Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan of Pakistan interact during the ICC Men's Cricket World Cup India 2023 between Pakistan and South Africa

Pakistan out to revive World Cup campaign in crunch clash with Bangladesh

Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan of Pakistan interact during the ICC Men's Cricket World Cup India 2023 between Pakistan and South Africa

Tuesday 31 October, Eden Gardens, Kolkata

Pakistan and Bangladesh have only met in one ODI since the last ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup, when Babar Azam’s XI cruised to a seven-wicket win in the Super Four stage of the recent Asia Cup.

The same side also triumphed at the Cricket World Cup in 2019 with a comfortable 94-run victory that snapped a four-match winning streak for Bangladesh in contests between the pair.

That stretch makes up the bulk of Bangladesh’s five wins in 38 ODIs against a Pakistan team that has otherwise dominated the head-to-head encounters in the format.

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But Pakistan will be more focused on the present than the past with their Cricket World Cup campaign on the brink of collapsing after four costly losses in a row.

The 1992 champions almost certainly need to win every match from here and hope other results go their way to have any chance of reaching the knockout stages of the tournament.

A fifth consecutive defeat for Pakistan would all but put a stamp on their elimination from the showpiece event in India.

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Bangladesh started the Cricket World Cup with an impressive win over Afghanistan but are yet to add another victory as they instead dropped to the lower end of the standings.

With Bangladesh now languishing in ninth-place, Pakistan have much more to play for this time as both teams are running out of opportunities to turn around their campaign.

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**Pakistan squad:**Babar Azam (c), Shadab Khan, Fakhar Zaman, Imam-ul-Haq, Abdullah Shafique, Mohammad Rizwan, Saud Shakeel, Iftikhar Ahmed, Salman Ali Agha, Mohammad Nawaz, Usama Mir, Haris Rauf, Hasan Ali, Shaheen Afridi, Mohammad Wasim.

**Bangladesh squad:**Shakib Al Hasan (c), Litton Kumer Das, Tanzid Hasan Tamim, Najmul Hossain Shanto (vc), Tawhid Hridoy, Mushfiqur Rahim, Mahmudullah Riyad, Mehidy Hasan Miraz, Nasum Ahmed, Shak Mahedi Hasan, Taskin Ahmed, Mustafizur Rahman, Hasan Mahmud, Shoriful Islam, Tanzim Hasan Sakib.

Pakistan - Mohammad Rizwan

The star keeper has been Pakistan’s most consistent batter through the Cricket World Cup while only failing to make a start in one of six innings so far.

Rizwan started the tournament with a fast fifty against Netherlands and unbeaten century in the clash with Sri Lanka, but has also reached at least 30 on three occasions during Pakistan’s barren run of four losses.

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With Babar beginning to make more of an impact as well, the now classic combination with Rizwan needs to fire if Pakistan are to find a way back onto the path toward the knockout stages.

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Bangladesh - Shoriful Islam

The left-arm quick is one of the rising stars of a Bangladesh outfit needing a boost of youthful exuberance.

The 22-year-old has attacked his maiden Cricket World Cup with plenty of zest while picking up eight scalps in six matches.

But Shoriful has often struggled to contain the best opposition batters while giving up 6.51 runs an over.

Shoriful takes the new ball with fiery pacer Taskin Ahmed but made his mark in the middle stages of Bangladesh’s only victory at the tournament, and will likely need to match that effort for his side to notch a second win in India.

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