The ICC Cricket World Cup 2023 just few days away and Under the captaincy of star batter Babar Azam, Pakistan will be aiming to improve on their performance from the 2019 World Cup, where they failed to qualify for the semifinals. As the tournament returns to the subcontinent, can Pakistan harness home advantage and clinch their second World Cup title?
Here in this article you’ll get Pakistan’s ICC Cricket World Cup 2023 (CWC23) Squad, Players List, Matches Schedule, Team List, Venue details and expert expectations.
Why are Expectations High from Pakistan at the 2023 Cricket World Cup?
Despite the disappointment of the last World Cup, Pakistan enters the 2023 edition as one of the favorites, thanks to strong performances over the past year. Under Babar Azam’s leadership across formats, Pakistan has become a formidable limited overs outfit. They made the final of the 2022 T20 World Cup in Australia, showcasing their prowess.
With young talent like Shaheen Afridi, Haris Rauf and Shadab Khan excelling, Pakistan has built a balanced squad. The presence of seasoned match-winners like Mohammad Rizwan and Iftikhar Ahmed provides solidity. With the World Cup being played on the sub-continent, Pakistan’s players will relish the familiar conditions.
Pakistan also has fond memories of India, having won the Champions Trophy in 2017, defeating India in the final. After years of instability, consistency across selection and strategy positions Pakistan as legitimate contenders.
Can Babar Azam Lead Pakistan to Second World Cup Title?
When Pakistan won its only ODI World Cup in 1992, it was under the captaincy of current Prime Minister Imran Khan. As Babar Azam leads them in 2023, an entire nation will hope he can emulate Khan’s inspirational leadership.
With a world-class batting average of 59.57 in ODIs, Azam will be Pakistan’s batting lynchpin. His brilliance in T20Is shows adaptability in pacing an innings. As captain since 2019, Azam has led a resurgence in Pakistan’s limited overs cricket.
Azam’s tactical acumen, ability to maintain calm, and lead from the front makes him the perfect candidate to steward Pakistan’s talented squad to World Cup glory. Under the coaching of Saqlain Mushtaq, Azam will aim to make history for Pakistan.
Does Pakistan Have the Bowling Firepower to Trouble Rivals?
While Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan will provide batting solidity, Pakistan’s bowling attack promises to pose problems for their rivals. Here are some of the bowlers who make them a potent unit:
- Young left-arm pacer Shaheen Afridi has emerged as one of the most feared bowlers with his pace, swing and wicket-taking ability. Not just a match-winner, Afridi has the ability to run through top batting orders.
- Leg-spinner Shadab Khan brings great value with both bat and ball. A aggressive lower-order batter who can hit big shots, Shadab is also an economical bowler who takes wickets regularly in middle overs.
- The skill and pinpoint accuracy of veteran off-spinner Mohammad Nawaz makes him effective, especially against left-handers. He can stem run-flow in the middle overs.
- Haris Rauf has become indispensable with his raw pace and aggression. He provides crucial wickets upfront with the new ball and in the death overs.
This multi-dimensional bowling attack provides Babar Azam flexibility in field placements and match-ups against opponents. Their ability to take wickets through all stages of an innings makes them formidable.
Analyzing the Balance of Pakistan’s World Cup Squad 2023
An examination of Pakistan’s expected 15-member squad players to cover all bases. Let’s look at the balance across batting, bowling, and all-rounders:
Batters – Babar Azam, Mohammad Rizwan, Fakhar Zaman, Iftikhar Ahmed
Pace Bowlers – Shaheen Afridi, Haris Rauf, Mohammad Wasim Jr, Naseem Shah
Spinners – Shadab Khan, Mohammad Nawaz
All-Rounders – Mohammad Hafeez, Faheem Ashraf, Shoaib Malik
Wicketkeepers – Mohammad Rizwan, Azam Khan
There is adequate experience in the middle order and lower middle order with Hafeez, Malik and Iftikhar. The batting firepower of Rizwan, Azam and Zaman gives flexibility in constructing big totals or chasing downs targets.
The presence of four pacers and two spinners provides bowling options to unsettle rivals. With three all-rounders, the balance allows Azam to play an extra bowler or batter as per match situations. Overall, the selectors have covered all aspects well.
