World T20

Pakistan brimming with all-round spin strength

Umar Farooq

March 20, 2014

Comments: 117 | Text size: A | A

Zulfiqar Babar picked up three wickets on debut, West Indies v Pakistan, 1st T20I, St Vincent, July 27, 2013
Zulfiqar Babar could prove a useful addition to Pakistan's potent spin attack © WICB Media
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Players/Officials: Sharjeel Khan | Kamran Akmal | Zulfiqar Babar
Series/Tournaments: World T20
Teams: Pakistan

Overview

Pakistan have a reputation for unpredictability and for unleashing young talent onto the world stage, but their squad at this World T20 reflects a safety-first approach. This might have something to do with a makeshift selection committee at the helm amid all the administrative uncertainty and legal tussles that have swirled around Pakistan cricket over the last year or so.

Led by Mohammad Hafeez, the world's leading allrounder in the shorter formats, Pakistan's 15-man squad offers a lot of flexibility while being centered around senior campaigners including surprise inclusions such as Kamran Akmal and Shoaib Malik. Pakistan have four allrounders, three of whom are spinners - a factor that might prove instrumental given the slow pitches.

It remains to be seen where Kamran - if he takes the wicketkeeping gloves from his brother Umar - will bat, whether he will split the opening combination of Ahmed Shehzad and Sharjeel Khan or come in lower down. Hafeez is likely to bat at No. 3 while the middle order, containing Umar Akmal, Sohaib Maqsood, Shoaib Malik and Shahid Afridi, looks potent.

Bowling has usually been Pakistan's strength but their attack, particularly the seamers, has struggled for wickets in recent times. As recently as the Asia Cup, they took all ten wickets only once, against Afghanistan. Pakistan were dented by the absence of Mohammad Irfan, and they have gambled on Umar Gul to bear the strike bowler's burden.

Pakistan's T20 squads, over the years, have had no exposure to the IPL. Hafeez suggested it was a missed opportunity for the players, but it hasn't been a handicap in terms of their World T20 performances. This time around, they are part of the so-called group of death, alongside India, Australia and West Indies, with Bangladesh looking likely to join them.

Key players

Given the conditions in Bangladesh you can't think beyond Saeed Ajmal but T20 is all about big runs and hard-hitting batsmen. Sharjeel Khan is the key man in the top order. He is relatively new to international cricket and only has a handful of T20s under his belt but his strike rate of 141.66 suggests he could buy Pakistan a few muscular starts.

Kamran Akmal, who has played all the previous World T20s, is back in the team after a year in the wilderness. He last played for Pakistan in last year's Champions Trophy and last played a T20 international in South Africa in March 2013. His inclusion in the squad is a surprise but it provides him possibly one last chance to re-energise a fading international career.

Surprise package

Pakistan's bowling is full of variety, and 35-year-old Zulfiqar Babar's left-arm spin could spice up the attack. He made a big impact on T20 debut last year, taking 3 for 23 against West Indies in Kingstown. A hand injury halted his progress, but he has returned and could possibly add a left-arm element to a strong spin attack alongside Ajmal, Afridi and Hafeez.

Weakness

Pakistan had a good Asia Cup, but showed flashes of their tendency to self-destruct against Afghanistan and in the opening game against Sri Lanka. Inconsistency still dogs the side. Fielding too has been a concern, and it has the potential to undo their good work in other departments.

World T20 history

Pakistan have featured in two finals, winning the 2009 title in England and losing the 2007 final, to India, in South Africa. They entered the semi-finals in the West Indies in 2010 and posted a mammoth total of 191 but a famous final-over assault by Michael Hussey on Ajmal cost them a place in their third straight final. They also reached the semi-finals in 2012, but hosts Sri Lanka halted their progress.

Recent form

As Hafeez has said, Pakistan already have momentum from the Asia Cup, where they pulled off emotional wins over India, Bangladesh and Afghanistan. The tournament also gave them good exposure to the conditions in Bangladesh and although they lost the final to Sri Lanka, they gained plenty of confidence, with all of their batsmen contributing at some stage.

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

RSS Feeds: Umar Farooq

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by   on (March 21, 2014, 12:45 GMT)

As pakistan is supposed be very unpredictible, we are waiting for the competetion, curiously........

