Bangladesh and Pakistan will come face to face in the first T20I of the tri-series, also involving New Zealand, at the Hagley Oval in Christchurch on Friday (October 7). Bangladesh didn't win a single game in the Asia Cup but did manage to topple the United Arab Emirates in a two-match T20I series. Meanwhile, Babar Azam and Co. were involved in a closely-fought seven-match T20I series against England, which they lose 3-4.
The Hagley Oval in Christchurch has hosted 11 T20s since 2021 and the batters here have scored runs at an average of 24.3 and a scoring rate of 8, while a wicket has fallen every 18.2 deliveries. The fast bowlers here have better numbers, with them operating at an average of 25.9 and a strike rate of 18.8 in this period. Meanwhile, the corresponding numbers for spinners are 27.3 and 22.6 respectively.
Bangladesh have some good T20 players but it would be ideal to have as many Pakistan players as possible. There are also some good fast bowlers on offer, and when it comes to spinners, it would be ideal to have the likes of Shadab Khan and Shakib Al Hasan who can contribute in all three facets of the game.
While you could go for the above team, you can also choose your team from Cricket.com’s Fantasy Research Centre. You can use this tool to build your team with the help of algorithms. Then, based on your preferences, the platform will guide you through creating the ideal fantasy XI.
For small leagues: Mohammad Rizwan (c), Haris Rauf (vc)
For grand leagues: Babar Azam (c), Shakib Al Hasan (vc)
Stats that matter
It’s almost impossible to bet against Mohammad Rizwan these days. In 2022, the wicketkeeper-batter from Pakistan has slammed 620 runs in 13 innings at a stunning average of 56.36. He has seven centuries to his name and has been dismissed under 20 only thrice in this time period. He could also fetch you point from behind the stumps.
With 17 wickets in 13 T20Is, no other Pakistan bowler has picked up more wickets than Haris Rauf in 2022.
Afif Hossain has been Bangladesh's best batter this year, having scored 341 runs in 12 innings at an average of 37.89 and a strike rate of 128.7.
Grand League punts
Pakistan captain Babar Azam didn't have a great Asia Cup but did get a couple of big scores against England. The right-handed opener slammed a century in the second T20I and then got 87* in the sixth encounter. He didn't do much in the remaining five games and would want to return back to his absolute best prior to the T20 World Cup.
Bangladesh skipper Shakib Al Hasan has featured in only seven T20Is this year, scoring 151 runs at an average of 25.17 and also picking up five wickets. He hasn’t been in great form but could always take a punt on an all-rounder who has proven his worth in the past.
Bangladesh - Sabbir Rahman, Mehidy Hasan, Litton Das, Afif Hossain, Shakib Al Hasan (c), Nurul Hasan (wk), Mosaddek Hossain, Mohammad Saifuddin, Ebadot Hossain, Mustafizur Rahman, Taskin Ahmed.
Pakistan - Babar Azam (c), Mohammad Rizwan (wk), Shan Masood, Khushdil Shah, Haider Ali, Iftikhar Ahmed, Asif Ali, Shadab Khan, Haris Rauf, Mohammad Wasim, Naseem Shah.