Where does the Pakistani Team stand after England outdo them in the recently concluded T20I series?
How brilliant has England been in its pursuit of finding the perfect combination for the upcoming World Cup?. They looked more like a host side than Pakistan. They could have gone for Wood, Buttler, or any other guy, but it felt as if the series result did not matter to them, which was reflected in their in-squad selection. Instead, they aimed for the bigger goal. An ideal example of how Fortune favours the brave, they came here to test the options available to them, and in the process, they have been able to collect gems that now challenge the automatic selection of several players. The batters did not lessen the intensity despite losing wickets, played according to the field, and the intent was clear from the ball one. The bowlers bowled with a plan, assessed the conditions and adjusted the line and length according to the respective batter, and importantly, used short balls to great effect, an area where Pakistani players generally struggle. More significantly, they played as a unit and did not rely on individual heroics. They comprehensively won the games while losing close encounters, something they’ll happily take today.
Whereas Pakistan looked desperate and needed to win this, especially this series decider before leaving for the World Cup. The fans and media would not spare them as they already feel that this squad is not capable of lifting the world in Australia. This defeat in particular will surely dent their confidence to a great extent, and with the World Cup just around the corner, we do not want players or management to hit the panic button. Their over-reliance on Babar and Rizwan was exposed badly as the middle order’s disastrous state was an open secret. The finishers are clueless, can’t middle the ball and their stay at the crease is as clumsy as ever.
Plenty to bother though but still, we need to back this group, a couple of changes might work but we have to support them. We witnessed a bizarre example of how the crowd chanted “Parchi” when Khushdil was on the crease. Yes, he is struggling with the bat but such actions will only lead to individuals paying more attention to their game rather than working for a unanimous goal.
T20 is a format where form matters the most in comparison to experience, fitness, and age. If someone is in good nick, it’s a good idea to induct him into the side but keep his role defined. Pakistan brought in Shan Masood for Fakhar Zaman after his brilliance in the domestic circle, but his batting position and ability to take the aerial route have left everyone in a state of dismay. The Pakistanis, who are already concerned with the strike rate of their run-scorers opening pair, are in no mood to see another batter consume too many deliveries. Every player should be allocated a defined task based on their skills and the team’s demand. We already saw a dip in Fakhar’s strike rate and average when he was forced to bat at No. 3 and vacated the opening slot for Babar Azam.
Keeping the squad, we have and the recent performances of some key Pakistani players across the globe below is a list of my Playing XI for the world cup.
- Muhammad Rizwan
- Fakhar Zaman
- Babar Azam
- Iftikhar Ahmad
- Muhammad Azam
- Asif Ali
- Imad Wasim
- Shadab Khan
- Muhammad Amir
- Haris Rauf
- Shaheen Shah Afridi
Bench: Naseem Shah, Muhammad Hasnain, Muhammad Nawaz, Sarfaraz Ahmad