Wednesday, November 10, 2021
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T20 World Cup: Sarfaraz, Haider might replace Malik, Rizwan for Australia semi final, say sources

Shoaib Malik and Mohammad Rizwan catch the flu hours before encounter with Australia

Shoaib Malik hits a six during the ICC Twenty20 World Cup cricket match between Pakistan and Scotland at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium in Sharjah on November 7, 2021 (left) and ICC Mens T20 World Cup 2021 - Super 12 - Group 2 - India v Pakistan - Dubai International Stadium, Dubai, United Arab Emirates - October 24, 2021 Pakistans Mohammad Rizwan celebrates after making the winning run. — AFP/Reuters/File
Shoaib Malik hits a six during the ICC Twenty20 World Cup cricket match between Pakistan and Scotland at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium in Sharjah on November 7, 2021 (left) and ICC Men's T20 World Cup 2021 - Super 12 - Group 2 - India v Pakistan - Dubai International Stadium, Dubai, United Arab Emirates - October 24, 2021 Pakistan's Mohammad Rizwan celebrates after making the winning run. — AFP/Reuters/File

Sarfaraz Ahmed and Haider Ali might replace Shoaib Malik and Mohammad Rizwan after the in-form batters caught the flu ahead of Pakistan's crucial semi-final against Australia, sources told Geo News on Wednesday.

The media manager of the Pakistan cricket team, Ibrahim Badees, said COVID-19 tests of both players came back negative, but the doctor has advised them to rest.

The players will undergo a medical check up tomorrow before the match.

Malik and Rizwan did not partake in the practice session that was held today, while former skipper Sarfaraz was seen giving it his all during the session.

Pakistan will take on Australia in the T20 World Cup semi-final tomorrow (Thursday) in Dubai.

Pakistan remained undefeated in the Super 12 stage of the tournament, where they beat India, New Zealand, Afghanistan, Namibia, and Scotland.

In a virtual press conference a day earlier, skipper Babar Azam said he was confident that the Men in Green will maintain the momentum and perform well against Australia in the semi-final.

Minor flaws have been pointed out in all the matches which sometimes relate to batting, sometimes bowling, Babar said.

He said sometimes fielding lapses were also noted.

"It is good that we are trying to fix these issues," he said.

Head-to-head

Australia wins: 9

Pakistan wins: 13 (includes one win on super over after tie)

No result: 1

Last encounter 

In their last encounter on November 8, 2019, in Perth, Australia routed Pakistan by 10 wickets with 49 balls to spare to clinch the T20 series 2-0.

After restricting the visitors to 106 for eight, openers Aaron Finch (52) and David Warner (48) put Pakistan to the sword.

Australia won the second match in Canberra by seven wickets with the first game in Sydney abandoned due to rain.