With Saud Shakeel, Babar Azam, and Muhammad Rizwan, the key performers, the rest of the batters are just ordinary. Pakistan should not depend again on Saud Shakeel. Babar Azam have the skills to play at a strike-rate of 130-140. If he plays a long innings then others need to chip in with a strike-rate of 150 or more. This means, the entire batting unit of Pakistan needs to play good cricket, not just depending on their couple of key bowlers to win matches.
Sri Lanka looks formidable, but the venue Hyderabad helps Pakistan more, and also it will be the second and last World Cup match in Hyderabad for Pakistan. It would be tough for Pakistan to be in the race for semi-finals if they lose to Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka on the other hand have some quality players. A young side full of confidence to chase or set a target, which would be tough for Pakistan.
Yet again, it would be a battle of Shaheen Afridi, Haris Rauf as key bowlers, and Babar Azam’s batting prime performance vs Sri Lanka. Babar got out for just 5 runs off 18 balls against the Netherlands team. Wrong decision to bat first or second would create no panic to the toss winner. Toss is not crucial, and it will be good for Pakistan to lose toss.
Three teams look formidable and strong this time in the 2023 World Cup. India, South Africa, and New Zealand. England is a strong team and they have to make a strong comeback otherwise Australia would take their place. Pakistan is a fifth place side and the top four would be in the semi-finals. But one can’t write off Pakistan. Just one big loss in the name of Naseem Shah’s injury would not let team Pakistan weak. They were playing good, but just did not click in the recent tournament, the Asia Cup, right before the World Cup.
The entire batting unit of Pakistan needs to play good cricket, not just depending on their couple of key bowlers to win matches. Haris Rauf needs to bowl according to his limitations even if he bowls consisently at a speed of about 150kmph. Variations for Rauf would be the key for picking wickets. However, Pakistan needs to play better or at their full-strength to win their second match, which would be crucial for both teams. Sri Lanka and Pakistan.