Written By- Pratik Deshpande, MBA-TBM (2014-2016), SCIT
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When you watch a match comprising of Pakistan, you almost feel as if you have entered a casino, Land of unpredictability. You can decipher a Christopher Nolan movie better than a Pakistan team. Even Stephen Hawking would require nine lives to analyze this Pakistan team. One day they play like thorough professionals while on the other they play like newly recruited novices.
Batting is their biggest Achilles ’heel. They have given a boot to their star under-performer Ahmed Shehzad (can still get in though, given its PCB) after getting frustrated with his disco light performances and opted for some young rookies from the Pakistan Super League. Mr. Professor (Hafeez) will have to shoulder the bulk of the responsibility along with another bright but unfulfilled potential Umer Akmal. Sarfaraz’s unorthodox batting can come in quite handy for Pakistan either as an opener or down the order. Misbah-Ul-Haq’s retirement from the shorter format has undoubtedly affected the psyche of the team as his cool and calm demeanor perfectly blended the eccentricity of others.
The manufacturing unit of Pakistan’s bowlers boost the team’s GDP tremendously. Their hopes largely depends upon the broad shoulders of pace trio- Wahab, Irfan and Amir. I am delighted to see Amir back in the thick of things. It requires great valor and courage to come back in spite of a black dot attached against your name. I hope he blossoms into the player that he promised before the spot-fixing saga. Wahab can be the intimidator in this attack with his searing bumpers and scorching Yorkers. Irfan can be a huge thorn in the flesh of the opposition with his awkward height. The uneven Indian wickets would make him all the more threatening. Yasir Shah’s absence is surely going to bite Pakistan as he could easily have been the knight in the shining armor with his variations. Shahid Afridi concert would decide whether Pakistan end up in arrears or profits. The multi-utility all-rounder’s form would dictate whether the ship would sail or sink. Malik has to be the glue which holds Pakistan’s batting together. He is the base around which the roller-coaster has to revolve.
Their copious bowling resources are nullified by their depleted batting and they would have to play out of their skin to have even a sniff of conquering the ‘Group of Death’ ,but with Pakistan you never know.
They are like a parachute which has two buttons, with no labels against it. One is for safety and other is for self-destruction. Pakistan’s fortunes depend upon which mode they choose to go.
The more they start pressing the right buttons the more threatening and consistent they will be.
Squad: Shahid Afridi, Mohammad Hafeez, Shoaib Malik, Umar Akmal, Sarfraz Ahmed, Imad Wasim, Anwar Ali, Mohammad Irfan, Wahab Riaz, Mohammad Amir, Mohammad Nawaz, Khurram Manzoor, Sharjeel Khan, Mohammad Sami, Khalid Latif. (Warning:-Subject to change)
Players to watch out for– Hafeez(The lynchpin of Pakistan’s batting) , Wahab (tireless worker of Pakistan) , Afridi ( The enigmatic all-rounder)
Surprise Package– Mohammed Amir (Be ready for some searing Yorkers
Pak vs India- India have the psychological advantage
Pak vs Qualifier- Should be a cruise for Pakistan
Pak vs Australia- Overall, Australia are a well-oiled unit.
Pak vs New Zealand- Pakistan feeble batting will be easy pickings for the New Zealand bowlers