Posted by Zaib-from-WACA on (March 21, 2014, 12:04 GMT)

Fully agree with Lancenayak. Aggression is good in sport but I think Virat takes it to a very high level. Dhoni's return a big plus for India as Virat could not handle the pressure as seen in Asia Cup recently. My favorite batsman of all time is Rahul Dravid and what a gentleman he is. Being a Pakistani fan living in Australia I want Pakistan to win but I think India is still a much more stable and better team specially on Asia's low bouncing tracks.

Posted by   on (March 21, 2014, 12:02 GMT)

@lancenayak

Very nice analysis! Totally agree.

Posted by   on (March 21, 2014, 12:00 GMT)

@2477 Good selection. You are right, there is no need of Shoaib Malik and Soahil Tanvir.... although i would include Zulfiqar Babar in most of the matches in place of Talha or Bilawal as these pitches are good for spinners.

Posted by   on (March 21, 2014, 11:50 GMT)

I am really not happy with the Pakistan squad.

Sohail Tanvir and Shoaib Malik should be excluded from all formats of the game, at this age its very unlikely they could repeat their best performances (which they gave ages ago) and besides they play enough cricket in domestic arena or are always involved elsewhere. Haris sohail, Umar Amin or someone Aizaz Cheema should have been considered. Even Abdul razzaq would be a better choice then these guys.

Sharjeel Khan is a good prospect but should not have been included in such a big tournament this early!! Nasir jamshed is a better option especially since he is good in sub cont and BPL.

Zulfiqar Babar is a great bowler however he is quite old. Raza hassan is a quality T20 spinner who should have been included in place of Zulfiqar or Sohail Tanvir.

Posted by lancenayak on (March 21, 2014, 10:11 GMT)

Nice to see logical comments here, otherwise fans always bragging about their team. As Imran Khan said your best batsman should play most of the deliveries... Kholi@3 for Ind Umar@4 for Pak

Posted by lancenayak on (March 21, 2014, 10:06 GMT)

I am an Indian and I would say its again 50 50 game for both the sides.. Shorter the version of this game gives edge to Pak team. Concern for Pak.. 1) Batting is unpredictable, Sharjeel, Maqsood & even Fawad didnt impress me at all. All three of them technically weak, Pak should go Kamran with Sahzad. 2) Biggest worry is their fielding & running b/w the wickets. 3) Plus point is their A+ bowling attack Concern for Ind.. 1) Dhoni's obsession with his Jijaji Rohit who is gud for nothing and does put pressure on Dhawan as well... 2) Bowling is like 3rd grade bowler of any cricketing nation. Its understandable that u dont ve speed in your bowling but u can bowl with line & length. 3) Plus point Virat Kohli along with Raina.. Hope for a good match and best of luck for both the teams..... Its my humble request to all the Indian players (specially Virat) please learn how to respect the game & Players of the opposition team from SIR RAHUL DRAVID..

Posted by niazbhi on (March 21, 2014, 9:09 GMT)

Pakistan have the best spinners.. Ashwin and Jadega are not too behind either. Indian batting is really good, I am not sure whether Pakistan batting is decent or really weak (as it appeared against SA). Surprisingly pakistan's pace bowling is much weaker than their usual pace attack and india has got a decent attack in Shami and Bhuvi. So Pakistan's barely have any edge in bowling(Pakistan have allrounders so the batting depth is high). Overall edge to india. I do not mind if Pakistan wins. Good luck to both teams!

Posted by 2477 on (March 21, 2014, 8:43 GMT)

Pakistan 11 should be 1.Ahmed Shezad. 2.Kamran Akmal. 3.Hafeez. 4.Umar Akmal. 5.Sohaib Maqsood 6.Shahid Afridi. 7.Bilawal bhatti 8.Umar gul 9.Junaid Khan 10.Saeed Ajmal 11.Mohammed Talha In this team you 4 fast bowlers and 3 spinners so there is no need of Shoaib Malik and Sohail Tanvir

Posted by Pindia on (March 21, 2014, 8:06 GMT)

Pak will win Inshallah. But good luck to India too. As always squad selection could have been better. Fawad Alam deserves a spot as the anchor rather than Malik. Anwar Ali should probably have got a look in. But otherwise looking good. Barbar plus the other three spinners is good for these conditions. Sharjeel and Sohaib need to step up. This could be Afridi's swan song and Ajmal should show he is the great spinner of this generation. But overall Pak should have the all-round talent to succeed. I would have thought this is obvious by now but in short formats Pak should always chase to eliminate the possibility of the first innings collapse as was demonstrated again this week. Gul needs to go back to the swiging yorker as per 2009 in England...