World Cup 2023 Pakistan Squad (Expected 15 Members): Babar Azam (Captain), Mohammad Rizwan, Fakhar Zaman, Iftikhar Ahmed, Shaheen Afridi, Haris Rauf, Mohammad Wasim Jr, Naseem Shah, Shadab Khan, Mohammad Nawaz, Mohammad Hafeez, Faheem Ashraf, Shoaib Malik, Mohammad Rizwan (Wk), and Azam Khan (Wk)
Pakistan World Cup 2023 Schedule and Venues
The ICC Cricket World Cup 2023 will be played in India from October 5 to November 19 in a round robin format. Let’s look at some key facets of Pakistan’s match schedule and venues:
|Match Date||Match Details||Venue||City||Start Time (IST)|
|Oct 6||Pakistan vs Netherlands||Rajiv Gandhi Stadium||Hyderabad||14:00|
|Oct 10||Pakistan vs Sri Lanka||Rajiv Gandhi Stadium||Hyderabad||14:00|
|Oct 14||Pakistan vs India||Narendra Modi Stadium||Ahmedabad||14:00|
|Oct 20||Pakistan vs Australia||M. Chinnaswamy Stadium||Bengaluru||14:00|
|Oct 23||Pakistan vs Afghanistan||M.A. Chidambaram Stadium||Chennai||14:00|
|Oct 27||Pakistan vs South Africa||M.A. Chidambaram Stadium||Chennai||14:00|
|Oct 31||Pakistan vs Bangladesh||Eden Gardens||Kolkata||14:00|
|Nov 4||Pakistan vs New Zealand||M. Chinnaswamy Stadium||Bengaluru||10:30|
|Nov 11||Pakistan vs England||Eden Gardens||Kolkata||14:00|
On 14th October Pakistan plays arch-rivals India at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad. This high-octane clash could shape their tournament. On the other hand, Eden Gardens in Kolkata will host their last league match against England on November 11. The venue has good memories, having hosted their Champions Trophy 2017 final win.
Pakistan will play five matches in the south – at Chennai, Bangalore and Hyderabad. The conditions here will be to their liking. Their match against Australia is in Bangalore, where Pakistan has a strong record. But games in Mumbai and Delhi pose challenges.
Playing the majority of games in northern and southern venues helps Pakistan exploit home advantage.
Overall, the schedule and familiar conditions can aid Pakistan’s campaign. But they will need to adapt their tactics as per each venue. Consistent performances will be vital in the long league phase.
Can Pakistan Convert Promising Potential into World Cup 2023 (CWC23) Glory?
Pakistan’s squad composition and past year of accomplishments makes them a threat at the ICC Cricket World Cup 2023. With youth and experience, their team appears balanced to challenge for the title.
But ODI tournaments require steady consistency game-to-game. Pakistan will need star individuals like Babar Azam and Shaheen Afridi to deliver match-winning performances. Their bowlers must also unsettle the heavy-hitting lineups of India, Australia and England.
Under an astute leader in Azam and experienced coach in Saqlain Mushtaq, Pakistan has the coaching brains to strategize effectively against each opponent. If they play to potential, the stars could align for Pakistan to win their second ODI World Cup crown in 2023.
To summarize, Pakistan’s strong squad, in-form players, and familiar conditions sets up their prospects well. But they will need to bring their ‘A’ game consistently and not get complacent. If Azam leads from the front with bat and as captain, Pakistan can dream of repeating their 1992 World Cup triumph.
Pak Squad for World Cup 2023 – FAQs
1. Who is the captain of Pakistan’s squad for the 2023 World Cup?
Babar Azam is the captain of Pakistan’s squad for the 2023 ICC Cricket World Cup.
2. How many matches will Pakistan play in the 2023 World Cup?
Pakistan will play a total of 9 round-robin matches in the league stage of the 2023 Cricket World Cup.
3. Which team does Pakistan play in their opening match?
Pakistan’s opening match is against the Netherlands on October 6, 2023.
4. When and Where is Pakistan’s match against Team India?
Pakistan takes on India on October 14, 2023 at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad.