Cup preparation,” the captain said, adding the that the team has eight ODIs including the Asia Cup to prepare for the mega tournament which is why it will be crucial to utilise these games.
Pakistan’s likely XI
Babar Azam (c), Imam-ul-Haq, Fakhar Zaman, Mohammad Rizwan (wk), Iftikhar Ahmed, Agha Salman, Mohammad Nawaz, Usama Mir, Haris Rauf, Naseem Shah, Shaheen Shah Afridi.