Pakistan VS World XI 1st T20I Preview

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Pakistan will lock horns with a World XI in the opening T20 international of Azadi Cup at Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore on Tuesday.

The hosts are aiming to bring the international cricket back to the country with the three-match series. No international side other than Zimbabwe has visited Pakistan since the attack on Sri Lankan team bus in March 2009 in Lahore that left eight people dead and several others, including seven visiting players injured.

However, Faf du Plessis-led World XI side consists of 16 international players from seven different countries.

The touring side boasts a power-packed batting line-up. Time Paine, Hashim Amla, Tamim Iqbal and George Bailey are the four specialist batsmen in the squad while the middle and lower order features hard-hitters like Grant Elliott, Darren Sammy, Ben Cuttings and David Miller.

Morne Morkel is the only specialist pacer in their line-up while Sammy and Perera will perform seam bowling duties. The spin department features two full-time spinners, Samuel Badree and Imran Tahir.

Pakistan have also named a full-strength squad for the series, their first international assignment since their ICC Champions Trophy triumph in 2009.

Their batting line-up includes talented youngsters like Fakhar Zaman, Umar Amin and Babar Azam and experienced campaigners like Ahmed Shehzad, Shoaib Malik, and Sarfraz Ahmed himself.

The hosts will be without their frontline pacer Mohammad Amir, who is currently with his wife in London as the couple expects their first child any time this week.

In his absence, Hassan Ali will spearhead the pace department that also features Sohail Khan and Usman Khan, and Rumman Raees.

Shadab Khan will lead the spin attack and will be assisted by the likes of Muhammad Nawaz, Imad Wasim and Malik.

The next two will be played at the same venue on Tuesday and Friday.

Squads (From):

Pakistan:

Sarfraz Ahmed (Captain), Ahmed Shehzad, Babar Azam, Fakhar Zaman,  Umar Amin, Imad Wasim, Mohammad Nawaz, Shoaib Malik, Aamer Yamin, Mohammad Amir, Rumman Raees, Shadab Khan, Usman Khan, Fahim Ashraf, Hasan Ali, Sohail Khan

World XI:

Faf du Plessis (Captain) David Miller, Thisara Perera, Imran Tahir, Morne Morkel, Tim Paine, Grant Elliott, Samuel Badree, George Bailey, Darren Sammy, Hashim Amla, Tamim Iqbal, Paul Collingwood, Ben Cutting,