Dubai: Pakistan batsmen Mohammad Rizwan and Shoaib Malik are suffering from ‘mild flu’ (cold) and they are doubtful to play in the T20 World Cup semi-final against Australia here on Thursday. Both Rizwan and Malik, who did not participate in the team’s training session on Wednesday, have tested negative for COVID-19.

Rest of the team members have also been found negative in routine tests. According to the news of ‘ESPNcricinfo’, “Both players have been tested for Kovid-19 and both have come negative.” He said, “The rest of the team has also come negative during the routine testing of the tournament, one of which tests Happened two days ago. According to the news, when Rizwan and Malik woke up on Wednesday morning, they had ‘mild flu and mild fever’ and they were initially advised to take part in the exercise with a delay but were later allowed not to participate in it.

According to the news, “Pakistan is not too worried about their participation in Thursday’s match and their situation will be reviewed again in the morning.” If both of them do not play, then Pakistan has options. Former captain Sarfaraz Ahmed may replace Rizwan as the wicketkeeper while Haider Ali may get a chance in place of Malik.

It is worth noting that Pakistan captain Babar Azam has not changed the team even once in the T20 World Cup. The team that played against India played against Scotland and that is probably why Pakistan is still undefeated in this tournament.

Babar Azam is the second highest run-scorer in this tournament so far as Jos Buttler (269) went ahead of him by five runs yesterday. If he is not out cheaply today, he will overtake Joss.

But sitting out of Rizwan could be a setback for the team. Rizwan has also scored 214 runs in this T20 World Cup so far at an average of 71 and strike rate of 127. His innings of 79 not out against India is his best performance till date.

If Sarfaraz Ahmed plays in his place, then a player will come in the team who can only rotate the strike, cannot play big shots. Apart from this, the entire batting order may also have to be changed. May be Fakar Zaman will have to open the batting with Babar Azam.

At the same time, Shoaib Malik, who had settled in the role of finisher, scored the fastest half-century of this tournament against Scotland. He scored 54 runs in just 18 balls. He has also played a key role in the win against New Zealand.

Malik has batted in 3 matches and has scored 99 runs. If Haider Ali comes in his place, it will be a double-edged sword as Haider Ali is known to bat aggressively but young. Immediately if a player gets a chance in the semi-finals directly, then he can disintegrate under pressure.

Akash Gokhe

By Akash Gokhe

Akash is the Founder and Writer of the Sports Platform website. He conceived the idea of starting a Sports Platform website to channelize his love, passion, and emotions for the game of cricket and to connect other like-minded people on the platform.

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