Asia Cup 2022, PAK vs SL: Game Plan
Pakistan riding high on confidence [PC: Twitter]
Pakistan and Sri Lanka will be facing each other in the last match of the super four of Asia Cup 2022 at the Dubai International Stadium. The match is a meager formality given the situation of the tournament, both the teams are already in the finals and it will be just a look at the opponents for them before the summit clash.
The Pakistan team have been in a great run after the defeat against India in their first outing of the tournament. While a team is winning there are not often many issues to address. But what are the cracks in the Pakistan playing eleven that the Sri Lankan team can exploit?
Babar Azam’s absence of form
Babar has been woefully out of form
Babar Azam is one of the prime stays of the Pakistan batting but he has not been at his best in the Asia Cup till now. In the 4 matches of Asia Cup 2022, Babar Azam has scored just 33 runs at a strike rate of 117.85 and an average of 8.25.
This is an area on which the Sri Lankan team can strike. Getting Babar out quickly will be important and along with that if they can get the prized scalp of Mohammad Rizwan it will bring the middle order of the Pakistan team into the crease earlier than they have been in this tournament. The middle order has propelled under the guidance of Mohammad Rizwan but they have not yet been exposed t0 a situation where the middle order had t0 build the match for the team.
Taking the attack on to the spinners
The two Pakistani spinners Shadab Khan and Mohammad Nawaz have put their team ahead inmost of the matches in the tournament so far. The two bowlers have contained the opposition and also picked up wickets in the middle overs giving their team a headway in the matches.
The Sri Lankan have plenty of left handed batters in their batting order. With the match up angles in their favour Sri Lanka should look to attack the two spinners and upset the rhythm of the Pakistani team.
Containing the scoring rate of Pakistan in the middle overs
Nawaz has been brilliant in the Asia Cup so far
One of the main reasons Pakistan has been brilliant in the series is the way they have maintained the scoring rate in the middle overs. The Pakistani batters have consciously rotated the strike in the middle order and have brought up a boundary just at the correct time. This has kept the pressure of the team and they have been able to gain advantage in the matches.
The Sri Lankan team should look to stop the singles. Stopping the singles will dry up the runs and create pressure on the batter forcing them to look for the bigger shots. This might put Sri Lanka ahead in the match.
Also Read: PAK vs AFG: Naseem Shah reveals the secret of his batting heroics