Pakistan opt to bat; Saim Ayub, Tayyab Tahir, Zaman Khan and Ihsanullah make debuts

Pakistan opt to bat; Saim Ayub, Tayyab Tahir, Zaman Khan and Ihsanullah make debuts

Toss Pakistan chose to bat vs Afghanistan

Pakistan chose to bat in the first of three T20Is between Pakistan and Afghanistan. Shadab Khan, who stands in as captain for the rested Babar Azam, opted to set a target for the hosts.
Pakistan feature a relatively new-look side featuring four debutants. Opener Saim Ayub, batter Tayyab Tahir and fast bowlers Zaman Khan and Ihsanullah all play international cricket for the first time. Mohammad Rizwan is also rested, so Mohammad Haris, who featured for Pakistan at the T20 World Cup in Australia, will also keep wicket.

“It’s an exciting and proud moment for me to lead my country,” he said. “The pitch doesn’t look the regular Sharjah pitch, but the team has gelled in due to playing together in the PSL.”

Afghanistan will be captained by legspinner Rashid Khan, while Rahmanullah Gurbaz will keep wicket. Former captain Mohammad Nabi returns to the T20I side for the first time since the T20 World Cup.

“We are happy with the toss, but it is all about the show,” Rashid said. “We have had small losses against Pakistan, so we need to play smart, simple cricket. If we to do the basics right, give 100% and stay calm, we will do well.”

Afghanistan: 1 Rahmanullah Gurbaz (wk), 2 Ibrahim Zadran, 3 Najibullah Zadran, 4 Mohammad Nabi, 5 Karim Janat, 6 Azmatullah Omarzai, 7 Gulbadin Naib, 8 Rashid Khan (capt), 9 Mujeeb Ur Rahman, 10 Fazalhaq Farooqi, 11 Naveen-ul-Haq

Pakistan: 1 Saim Ayub, 2 Mohammad Haris, 3 Abdullah Shafique, 4 Tayyab Tahir, 5 Shadab Khan (capt), 6 Azam Khan (wk), 7 Faheem Ashraf, 8 Imad Wasim, 9 Naseem Shah, 10 Zaman Khan, 11 Ihsanullah

(With Inputs from ESPN)

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