Champions Trophy 2013 June 5, 2013

Can 'young' Pakistan still pose a threat?

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Overview

Pakistan are known for their mercurial performances but their record in ICC tournaments is impressive, having made the semi-finals in the last six events. Their previous outing in England was successful as they lifted the 2009 World Twenty20. However, their squad for the 2013 Champions Trophy is a relatively low-profile one, missing players including Umar Akmal, Shahid Afridi, Younis Khan and Umar Gul.

Although they are led by 39-year-old Misbah-ul-Haq, the tournament's oldest player, the squad is young. The bowling attack is a blend of lively left-arm pacers, including the 7'1" tall Mohammad Irfan, Junaid Khan and Wahab Riaz, backed by the two right-armers, Asad Ali and Ehsan Adil. Offspinner Saeed Ajmal is the most experienced bowler in the side.

Gul's absence due to a knee injury is a big loss for Pakistan, however, even though he hasn't been at his best recently.The onus will be on Junaid as the strike seamer, and he will draw on his experience in English conditions when he briefly played for Lancashire last year.

However, Pakistan's batting and fielding will be under the microscope. Nasir Jamshed and Imran Farhat are the potential openers but top-order collapses have often been the cause of Pakistan's downfall, piling the pressure on the middle order. The selectors made a bold decision to drop the out-of-form Younis Khan and focus on youth instead. In the current line-up, Shoaib Malik brings experience to the middle order, playing alongside youngsters, including Asad Shafiq and Umar Amin. Pakistan have also appointed the Australian, Trent Woodhill as their batting coach for the Champions Trophy.

The squad had a six-day camp in Abbottabad, at an altitude of 1260m in a bid to replicate the conditions in the UK. The camp, boosted by the presence of Wasim Akram and Javed Miandad, focused more on fitness and batting skills. They began their tour of England with two ODIs each against Scotland and Ireland and played a tied game against the latter in Dublin.

Key player

Pakistan will look to Mohammad Hafeez to provide strong starts at the top of the order. He takes time to settle in but once set, can score fluently. He struggled against Dale Steyn in South Africa but bounced back to score a hundred against Ireland earlier this month. Over the last 12 months, he has scored 519 runs and is the second-highest run-scorer in ODIs for Pakistan in that period.

Surprise package

Asad Ali. The right-arm seamer has done well under Misbah in domestic cricket with Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Limited and Faisalabad Wolves this year. When Pakistan's more experienced bowlers were leaking runs against Ireland, Ali stood out with economical figures of 1 for 22 off ten overs, including four maidens. He might not have express pace but his ability to hit the deck hard and bowl a decent line has made him a surprise prospect for Pakistan in English conditions. Another thing to look forward to is Misbah's new-found aggression in his batting, which was on view during the domestic T20 - he finished as the leading run-scorer with 206 runs at a strike-rate of 140.13, smashing 12 sixes.

Weakness

The team's batting and technique in English conditions will be under scrutiny. Pakistan have made some changes at the top of the order to negotiate the new ball, demoting Hafeez down to No.3 but the question is if the rest can maintain the momentum. With Afridi absent, there is no real fire-power in the lower order and much will depend on Kamran Akmal.

Champions Trophy history

Pakistan have featured in three semi-finals, beaten by New Zealand (in 2000 and 2009) and West Indies (2004). They failed to progress beyond the group stages in 1998, 2002 and 2006. In the last edition in 2009, a crucial dropped catch cost them a place in the final. However, they have an unbeaten record against India in the Champions Trophy (2-0), in contrast to the head-to-head record in the World Cup and World T20.

Recent form

Ranked No.6, Pakistan haven't been impressive in the last 12 months, winning nine and losing eight out of 19 ODIs. They were tested against Ireland in both games. The first one ended in a tie, while the second game saw the visitors recover from a batting collapse to scrape home by two wickets.

