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Pakistan : Team Analysis : World Cup

06-Feb-2015
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    8 Days To World Cup 2015

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Pakistan : Team Analysis




World Cup 2015 Countdown “Had Bhutto gone straight to Oxford instead of spending three years at Berkeley in the United States, he would have played First Class cricket not only in England but also later in Pakistan. But those three years in California were to turn him into a political person” – Former Pakistan cricket team captain Abdul Hafeez Kardar on their erstwhile Prime Minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto.

It can be easily concluded from this excerpt that two things define Pakistan- cricket and politics. Desirably, these two words should maintain a fair distance between each other.

Sadly, that is not the case in Pakistan. It has never been the case in that country.

Even more sadly, that is not the only worry or trouble Pakistan cricket needs to combat. There are issues like match-fixing, terrorism which plague their cricket. A team can work hard, be determined to turn results in their favour in on-field contests but these matters are generally out of their reach. To top it all, there is the pressure of meeting the demands of a cricket-hungry nation…

So, it is not easy being a Pakistani cricketer. More so, if one finds himself in the World Cup squad. Even more if there is a match scheduled against India in the World Cup.

But, in Misbah-ul-Haq Pakistan has an able leader who can make them gel as a team and, at the same time, can encourage the portrayal of individual brilliance the team possesses. 

Saeed Ajmal’s absence will be a big blow for Pakistan in the World Cup. Ajmal is the best spinner in the world and there is no one who can replace him. Even Hafeez’s bowling action is under the scanner and he will undergo a test on February 10th to prove that his action is clean. Junaid Khan has been ruled out as well, due to injury.

But, this is Pakistan. They produce international standard bowlers (the faster variety, especially) every other day. Rahat Ali has replaced Junaid and can be a handful in favourable conditions. Wahab Riaz and Mohammad Irfan are very good bowlers and will team up to become one of the best opening combinations in the World Cup. Pakistan must play Yasir Shah in every game. He is a leg spinner who is improving with every passing day and, to add to the much coveted skill he possesses, he can also bat a bit. 

Batting has been Pakistan’s problem, more often than not. But, this time around, they have a more than decent batting line up. Ahmed Shehzad, on his day, can bat like the best in the world. Everyone is well aware of what Umar Akmal is capable of and Pakistan will hope that he shows his true potential in the mega event down under.

Even six months ago, no one expected Younis Khan’s name in the World Cup squad. But his Bradman-esque form in U.A.E has forced the selectors to include him in the squad. Younis can be a bit slow at the start of his innings but the talented yet inexperienced batting order needs Younis to guide them. 

And then there is Shahid Afridi, in his last ODI tournament, apparently. Afridi’s fast leg breaks can cause great damage in the hard and bouncy Australian pitches. His batting form too has been good, of late. He, being one of the most famous and talked-about cricketers ever to play the game, would like to end his career on a high and there’s no better way to do it than by winning the most prized trophy in cricket. 

Predicting results of matches involving Pakistan is a futile exercise and we should abstain ourselves from doing that. They can go out in the first round and they can even win the World Cup.

Pakistan can travel the entire distance and win the World Cup. They really can. They are the cornered tigers, they always are. 

And hence they are dangerous, they always are. “We should go out there and fight like cornered tigers.”…

Squad : Misbah-ul-Haq (captain), Ahmed Shehzad, Ehsan Adil, Harris Sohail, Mohammad Hafeez, Mohammad Irfan, Sarfraz Ahmed (wk), Shahid Afridi, Shoaib Maqsood, Sohail Khan, Umar Akmal (wk), Wahab Riaz, Yasir Shah, Younis Khan, Rahat Ali (Junaid Khan's replacement), Junaid Khan (injured)

Batting and bowling potential charts indicate the percentage contribution of each player in the team.

Pakistan Batting and Bowling Contribution Potential World Cup 2015

Key Batsmen : Misbah-ul-Haq, Umar Akmal, Ahmed Shehzad

Key Bowlers : Mohammad Irfan, Wahab Riaz, Shahid Afridi

Big Hitters : Shahid Afridi, Mohammad Hafeez, Ahmed Shehzad

Most Experienced Player : Shahid Afridi

Darkhorse : Sohail Khan

Last 10 Matches : Won 2, Lost 8

Team Average Age : 30 years

Oldest Player : Misbah-ul-Haq (40 years)

Youngest Player : Ehsan Adil (21 years)

Pakistan will be playing two warm-up games against Bangladesh and England at Sydney on 9th Feb and 11th Feb respectively. 

Fixtures for Pakistan in World Cup 2015 :
 

Date & Time Match Details Coverage
 
Sun Feb 15 (D/N)
03:30 GMT | 14:00 local
09:00 IST
4th Match, Pool B - India v Pakistan
Adelaide Oval
alt   alt
 
Sat Feb 21
22:00 GMT (prev day)
11:00 local | 03:30 IST
10th Match, Pool B - Pakistan v West Indies
Hagley Oval, Christchurch
alt   alt
 
Sun Mar 1 (D/N)
03:30 GMT | 13:30 local
09:00 IST
23rd Match, Pool B - Pakistan v Zimbabwe
Brisbane Cricket Ground, Woolloongabba, Brisbane
alt   alt
 
Wed Mar 4 (D/N)
01:00 GMT | 14:00 local
06:30 IST
25th Match, Pool B - Pakistan v United Arab Emirates
McLean Park, Napier
alt   alt
 
Sat Mar 7 (D/N)
01:00 GMT | 14:00 local
06:30 IST
29th Match, Pool B - Pakistan v South Africa
Eden Park, Auckland
alt   alt
 
Sun Mar 15 (D/N)
03:30 GMT | 14:00 local
09:00 IST
42nd Match, Pool B - Ireland v Pakistan
Adelaide Oval
alt   alt
 


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