Posted by xylofon on (March 21, 2014, 7:18 GMT)

I am a pak fan but think India will win. Dont think india are better and certainly not in the shorter formats - test yes. If India do win indian fans will say they are so much better than pak, in fact we all know its pretty much 50-50. That is why we watch it.

Pak batting is incosistent but indias bowling has been really weak all year and Pakistans spinners can cause serious trouble for India or anyone else - most people agree.

Who wins the cup? Sri Lanka. I dont know why, just have a feeling. ; )

@Germanplayer...you hit the nail on the head as far as Malik and Kamrans inclusion goes. Its got a lot to do with political power and quite frankly moneymoneymoney. No one thinks any different in Pak. We all know it. Especially Kamran.

Sharjeel is a complete flop but if they play him and he is good in one game he will be hard to get rid of Wahab Riaz style. ; (

Best of luck to both teams and everyone here to enjoy it. : )

N. Jamshed and H. Sohail, youre being sorely missed!

Posted by SaudFaruqi on (March 21, 2014, 6:22 GMT)

Fielding is Green Shirts' worst enemy along with poor planning and execution. They should have plan B, C, & D against the likes of Dhawan, Kohli, Raina, Dhoni and Jadeja. Junaid Khan should be preferred over Talha and Bilawal Bhatti. I still give India 60-40 chance of winning. But hope Pakistan can start their campaign by setting the record straight by beating India in an ICC event. Good luck Team Pakistan.

Posted by ABLcric on (March 21, 2014, 6:19 GMT)

Three advise for Pak: 1. win toss 2. bowl first 3. field well

Posted by Cric_info_pak on (March 21, 2014, 6:09 GMT)

Please every Pak fan don't reply stupid bangladesh comments as they don't know cricket... if india and srilanka say some thing about pakistan that is fair as they win and they r proper team like other teams as well but bangladesh ppl they dont' know any thing about cricket ... that y they support their team they don't know wht is quality player they never produce and they will produce in future ..... only reply ppl of other counties which we can compare with us like compare BWM with mercedez not with suzuki big class different

Posted by   on (March 21, 2014, 4:25 GMT)

Well my playing 11 for pakistan is... 1 sharjeel 2 shehzad 3kamran 4maqsood 5umar 6hafeez 7afridi 8babar 9 gul 10ajmal 11 junaid Pakistan really need attacking players...play shehzad as anchor and let the rest go open up their arms

Posted by Aized.Syed on (March 21, 2014, 2:29 GMT)

its simple as that, people don't literally understand, Kamran Akmal is a better batsman than his brother Umar Akmal, and Adnan Akmal. He is not proving it just because the skipper Hafeez or Misbah makes him go to 5th or 6th place. Please Pakistan team, don't lose this player, he is just perfect for international cricket. You have noticed when it was 2011 World Cup ODI, and it was Pak vs WI, we noticed that hafeez and kamran akmal let Pakistan to victory. Akmal played good in that match. If you also notice 2014 world t20 warm-up match pak had again NZ, we saw Kamran Akmal was the opener, and he got a well achieved half century. Don't waste him! Please play his as opener with Shahzad. Sharjeel Khan has proved to everyone that he needs more practice before playing international cricket. Play Zulfiqar Babar, he is really good spiner, My 11 men squad for Pak vs India Match-----> 1. Kamran Akmal 2 Shahzad 3. Hafeez 4. Maqsood 5. Umar Akmal 6. Afridi 7. Babar 8. Gul 9.Ajmal 10. Ajmal11.Junaid

Posted by MrKessel on (March 20, 2014, 22:53 GMT)

To all Bangladeshi fans, first of all your national team doesn't even come close to Pakistan Team and what we have accomplished in cricket history. Secondly Pakistan has defeated you in over 35+ games in all formats all across the globe. Your only win was in 1999 W.C where Pakistan lost two (2) games, W.C Final and league match when they were 5-0 before playing your sorry pathetic team. Also in the same W.C Aussies started a streak 34 undefeated W.C games where they last lost to... you guessed it Pakistan and the streak was also ended by Pakistan in 2011. Now what does logic dictate that your only win against us was a fair game or did our players felt sorry for their "brothers" and threw them a bone in a pointless game where they had already topped the group. Previous Asia Cup we made your entire team literally cry on the field, this Asia Cup we made your entire fan base cry. Please if you have people have any dignity left, just stay quiet and keep your nose out of our team matters.