Umar Farooq is ESPNcricinfo's Pakistan correspondent. He tweets here

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • POSTED BY himanshu.team on | June 7, 2013, 7:03 GMT

    I woudl give Pakistan and edge here. Their bowling is significantly better than WI. Both teams are regarded as probably the two poorest fielding units in this tournament. Pakistan batting with Hafeez, Shoib Malik, Farhat and Kamran Akmal has decent experience and talent in there. They have to keep their nerves in check. The best way to beat pakistan is bat first, put up a decent total on board and put presure on the batting. they can do crazy things with the bat if put under pressure. Other than that, I don't see WI beating Pakistan.

  • POSTED BY on | June 5, 2013, 15:53 GMT

    Pakistan are a good blend. The only question is will the team click? This has always been the question regarding the Pakistan side even with the most experienced of players. They can demolish the most difficult of oppositions on one day, and fall against an easier one the next. I expect India and Pakistan to reach Semi-Finals from the group. One thing is for sure, Pakistan side will bring thrillers and some entertainment to the tournament.

  • POSTED BY NP_NY on | June 7, 2013, 6:34 GMT

    @Baseball-Sucks: LOL. You are a SL fan commenting in the Pak-WI preview and still can't stop talking about India. You must be seeing the Indian team even in your dreams after all the pounding India has laid on SL in the recent past. Anyway, getting to this game, this should be an interesting one, given the completely contrasting styles/skills in the two teams. Good luck to both!

  • POSTED BY on | June 7, 2013, 6:04 GMT

    If the Pakistani seamers can remove the West Indies openers cheaply then they have a much better chance of winning. However, if the West Indian top order is allowed to make runs then winning the match is probably a long shot for Pakistan as their batting has not been glorious whether chasing or posting a target.

  • POSTED BY pinn on | June 7, 2013, 3:27 GMT

    Its always pleasure to see the pak bowling. Especially the left hand seamers keep coming generation after generation. 7.1 foot tall bowler, will be interesting to watch today ( hopefully he is getting picked in playing 11 ). But batting !?

  • POSTED BY on | June 7, 2013, 0:05 GMT

    Hammad Azam will be better choice to soiab malik

  • POSTED BY on | June 6, 2013, 16:35 GMT

    @wasim ghumro, mate its experience which they might be reffering. Misbah, malik, kamran, ajmal and hafeez have played good numbers of games, rest have hardly played mores than 30. Farhat has 51.

  • POSTED BY on | June 6, 2013, 16:31 GMT

    This is wide open event. I don't think any 1 is fav. Its sunny these days with good tempratures. Unless its too over cast pitches may not make much difference.

    For pakistan, nasir is out of form hasn't done anything in Sa , then nothing in domestic and nothing so far in uk. Farhat is hit an miss type of player, 1 good score 1 bad score, all pressure will be on bowling to deliver in all matches and middle order to perform .

  • POSTED BY BABashar on | June 6, 2013, 15:36 GMT

    With due respect to the well wishers of Team Pakistan, I would like to express my views with my best wishes for the team. I agree we are missing a few faces, but taking into consideration the available talents we must not be passimistic and should give a positive look. Undoubtedly our strength is bowling. Masha Allah we have the bunch of fearsome bowlers who are highly capable to destroy any sort of batting line. I am pretty sure no batting line in the tournament is capable to score more than 250 in the presence of Irfan Junaid Asad Adil and Wahab. To analyse their skills one should look back at the series played in India where the so-called strong batting line seemed to be at their mercy. The have the potential to mesmerize any world class batsman. We need our batsmen to come to the terms and put up fighting scores if batting first and if chasing, put their heads down, control their nerves to chase any size of total. For me, the team will not let us down. We must pray for them.

  • POSTED BY boomboomrazzaq on | June 6, 2013, 14:56 GMT

    Many people here are criticising Malik but you have to give the man credit. Foremost, he really shores up the batting and in many respects he has become the unsung hero of the order as he seems to score vital runs at vital times. Pakistan are often weak when chasing and he seems to be one the few members of the side who is able to keep the runs ticking over and finishing off a chase before it gets too nervy. Thus, he becomes a very useful batsman in the side and lets not forget the fact that he is able to accelerate. He has the ability to hit out when needed which, due to the supposed lack of firepower in our team, could be very useful indeed. Moreover, lets not forget his bowling. I mean he started as a bowler when he began and he provides a very useful 6th option whereby he has a knack of keeping the runs down and taking the odd wicket. Thus, I think it unfair that people are criticising Malik's selection even though he has been a vital player for the side over the past few years.

