About the Match
The unfortunate incident of 2009 is still fresh in the minds of cricketing fraternity. Fighting all odds, Cricket returns to Pakistan with a hope of resurrection as far as Cricket in Pakistan is concerned. The last time Pakistan played here, they were found struggling to qualify for ICC Champions Trophy. All that, however, is done & dusted and the trophy gracefully rests in PCB's trophy cabinet. 12th September 2017 will be a historic day, perhaps the beginning of a new era, when Pakistan takes on World XI in first of the three T20Is in the independence cup. Regardless of the eventual result, it will be the game of Cricket which will matter more than anything on a soil which will be hosting International cricket after a while.
Pakistan is likely to field a team similar to what it was in England during the Champions Trophy. Kamran Akmal, Mohammad Hafeez, and Wahab Riaz are dropped from the squad to make way for young faces in Umar Amin, Usman Khan, and Aamer Yamin. Mohammad Amir is likely to miss all the three matches as he is with his wife in England expecting their first child.
The regular duo of Fakhar Zaman and Ahmed Shahzad will open the batting with Babar Azam, Shoaib Malik, and skipper to follow. The middle order is packed with experience of Sarfaraz Khan and Shoaib Malik with top-order capable of hitting it big when required. The bowling department rests heavily on the shoulders of Champions Trophy's star Hasan Ali and Imad Wasim. Shadab Khan was brilliant in recently concluded Natwest T20 Blast and will play a key role with both bat and ball.
Pakistan has had a history of playing opposite to what we expect of them. They've, however, improved leaps and bounds and with home support for them, they can certainly give all stars a tough time in the upcoming fixture.
South African skipper Faf du Plessis will lead the World XI side which boasts of a considerable experience under their belt. The World XI side features a mix of currently playing International stars from all countries except India. They have Hashim Amla, Tamim Iqbal, George Bailey, Tim Paine and skipper himself at the top of the order with experienced hitters in Grant Elliot and Thisara Perera to follow.
Imran Tahir will lead the spin department while the pace bowling responsibilities will be donned by Ben Cutting, Grant Elliot, Thisara Perera, Morne Morkel, and Darren Sammy. Morne Morkel has been in terrific form since his return to the international Cricket and has troubled batsmen of all teams across all formats. Grant Elliot too had an impressive run as he took Birmingham Bears to the finals of Natwest T20 Blast.
All in all, the World XI side is full of experience and skills and can give a run for their money to Pakistan should they gel well together.
It's been a while since any player other than one belonging to Pakistan has stepped on the Gadaffi Stadium's surface. We'll be in for a surprise as far as the surface is concerned, but generally, it suits stroke play and spinners can be handy. Pakistan have a variety of spinners and the knowledge of home conditions can come in handy in the first game. Considering the home advantage, and the fact that the team has done well together gives them a slight advantage in the upcoming match