Posted by MrKessel on (March 20, 2014, 22:52 GMT)

To all Bangladeshi fans, first of all your national team doesn't even come close to Pakistan Team and what we have accomplished in cricket history. Secondly Pakistan has defeated you in over 35+ games in all formats all across the globe. Your only win was in 1999 W.C where Pakistan lost two (2) games, W.C Final and league match when they were 5-0 before playing your sorry pathetic team. Also in the same W.C Aussies started a streak 34 undefeated W.C games where they last lost to... you guessed it Pakistan and the streak was also ended by Pakistan in 2011. Now what does logic dictate that your only win against us was a fair game or did our players felt sorry for their "brothers" and threw them a bone in a pointless game where they had already topped the group. Previous Asia Cup we made your entire team literally cry on the field, this Asia Cup we made your entire fan base cry. Please if you have people have any dignity left, just stay quiet and keep your nose out of our team matters.

Posted by Zahidsaltin on (March 20, 2014, 18:45 GMT)

Kamran Akmal, Ahmad Shehzad, Hafeez, Sohaib, Shoaib Malik, Umar Akmal, Afridi, Bhatti, Sohail Tanveer, Umar Gul and Ajmal.

Posted by Zahidsaltin on (March 20, 2014, 18:30 GMT)

If I was the captain, I'll send Afridi in to bat when India starts bowling her spinners. Afridi is good at hitting spinners and his presence will make india delay their spinners and thereby give away the possibility to control middle of the innings by employing Jadeja and Ashwin.

Posted by immi2711 on (March 20, 2014, 17:00 GMT)

Problem is we (Pak & Ind) still want to believe we are the better teams in the world. Unfortuanately....we are NOT. It is sad, but true. We have lost to politics and poor management.

On the other hand, Aussies, NewZealand, SouthAfrica are better teams than us.

I have my money on Ausies, they are just hitting it out. and their bowlers are scary, even in slow pitches.

Posted by Diaz54 on (March 20, 2014, 15:42 GMT)

Pakistan batting too weak and unpredictable .....my favourites to win West Indies or Australia. As to Pak v India....Pak will loose simply because of their batting and fielding. I am. Pak supporter but one has to be realistic...also their planing worries me...for example they opted to bat first against Sri Lanka when having own last 2 games batting 2 nd! No logic also first up some moisture on pitch and not bad time to bowl first...so where were the experts,coaches etc ...!

Posted by   on (March 20, 2014, 14:58 GMT)

Sharjil Shezad Kamran Akmal Hafeez Umer Akmal Malik Afridi Bhatti Gul Junaid Ajmal

I would go with this playing 11, but perhaps Moin Khan rates Shoaib Maqssod more than Sharjil, India is a good batting side so for haven sake start with a pacer rather then Hafeez, its a negative mindset, opening bowling with spinner until he is not a Warne or Jim Laker makes no sense against a good spin playing side like India.

Posted by Nigah on (March 20, 2014, 14:50 GMT)

No team win against Pakistan when they know we are a team and forget the individual priorities. However @HarryCS its time to wake up leave the dreams on the bed.

Posted by Ishfaqkhan.jk on (March 20, 2014, 14:31 GMT)

I agree that india and pakistan both hav good and bad plays like, ashwin, dhawan, all bowlers i mean fast bowlers except shami i can't even call them fast bowles buhi bowls 130 and mohit 135. Pak hav malik, akmal, sharjeel thease are all not good to b in team. I hope to see a creaker of game. And ya dump hafeez make ajmal captain of pak. I want yuvi to bowl. Sachin and sourb used to bowled quicker than buvi and mohit and they hav great contor also in bowling. Bring parvaiz rasool insted of ashwin, rishi instead of mohit, pankaj insted of buvi.

Posted by manan_aslam on (March 20, 2014, 14:20 GMT)

Hope it will be good game. Both team have some Superstar and UPS and DOWN. But want PAK to win

my best XI: 1) Sharjeel Khan 2) Kamran Akmal (WK / BAT) 3) Mohammad Hafeez (capt / Spin BW / BAT ) 4) Umar Akmal (BAT) 5) Sohaib Maqsood (BAT) 6) Shoaib Malik ( Spin BW / BAT ) 7) Shahid Afridi ( Spin BW / BAT ) 8) Bilawal Bhatti ( Fast BW / BAT ) 9) Umar Gul ( Fast BW ) 10) Saeed Ajmal ( Spin BW ) 11) Junaid Khan ( Fast BW )

Posted by ABKhanISB on (March 20, 2014, 14:06 GMT)

Pakistan has not chance of winning the match as long as useless players like Shoaib Malik are in the team.