  • POSTED BY himanshu.team on | June 7, 2013, 7:03 GMT

    I woudl give Pakistan and edge here. Their bowling is significantly better than WI. Both teams are regarded as probably the two poorest fielding units in this tournament. Pakistan batting with Hafeez, Shoib Malik, Farhat and Kamran Akmal has decent experience and talent in there. They have to keep their nerves in check. The best way to beat pakistan is bat first, put up a decent total on board and put presure on the batting. they can do crazy things with the bat if put under pressure. Other than that, I don't see WI beating Pakistan.

  • POSTED BY on | June 5, 2013, 15:53 GMT

    Pakistan are a good blend. The only question is will the team click? This has always been the question regarding the Pakistan side even with the most experienced of players. They can demolish the most difficult of oppositions on one day, and fall against an easier one the next. I expect India and Pakistan to reach Semi-Finals from the group. One thing is for sure, Pakistan side will bring thrillers and some entertainment to the tournament.

  • POSTED BY NP_NY on | June 7, 2013, 6:34 GMT

    @Baseball-Sucks: LOL. You are a SL fan commenting in the Pak-WI preview and still can't stop talking about India. You must be seeing the Indian team even in your dreams after all the pounding India has laid on SL in the recent past. Anyway, getting to this game, this should be an interesting one, given the completely contrasting styles/skills in the two teams. Good luck to both!

  • POSTED BY on | June 7, 2013, 6:04 GMT

    If the Pakistani seamers can remove the West Indies openers cheaply then they have a much better chance of winning. However, if the West Indian top order is allowed to make runs then winning the match is probably a long shot for Pakistan as their batting has not been glorious whether chasing or posting a target.

  • POSTED BY pinn on | June 7, 2013, 3:27 GMT

    Its always pleasure to see the pak bowling. Especially the left hand seamers keep coming generation after generation. 7.1 foot tall bowler, will be interesting to watch today ( hopefully he is getting picked in playing 11 ). But batting !?

  • POSTED BY on | June 7, 2013, 0:05 GMT

    Hammad Azam will be better choice to soiab malik

  • POSTED BY on | June 6, 2013, 16:35 GMT

    @wasim ghumro, mate its experience which they might be reffering. Misbah, malik, kamran, ajmal and hafeez have played good numbers of games, rest have hardly played mores than 30. Farhat has 51.

  • POSTED BY on | June 6, 2013, 16:31 GMT

    This is wide open event. I don't think any 1 is fav. Its sunny these days with good tempratures. Unless its too over cast pitches may not make much difference.

    For pakistan, nasir is out of form hasn't done anything in Sa , then nothing in domestic and nothing so far in uk. Farhat is hit an miss type of player, 1 good score 1 bad score, all pressure will be on bowling to deliver in all matches and middle order to perform .

  • POSTED BY BABashar on | June 6, 2013, 15:36 GMT

    With due respect to the well wishers of Team Pakistan, I would like to express my views with my best wishes for the team. I agree we are missing a few faces, but taking into consideration the available talents we must not be passimistic and should give a positive look. Undoubtedly our strength is bowling. Masha Allah we have the bunch of fearsome bowlers who are highly capable to destroy any sort of batting line. I am pretty sure no batting line in the tournament is capable to score more than 250 in the presence of Irfan Junaid Asad Adil and Wahab. To analyse their skills one should look back at the series played in India where the so-called strong batting line seemed to be at their mercy. The have the potential to mesmerize any world class batsman. We need our batsmen to come to the terms and put up fighting scores if batting first and if chasing, put their heads down, control their nerves to chase any size of total. For me, the team will not let us down. We must pray for them.

