2021 ICC T20 World Cup Team Preview: Pakistan
Underdogs Pakistan eye glory in familiar conditions
The 2021 edition of the International Cricket Council (ICC) T20 World Cup is set to begin in less than 10 days’ time and excitement amongst the fans is gradually increasing.
The tournament will feature 12 teams in the main round who will compete for the ultimate prize of lifting the trophy on November 14 in Dubai.
Team Pakistan will be coming in the contest as one of the underdogs, not because of lack of talent but largely because of having a lot of struggles back home where the team did not get to play seven T20Is against New Zealand and England.
The unpredictability aspect makes the Men-in-Green still a dangerous force to be reckoned with, especially at a place where they have played their home cricket for more than a decade.
Record in UAE
Pakistan’s record in the United Arab Emirates (UAE)—where the mega-event will be played—makes a good reading where they went on to win 22 matches and suffered 14 defeats in 36 outings.
In the competition’s history, the Green Caps have managed to win 19 times—third highest behind India and Sri Lanka—in 34 outings.
The side qualified for the final twice—in 2007 and 2009—where they went on to suffer a defeat in the inaugural edition against arch-rivals India whereas in the 2009 tournament, they defeated Sri Lanka to lift the title.
The Green Caps had a disappointing time in the previous edition of the ICC T20 World Cup where they were knocked out from the first round after managing to win just a solitary game—that too against Bangladesh.
Pakistan’s batting department is looking in a good shape, especially with the return of experienced trio of all-rounder Shoaib Malik, wicketkeeper Sarfaraz Ahmed and opener Fakhar Zaman.
All three players made their way back into the contingent after producing impressive performances in the recently concluded National T20 Cup.
The batting will be revolved around captain Babar Azam and his opening partner Mohammad Rizwan whereas the likes of Mohammad Hafeez, Malik and all-rounders Shadab Khan, Imad Wasim, Mohammad Nawaz, Mohammad Wasim and Hasan Ali will be a key in guiding the team towards a decent total.
Pakistan’s bowling attack is one of the finest in the world and by the look of it, they have all the bases covered.The pace attack will be led by star left-arm fast-bowler Shaheen Shah Afridi who will be accompanied by the likes of Hasan Ali, Haris Rauf, Mohammad Wasim and Shahnawaz Dhani.
The team also comprised of three spinners in Shadab Khan, Imad Wasim and Mohammad Nawaz whereas Mohammad Hafeez and Shoaib Malik can also contribute if there is some assistance available for slower bowlers.
Pakistan are placed in Group 2 alongside home team India, 2019 ICC 50-over World Cup runners up New Zealand, Afghanistan whereas the two teams will be decided after the qualifying round.
The Men-in-Green will open their tournament with the match against the arch-rivals on October 24 whereas their final round-robin match is scheduled to be played on November 07 in Sharjah.