Babar parts ways with Champions Trophy final hero as Pakistan reveal Playing XI for virtual Asia Cup semis vs Sri Lanka. Pakistan captain Babar Azam has dropped Fakhar Zaman from the Playing XI for the virtual Asia Cup semi-final against Sri Lanka on Thursday. Zaman was a hero for Pakistan in the 2017 ICC Champions Trophy final when he scored a blistering 114 off 106 balls to help Pakistan win the title.
However, he has struggled for form in recent months and has not scored a century in ODI cricket since 2019. The decision to drop Zaman is a surprise, but it is clear that Babar is looking to go with a more balanced lineup for the match against Sri Lanka. The home side are the defending champions, and they will be a tough test for Pakistan. Babar will need his best players on form if he wants to lead Pakistan to the final.
The rest of the Pakistan Playing XI is unchanged from the side that beat India in the last Super 4 match. Babar will open the batting with Imam-ul-Haq, and the middle order will consist of Mohammad Rizwan, Mohammad Haris, and Shadab Khan. The bowling attack will be led by Shaheen Afridi, Hasan Ali, and Haris Rauf.
The match against Sri Lanka is a must-win for Pakistan if they want to reach the final of the Asia Cup. The two teams have met 130 times in ODIs, with Pakistan winning 67 matches and Sri Lanka winning 58. The last time the two teams met was in the 2021 T20 World Cup, where Pakistan won by 5 wickets.
The match will be played at the R. Premadasa Stadium in Colombo, which is a neutral venue. The weather is expected to be hot and humid, which could make it difficult for the batsmen. However, the pitch is expected to be a good one for batting, so both teams should be able to score runs.
The match is scheduled to start at 10:00 AM local time (04:30 GMT). The winner of the match will face India in the final on Sunday.
Here are some of the reactions to the news of Zaman’s omission:
1. Former Pakistan captain Wasim Akram:
“I’m surprised that Fakhar Zaman has been dropped. He’s a match-winner, and he’s been in good form in the T20s. I think Pakistan need to give him more time.”
2. Cricket expert Ramiz Raja:
“I think it’s a bold decision by Babar Azam. Fakhar Zaman is a great player, but he’s been struggling for form. Babar is sending a message to the team that he’s not going to tolerate any passengers.”
3. Pakistan fan Hassan Ali:
“I’m not happy that Fakhar Zaman has been dropped. He’s my favourite player, and I think he’s still got a lot to offer Pakistan.”
The decision to drop Zaman is a big one, and it will be interesting to see how it plays out. Babar Azam is a great captain, and he knows what’s best for his team. However, it will be tough for Pakistan to win the Asia Cup without Fakhar Zaman in the lineup.