Buoyant USA out to slip banana skin under Pakistan

The upcoming clash between the USA and Pakistan in the T20 World Cup is set to be a thrilling encounter, showcasing two teams with contrasting trajectories and a lot at stake.

USA’s Prospects

USA is quickly emerging as a formidable side in T20 cricket, particularly dangerous in world events where upsets are common. Their players, who are well-versed in the T20 format, playing 60-70 matches a year, have shown adaptability and resilience. This was evident in their historic series win against Bangladesh and their high-octane victory over Canada.

The team’s vice-captain, Aaron Jones, has been pivotal with his explosive batting, setting the tone for the USA’s campaign. However, the team will be looking for a big performance from Corey Anderson. The former New Zealand all-rounder has a strong record and his experience, especially against high-quality bowlers like Shadab Khan and Haris Rauf, will be crucial. Captain Monank Patel’s recovery from illness will also be key for the USA’s prospects.

Pakistan’s Turbulence

Pakistan, the runners-up in the last T20 World Cup, have been going through a rough patch. A series of poor performances, including a 4-1 series defeat in New Zealand and a home draw against the same opposition, followed by losses to Bangladesh and England, have left the team in a state of flux. Leadership changes and inconsistent form have added to their woes.

Pakistan’s opening combination is unsettled, with Saim Ayyub’s failures likely leading to a reunion of the controversial Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan pair. The team also grapples with the form and fit of Azam Khan, whose inconsistency with both bat and gloves has been a concern.

Match Details

  • When: USA vs Pakistan, June 6, 3:30 PM GMT, 10:30 AM Local, 9:00 PM IST
  • Where: Grand Prairie Stadium, Dallas Metro Area, Texas

The venue promises a high-scoring contest under favorable weather conditions. The pitch has shown to support good stroke play, particularly in matches played under lights.

Team News

USA: Captain Monank Patel is expected to recover from his fever in time for the match. The team looks to field a balanced XI with a mix of experience and youthful exuberance.

Probable XI:

  • Monank Patel (c & wk)
  • Steven Taylor
  • Andries Gous
  • Aaron Jones
  • Corey Anderson
  • Harmeet Singh
  • Nitish Kumar
  • Jasdeep Singh
  • Saurabh Netravalkar
  • Ali Khan
  • Shadley Van Schalkwyk/Nostush Kenjige

Pakistan: Imad Wasim will miss the game due to a side strain, with Abrar Ahmed likely to replace him as the second spinner alongside Shadab Khan. The selection dilemma revolves around their fast bowlers, where at least one of Haris Rauf, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Mohammad Amir, or Naseem Shah will be benched.

Probable XI:

  • Babar Azam (c)
  • Mohammad Rizwan (wk)
  • Usman Khan
  • Fakhar Zaman
  • Shadab Khan
  • Azam Khan
  • Iftikhar Ahmed
  • Abrar Ahmed
  • Shaheen Shah Afridi
  • Haris Rauf/Mohammad Amir
  • Naseem Shah

Key Players to Watch

Corey Anderson (USA): His ability to accelerate the scoring and handle pressure situations makes him a vital asset for the USA.

Babar Azam (Pakistan): The captain’s performance will be crucial, both in terms of runs and leadership, especially given the team’s recent struggles.

The match promises to be an intriguing contest of USA’s rising T20 prowess against a Pakistan side looking to reclaim its former glory.