  • POSTED BY boomboomrazzaq on | June 6, 2013, 14:56 GMT

    Many people here are criticising Malik but you have to give the man credit. Foremost, he really shores up the batting and in many respects he has become the unsung hero of the order as he seems to score vital runs at vital times. Pakistan are often weak when chasing and he seems to be one the few members of the side who is able to keep the runs ticking over and finishing off a chase before it gets too nervy. Thus, he becomes a very useful batsman in the side and lets not forget the fact that he is able to accelerate. He has the ability to hit out when needed which, due to the supposed lack of firepower in our team, could be very useful indeed. Moreover, lets not forget his bowling. I mean he started as a bowler when he began and he provides a very useful 6th option whereby he has a knack of keeping the runs down and taking the odd wicket. Thus, I think it unfair that people are criticising Malik's selection even though he has been a vital player for the side over the past few years.

  • POSTED BY on | June 6, 2013, 10:02 GMT

    Not much difference between the top sides currently. Despite not being at their best. Pakistan are capable of getting a couple of wins and sneaking into the semis. If they are able to gain momentum they can win this tournament.

  • POSTED BY koushik2412 on | June 6, 2013, 8:24 GMT

    the fate of pakistan lies in the hands of jamshed and imran farhat to give solid starts. they have a little experience in the middle order which comprises of shoaib malik, kamran akmal, md. hafeez. but their bowling looks a force to reckon with. md irfan, junaid khan, saeed ajmal can be a real threat.

  • POSTED BY on | June 6, 2013, 6:40 GMT

    pak is the weekiest team in the champions trophy with out afrid, umar akmal,ahmad shahzad and razzaq.....No fire power in the batting order.....

    My team for World cup 2015.

    1- Ahmad shahzad 2- Nasir jamshed 3- Hafeez 4- Umar akmal(Wicket Keeper) 5- Haris sohail/Umar Amin 6- Hammad Azam/Razzaq 7-Afridi (Captin) 8-Wahab/Irfan 9- Junaid 10- Gul/Asad ali 11-Saeed Ajmal

    The 15 men saquad is completed.....

  • POSTED BY getsetgopk on | June 6, 2013, 6:08 GMT

    Well the reason why everybody is behind Pak to lift the trophy is for a very good reason. Guys like Hafeez are terrible test batsmen in my opinion but they are very good ODI players. What makes him far more deadlier than anyone else in the world is his ability to bowl economically and I would rate him along side Kallis but in ODI and T20 formats only, not tests. Our bowling lineup is inexperienced in terms of tests but not ODI's. For ODI's you need bowlers that dont settle on one single line and length, constantly bowling different areas not because they dont have control but its their ability not to let batsmen get in any sort of rhythm and with occasional delivery that swings (Junaid, Asad) or seams (Adil) or bounces awkwardly (Irfan) makes Pak bowling the deadliest at the moment. Batting is far from ideal though but with this sort of bowling we really need 230 runs on the board to see us through. Having said that, there is no clear favorite here, but if I have to pick, its Pakistan.

  • POSTED BY on | June 6, 2013, 5:53 GMT

    under misbah its is daydream..........

  • POSTED BY MianMoosa on | June 6, 2013, 4:50 GMT

    with all their loopholes & weakness in pakistan batting & inexperience in bowling i still believe that they will make it to semi,s,,, dropping players like younis, afridi & u.akmal was necessary due to their form... gul injury is bad luck, but even he is also not in great form,,, bowling is never a problem for pakistan , if pakistan dont win this champions trophy, it will only due to their batting or one expensive drop catch , just like in RSA in last odi when younis drop devilliers in last odi,,,, BEST OF LUCK PAKISTAN

  • POSTED BY on | June 6, 2013, 3:02 GMT

    Can 'young' Pakistan still pose a threat? Misbah is 39, Ajmal 35, Rehman 33, Hafeez 32, Akmal 31, Farhat 30, Irfan 30. 7 out of 15 men squad are 30 or over. In the last tour Younis and Afridi were also there to add to the tally. Pakistan has to be the oldest squad in this tournament. What makes the author think Misbah would field a young team? A young team would mean Misbah would be the odd ball and the first one out if Pakistan disappoint.

