- Hasan Ali likely out due to fever, Mohammad Wasim Jr. may step in for Pakistan
- Fit Fakhar Zaman could boost Pakistan’s batting against South Africa.
- Must-win pressure for Pakistan after unexpected loss, eyeing knockout stage in World Cup.
In a turn of events ahead of Pakistan’s crucial World Cup match against South Africa, fast bowler Hasan Ali is likely to be sidelined due to a bout of fever, with Mohammad Wasim Jr. emerging as the frontrunner to replace him, as per reliable sources. Hasan Ali, who was recalled after Naseem Shah’s shoulder injury, has been a key figure for Pakistan in the tournament, securing eight wickets in five games.
The 29-year-old pacer’s absence could pose a significant challenge for Pakistan, already grappling with the pressure of a must-win situation after an unexpected loss to Afghanistan. With only four matches remaining, the Green Shirts find themselves in a precarious position, needing victories in all upcoming games and relying on favorable outcomes in other matches to advance to the knockout stages.
Adding to the team’s concerns, opener Fakhar Zaman, known for his explosive batting, is under consideration for inclusion in the playing XI against South Africa. The left-handed batsman, who played a pivotal role in Pakistan’s series win against South Africa last year with a stunning knock of 193, may replace Imam-ul-Haq at the top of the order.
Fakhar’s potential return to the lineup comes as a boost for Pakistan, who received positive news on Wednesday regarding his fitness, along with all-rounder Mohammad Nawaz. The duo has been declared fit to play in the upcoming clash, providing the team with much-needed options and flexibility.
Despite the setback with Hasan Ali, the Pakistani camp remains optimistic about their chances, drawing confidence from Fakhar’s past performances against South Africa. The team’s official noted Fakhar’s outstanding contribution in the previous series, emphasizing his capability to make a significant impact in the crucial match.
The extended training session at the Chinnaswamy Stadium in Chennai witnessed Fakhar Zaman honing his skills, signaling his readiness for the upcoming challenge. The team, undergoing rigorous preparations for over three hours, is leaving no stone unturned to rectify their previous shortcomings and ensure a strong performance against South Africa.
As the Green Shirts brace themselves for a do-or-die encounter, the potential absence of Hasan Ali raises questions about the team’s bowling dynamics. Mohammad Wasim Jr., the likely replacement, faces the daunting task of filling Hasan Ali’s shoes and contributing to Pakistan’s bid for a spot in the knockout stages.