The Men’s 2023 ODI World Cup is underway in India and will run from October 5 until November 19. Each morning we will round up the latest action and news from the event and bring you insights from our reporters on the ground.
Top Story: Saud Shakeel gets Pakistan off the mark despite Bas de Leede heroics
Pakistan 286 (Rizwan 68, Shakeel 68, de Leede 4-62) beat Netherlands 205 (de Leede 67, Singh 52, Rauf 3-43) by 81 runs
Match analysis: Pakistan go Saud to find middle-order fix
Until recently – that is, until very recently – Saud Shakeel was perceived to be a one-format batter. He had cracked Tests, but on Friday in Hyderabad, he walked in to bat with Pakistan tottering at 38 for 3 in their World Cup opening game, which was only his seventh ODI. It’s far from the ideal scenario he had hoped to have come in at.
Yet, it was an opportunity to prove his batting chops by walking the tightrope. Counterpunching isn’t part of most batting DNAs in such situations, most definitely not if you are on World Cup debut. This is why Shakeel’s knock, a stroke-filled 52-ball 68, was refreshing.
At 28, he would know the challenges late bloomers like him face – for one, fewer chances of comebacks if you mess up. To recalibrate to the demands of his role in such a high-stakes environment spoke volumes about his clarity and calmness.
Must Watch: Wasim Jaffer and Dale Steyn were impressed by Netherlands’ performance2>
Afghanistan vs Bangladesh, Dharamsala (10.30am IST; 6am GMT; 4pm AEDT)
Afghanistan have been hot on Bangladesh’s heels for the better part of the last decade. This year alone, they are locked at 2-2 after Afghanistan won the bilateral ODI series in Chattogram 2-1, but later Bangladesh beat them by a handsome margin in the Asia Cup. The two sets of players respect each other. There’s bonhomie. But the gloves will be off in the World Cup opener for the two sides in Dharamsala on Saturday.
Afghanistan (probable): 1 Rahmanullah Gurbaz (wk), 2 Ibrahim Zadran, 3 Rahmat Shah, 4 Hashmatullah Shahidi (capt), 5 Mohammad Nabi, 6 Najibullah Zadran, 7 Azmatullah Omarzai, 8 Rashid Khan, 9 Naveen-ul-Haq, 10 Mujeeb Ur Rahman, 11 Fazalhaq Farooqi
Bangladesh (probable): 1 Tanzid Hasan, 2 Litton Das, 3 Najmul Hossain Shanto, 4 Shakib Al Hasan (capt), 5 Towhid Hridoy, 6 Mushfiqur Rahim (wk), 7 Mehidy Hasan Miraz, 8 Nasum Ahmed/Mahedi Hasan, 9 Taskin Ahmed, 10 Shoriful Islam, 11 Hasan Mahmud
South Africa vs Sri Lanka, Delhi (2pm IST; 8.30am GMT; 6.30pm AEDT)
Sri Lanka could hardly have picked a tougher opponent to face first up at the World Cup than South Africa. The Sri Lankans come into this game with big question marks over their batting and have an injury-weakened bowling attack; South Africa, in contrast, seem to be a well-oiled machine, primed for the flat tracks this World Cup is expected to offer.
Where South Africa might have some concerns is in their bowling. With Anrich Nortje and Sisanda Magala ruled out with injury, they are lacking a bit of bite up front and at the death. Then, in the spin department, too, with just Keshav Maharaj and Tabraiz Shamsi available, their options are not as varied as is the case with some other teams (such as Sri Lanka). But they more than make up for this with a batting line-up in fine fettle.
South Africa (probable XI): 1 Temba Bavuma (capt), 2 Quinton de Kock (wk), 3 Rassie van der Dussen, 4 Aiden Markram, 5 Heinrich Klaasen, 6 David Miller, 7 Marco Jansen, 8 Gerald Coetzee, 9 Andile Phelukwayo/Tabraiz Shamsi, 10 Keshav Maharaj, 11 Kagiso Rabada
Sri Lanka (probable XI): 1 Kusal Perera, 2 Pathum Nissanka, 3 Kusal Mendis (wk), 4 Sadeera Samarawickrama, 5 Charith Asalanka, 6 Dhananjaya de Silva, 7 Dasun Shanaka (capt), 8 Dunith Wellalage, 9 Dushan Hemantha, 10 Dilshan Madushanka, 11 Lahiru Kumara