  • POSTED BY on | June 6, 2013, 2:52 GMT

    I think we have decent team with a few question mark selections which has been the case in every past contest. To me surprises can come from Asad Shafiq and the junior players who are trying to earn a perm spot. Seniors like Ajmal/Misbah can always show their game. With this set up we should be able to make to the semis and with some luck and effort we can even go all the way. Lets see but i dont expect a bad show from this squad they will have a decent tournament. Good luck to Team Pakistan..

  • POSTED BY landl47 on | June 6, 2013, 2:50 GMT

    I'm at a loss to know why Pakistan are rated as one of the favorites in this tournament. Their bowling is inexperienced and their batting is downright weak. In a group which includes India, SA and WI, I can't see them making the semi-finals.

    Still, there's no clear favorite in this tournament and any side with a couple of wins can get itself into position to win it all.

  • POSTED BY vxttemp on | June 6, 2013, 1:09 GMT

    I'm not aware of many players in the current team. But pakistan always produced quality quicks. A good bowling team should never be under-estimated. Most of the time, their bowling defended decent scores. Doesn't matter the bowlers are less experienced. By the way, less experience is a blessing in disguise for Pak, since they always struggled due to internal politics :-)

  • POSTED BY golgo_85 on | June 5, 2013, 23:23 GMT

    Without U Akmal they don't have a counter attacking batsman, no Hammad Azam/Razzak - Pakistan will be without a genuine seam bowlig allrounder who could've been the 3rd seam bowling option as well as giving them a chance to field another batsman or a bowler. But what they'll do is, they will make sure Wahab Riaz is playing to leak free runs. The 3rd seamer should be everyone else available but Riaz. Without Jamshed firing, all pressure will be on the middle order as usual. Hafeez won't have much luck against bigger teams, Malik is there only as a space filler. We will see great bowling by Junaid, Irfan and Ajmal accompanied by some resistance from Misbah in the middle and the rest will be there to hit and miss. They will be lucky to win more than one match this time around. Even if they survive Gayle, I don't see them running through AB and Kohli. Still, I wish them luck, they surely need it this year.

  • POSTED BY SaadRocx on | June 5, 2013, 20:47 GMT

    i agree wid javad.mallik one warm up win cant hide the fact that our bowling attack is inexperienced and saeed ajmal is out of form too...there are still loop holes in bowling...that we didnt see in warm up game,but couldbe exposed in group matches.../even india,s attack looked formiddible the other day (lol..)warmups prove nothing...idealpace attack vs. WI (Junaid,Irfan,Wahab)...Still doubts over Irfan.,he should,ve played the warmup...

  • POSTED BY SaadRocx on | June 5, 2013, 20:22 GMT

    Saeed Ajmal really needs to fire & batting should be aggressive...other wise it would be curtains for pakistan...i want either Pak or Srilanka to win the trophy,srilanka will bounce back really strongly in group stages and will able to win against australia and kiwis pretty easily...for pak WestIndies a real real threat...!!!watch out!!!

  • POSTED BY jawad.mallick on | June 5, 2013, 20:15 GMT

    Every one is rating pakistan as one of the best bowling units of the tournament but i think its early to say that becoz pakistan bowling attack consist of guys with very least or no eposure to the international scene apart from saeed ajmal they will be tested here when and if batting under performes

  • POSTED BY abmughal on | June 5, 2013, 19:29 GMT

    there is no doubt that pakistan has a good bowling unit but still they need some stability in their batting ...especially in english conditions .......so best of luck team green ,...... most of them may not agrree with me but pak vs WI would be more interesting rather than pak vs SA or pak vs Ind

  • POSTED BY on | June 5, 2013, 19:18 GMT

    Good luck to Pakistan, I think they will be dark horses and sneak into the Semis for sure, after that lets hope for the best. It is a tough group they are bracketed in, South Africa, England and India are all world class. I sincerely believe Pakistan can beat India and South Africa both or one of these teams. If they win against England it will be a 50-50 prospect but they might go all the way, the other group is not a tough group to deal with specially with Australia on the ropes due to poor form. Pakistan must click as a team. Against South Africa we saw a glimpse of team effort and results were encouraging, it fielding and batting which are concerns as always with Pakistan.

