- June 2, 2023
Pakistan have achieved a remarkable and record-breaking chase against Sri Lanka in the First test match in Galle. Abdullah Shafique and co managed to chase down a mammoth total of 342. Many believed the match to be over when Sri Lanka scored 337. The men in green bowling disappointed to say the least and there could be some changes made to Pakistan’s XI for Second Test Match.
Pakistan’s XI for Second Test – Who are certain to play?
Well even if there were some very bad performances from some of the players. There are some standouts who have solidified their name for the next match. The likes of Babar Azam are confirmed. Man of the match performer Abdullah Shafique won the test match almost by himself in the 4th innings batting like prime Rahul Dravid. Mohammad Nawaz also had an amazing performance as he had picked up a 5 wicket haul and also scored some handy runs during the match.
Muhammad Rizwan should remain the keeper for Pakistan and will look to build from a promising 40 where he looked quite good and could have set up a match winning partnership with Shafique. Also a very underrated player throughout the game was Naseem Shah even though there were some bad balls here and there. He had a fighting innings when he played 54 balls and kept Pakistan in the game alongside Babar Azam.
Yasir Shah should also keep his place in the side as he was also very important to Pakistan for this victory. Imam ul Haq should also be there for the second test as he got a good start in the second innings but a controversial wicket fell for the 26 year old.
This win also puts The men in green in 3rd place of World Test Championship
Who’s place is in Jeopardy
Moving on to rather disappointing performances during the first test. There were some players who couldn’t get themselves going during the test match and could not get their performances up to par. Well to start off we have to go with Azhar Ali. As an experienced top-order batsman you have to make sure you’re the one who sets the tone out there in the ground. He has just not been able to do it.
The criticism with the 37 year old is that he always tries to absorb pressure and never looks to release it. This causes tension for the batsman at the non-striker’s end. Shan Masood could replace him as he has been batting quite superbly recently in the county season as well.
Hasan Ali was just not at his best and has not been since that World Cup. It’s pretty obvious that he is struggling for confidence and that shows in his bowling. His line and length seem to be way off the mark and it just can’t seem to click for the bowler. He seems to be too inconsistent with his performances and that is starting to become a real problem for him if he wants to stay in the side.
Also read: Pakistan’s chances for qualification in upcoming World Test Championship
Changes in Squad?
Haris Rauf could be given a try if Pakistan want to continue with 3 fast bowlers or Nouman Ali could replace him as a spin bowler. Unfortunately, news came out that Shaheen Shah Afridi will miss the upcoming test due to a knee injury and that will surely put one of Nouman or Haris in the side or possibly even both
Lastly, a surprising debut was given to Salman Ali Agha and that decision did not seem to prevail for the Shaheens. He had very low scores in both innings and Sri Lanka being a very difficult area to score well in. It seems handing his debut here will not help him with his confidence.
Fawad Alam could be put back in the XI but also a shout could be given for trying Saud Shakeel in that role. He seems to be a batsman with the proper technique and temperament to play in Sri Lanka. That could be very handy for Pakistan to move forward with.