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Pakistan cricket team pulled off a surprise ahead of their opening game in Asia Cup 2023 against Nepal by announcing their playing XI a day in advance on Tuesday, August 29. Pakistan made a lot of changes from the side that played against Afghanistan in the third ODI as they rested their main players with series already in the bag and all the first-choice players have returned including the likes of Naseem Shah, Haris Rauf and veteran batter Iftikhar Ahmed, who were all rested in the final game on August 26.

Saud Shakeel was the unfortunate one to miss out as he has been the most promising Pakistan batter in the last year or so but his chance will come. With Fakhar Zaman and Imam ul Haq at the top, skipper Babar Azam and wicketkeeper Mohammad Rizwan at No. 3 and 4 with all-rounders Shgadab Khan, Mohammad Nawaz, Salman Agha and Iftikhar to follow, the Men in Green have a dangerous line-up but the bowling will still



remain their strength.

The pace trio of Naseem, Shaheen Shah Afridi and Haris Rauf will be key once again for Pakistan, which has been their biggest strength in white-ball cricket. Nepal, who are making their debut in the tournament will hope and be eager to give some fight to their opponents to prove that they belong at this level.

The tournament opener between Pakistan and Nepal will be preceded by a grand opening ceremony at the Multan Cricket Stadium featuring Pakistani singer Aima Baig and Nepal's Trishala Gurung. The tournament opener will be the only game to take place in Multan as the other three games will be held at Lahore's Gaddafi Stadium.

Pakistan playing XI for Asia Cup clash against Nepal: Fakhar Zaman, Imam-ul-Haq, Babar Azam (c), Mohammad Rizwan (wk), Salman Ali Agha, Iftikhar Ahmed, Shadab Khan, Mohammad Nawaz, Shaheen Afridi, Naseem Shah, Haris Rauf.
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