  • POSTED BY Alphabaig on | June 5, 2013, 19:02 GMT

    Even though Pakistani batsmen struggle in English conditions, Pakistan team has managed to qualify for the knock out stage of every tournment they have played in England since, 1999. The only team to do so.

  • POSTED BY themaster668 on | June 5, 2013, 19:01 GMT

    if they are going to produce some kind of good results they will have to come out of the shell of defensive policies which Misbah normaly adapts, Pakistan had been much better side playing agressively in approach, especially in their bowling, always looking to wrap up the opposition side as early as possible and they succeeded.

    on the other hand if they go for containing the batting sides like W.I., INDIA and SA. it will be a disaster for them. so the key lies in captaincy in team approach rather than individuals, the talent is there for sure.

  • POSTED BY Baseball-Sucks on | June 5, 2013, 18:16 GMT

    Go Pakistan !!!! Its gonna be like a walk in the park for you to crush these mediocre teams like India n W'Indies. That will take you to the semis easily. Best of Luck !!! - a SL fan -

  • POSTED BY Zee_1203 on | June 5, 2013, 18:13 GMT

    True, but mercurial performers namely Afridi, Razzak, Ahmad Shahzad and Gul are missing, current team scoring scenario is below: 1-15 over, score 60-65, avg 4.5-5.0, lost of wicket 3 (trying to play fast) 16-35 over, score 120-125, avg 3-3.5 lost of wicket 2 ( play tuc tuc to save wicket) 36-50 or under 50 (trying to play as 20 overs game) either they click or collapse (low 230 high 265)

  • POSTED BY on | June 5, 2013, 17:40 GMT

    Even as a Pakistani, I am surprised to see my team labelled as favorites going into this tournament. While the performances over the last 12 months show an average performance by this team, I have no doubts that one the given day they can make a mockery of any batting or bowling attack in the world but consistency is the only question mark associated with this team. To win the CT, they would most probably have to win 4/5 possible games which I believe would be very hard thing to achieve. But considering that fact that none of the 8 teams holds a clear cut edge on the others, this tournament is wide open for the first time probably. We have seen the cold side of Aus, Eng and SA who are supposed to be better at seaming conditions and with NZ and WI performing well in UK conditions lately, the trophy is literally for anybody's to grab this time.

  • POSTED BY BRUTALANALYST on | June 5, 2013, 17:34 GMT

    I think this will be W.I 11 judging from warm up and recent form - 1.Gayle 2.Charles 3.Darren B 4.Samuels 5.Bravo (c) 6.Pollard 7.Ramdin(k) 8. Rampaul 9.Narine 10.Best 11.Roach

  • POSTED BY PAKISTANiLive on | June 5, 2013, 17:28 GMT

    If Pakistani Openers produce solid start in the beginning, I'm sure Pakistan will be the CHAMPS!

  • POSTED BY Cpt.Meanster on | June 5, 2013, 16:43 GMT

    Pakistan are an overall average side. It's only their bowling that gives them any command of respect. For years that has been the case; a strong bowling unit coupled with below par batting. They will struggle in this tournament as a batting team. However, their bowling could pull them out of hopeless situations. if they can consistently score close to 280-300 while batting first, Pakistan have the ability to beat any opposition. If they don't, they are history. Going into this game, I think it will be a close one. Both teams have similar traits and are unpredictable.

  • POSTED BY Dannymania on | June 5, 2013, 16:39 GMT

    lets be honest,the pakistani batting line up is pretty weak.The bowling attack is new too.The fielding has always been weak.BUT,I WILL support this team because its my favorite team.Damn,we can never rule out this team. U GO GUYS!!

  • POSTED BY on | June 5, 2013, 16:24 GMT

    Pakistan will definitely miss Afridi but I hope the bowlers will apply what the great Wasim Akram taught them at the camp.....hope Pakistan ends up as the last champions of the Champions Trophy,,,good luck!!

  • POSTED BY Jda123 on | June 5, 2013, 16:07 GMT

    Really think Pakistan should have had Younis Khan & Shahid Afridi in the 15 man squad, in a tourament you want experience, not to bring inexperience players in.

    Still think Pakistan should go with Farhat & Jamshed opening up with Hafeez to follow third.

    Cant see Pakistan chasing 270+ in this tournament, these game are all a toss-up.

  • POSTED BY Jda123 on | June 5, 2013, 16:07 GMT

    Really think Pakistan should have had Younis Khan & Shahid Afridi in the 15 man squad, in a tourament you want experience, not to bring inexperience players in.

    Still think Pakistan should go with Farhat & Jamshed opening up with Hafeez to follow third.

    Cant see Pakistan chasing 270+ in this tournament, these game are all a toss-up.

  • POSTED BY on | June 5, 2013, 16:24 GMT

    Pakistan will definitely miss Afridi but I hope the bowlers will apply what the great Wasim Akram taught them at the camp.....hope Pakistan ends up as the last champions of the Champions Trophy,,,good luck!!

  • POSTED BY Dannymania on | June 5, 2013, 16:39 GMT

    lets be honest,the pakistani batting line up is pretty weak.The bowling attack is new too.The fielding has always been weak.BUT,I WILL support this team because its my favorite team.Damn,we can never rule out this team. U GO GUYS!!

  • POSTED BY Cpt.Meanster on | June 5, 2013, 16:43 GMT

    Pakistan are an overall average side. It's only their bowling that gives them any command of respect. For years that has been the case; a strong bowling unit coupled with below par batting. They will struggle in this tournament as a batting team. However, their bowling could pull them out of hopeless situations. if they can consistently score close to 280-300 while batting first, Pakistan have the ability to beat any opposition. If they don't, they are history. Going into this game, I think it will be a close one. Both teams have similar traits and are unpredictable.

  • POSTED BY PAKISTANiLive on | June 5, 2013, 17:28 GMT

    If Pakistani Openers produce solid start in the beginning, I'm sure Pakistan will be the CHAMPS!

  • POSTED BY BRUTALANALYST on | June 5, 2013, 17:34 GMT

    I think this will be W.I 11 judging from warm up and recent form - 1.Gayle 2.Charles 3.Darren B 4.Samuels 5.Bravo (c) 6.Pollard 7.Ramdin(k) 8. Rampaul 9.Narine 10.Best 11.Roach

  • POSTED BY on | June 5, 2013, 17:40 GMT

    Even as a Pakistani, I am surprised to see my team labelled as favorites going into this tournament. While the performances over the last 12 months show an average performance by this team, I have no doubts that one the given day they can make a mockery of any batting or bowling attack in the world but consistency is the only question mark associated with this team. To win the CT, they would most probably have to win 4/5 possible games which I believe would be very hard thing to achieve. But considering that fact that none of the 8 teams holds a clear cut edge on the others, this tournament is wide open for the first time probably. We have seen the cold side of Aus, Eng and SA who are supposed to be better at seaming conditions and with NZ and WI performing well in UK conditions lately, the trophy is literally for anybody's to grab this time.

  • POSTED BY Zee_1203 on | June 5, 2013, 18:13 GMT

    True, but mercurial performers namely Afridi, Razzak, Ahmad Shahzad and Gul are missing, current team scoring scenario is below: 1-15 over, score 60-65, avg 4.5-5.0, lost of wicket 3 (trying to play fast) 16-35 over, score 120-125, avg 3-3.5 lost of wicket 2 ( play tuc tuc to save wicket) 36-50 or under 50 (trying to play as 20 overs game) either they click or collapse (low 230 high 265)

  • POSTED BY Baseball-Sucks on | June 5, 2013, 18:16 GMT

    Go Pakistan !!!! Its gonna be like a walk in the park for you to crush these mediocre teams like India n W'Indies. That will take you to the semis easily. Best of Luck !!! - a SL fan -

  • POSTED BY themaster668 on | June 5, 2013, 19:01 GMT

    if they are going to produce some kind of good results they will have to come out of the shell of defensive policies which Misbah normaly adapts, Pakistan had been much better side playing agressively in approach, especially in their bowling, always looking to wrap up the opposition side as early as possible and they succeeded.

    on the other hand if they go for containing the batting sides like W.I., INDIA and SA. it will be a disaster for them. so the key lies in captaincy in team approach rather than individuals, the talent is there for sure.