Posted by Shouldas-Wouldas-Couldas on (March 20, 2014, 14:00 GMT)

BIG BANG ! Terrific match to kick-off. Instead of "cricketing skills", it's going be "battle of nerves" again. Both sides are evenly matched and both captains on-field decisions will have a direct bearing on outcome ! Agree with you, present Pakistani bowling is rather average only. Umar Gul and Afridi are NOT match fit whereas Junaid has lost swing. Pakistani batting remains "unpredictable/unreliable". May EXPLODE, else IMPLODE ! Sharjeel Khan has to prove himself while Shoaib Malik should NOT be in the side. Batting remains India's strong suit. Kohli, the class act (stand out), while Dhawan, Rohit, Raina & Yuvraj are above average ( when on song ). Mishra and B. Kumar will provide the element of surprise. Dhoni remains the lynch pin, bowling changes and field placings will impact the result. Hafeez, "the professor", has a shrewd cricketing brain and may have too many tricks up his sleeve ! Go Pakistan Go, ya beaut. Play HARD this GREAT SPORT !!!!

Posted by alipk52 on (March 20, 2014, 14:00 GMT)

@noormaghmoon from your list, while playing in Bangladesh, I want to replace Talha with Zulfiqar Babar, we need him, don't expect Afridi to contain a batsman, he too leaks soo many runs, babar can contain especialy under such conditions, apart from that, it's win toss bowl first condition, any team defending total will face various problems, as we saw on warm up between indian and England, even mediocre Indian bowling line defended the total, similarly another sign of worry is our batting, they were folded cheaply yesterday, this is why I think India stands with a lot better chance to keep the winning streak going in world cups.

Posted by seo7seo on (March 20, 2014, 13:51 GMT)

Pakistan has virtually no chance with 9 players. Kamran and Shoaib are simply 0+0=0. I don't know why good players get injuries every now and then but these two are always fit for high profile tournaments.

These two are a humiliation for Pakistan. Everyone in the crowd and all their team mates know they are not selected on merit. Shoaib Malik should get Indian passport and play IPL. I will be happy if PCB decides to pay him double for that decision.

Posted by alipk52 on (March 20, 2014, 13:49 GMT)

I hope Pakistan now change the history of losing to india in world cups, though it does look unlikely, coz once again they are looking slightly over confident here, this is what enforce self destruct in recent time, they really need to convert the dominance into a win, I believe we will miss our biggest player Abdul Razzaq, thanks to a selfish Hafeez, the career of such a great player apparently over, we can't bank on Afridi to play match winning innings everytime, so another finisher is badly needed. So Pakistan tail starts from Afridi, I hope Bilawal come into party to finish things off, and he's really capable to do so!

Posted by codegreen on (March 20, 2014, 13:49 GMT)

Surprise Surprise.. What surprise?? Kamran Akmal Is the leading scorer for Pakistan in the T20 world cups ...Check the records cricinfo that is why he is needed..

Posted by noormaghmoom on (March 20, 2014, 13:41 GMT)

Sharjeel khan should be dropped and open with shahzad and kamran akmal

Posted by noormaghmoom on (March 20, 2014, 13:16 GMT)

The best combination for t20 must be 1.Ahmad shahzad 2. Kamran akmal 3. Muhammad hafiz 4. Shoib malik 5. Sohaib Maqsood 6. Umar akmal 7. Shahid afridi 8. Sohail tanvir 9. Umar gul 10. Said ajmal 10. Muhammad talha

Posted by   on (March 20, 2014, 13:11 GMT)

Well on paper pak is much better then india.... but i think it will be close contest like asia cup. Also we need to play sharjeel khan on cost of shoaib maqsood or ahmed shahzad with kamran akmal as opener. We have lots of fire power in middle n lower order so we dont need ahmed shahzad to consolidate

Posted by   on (March 20, 2014, 13:01 GMT)

Sharjeel khan and Sohaib Maqsood have to explode today it,s been ages they haven,t played a notable innings.They just can,t disappoint us today.Both can hit big shots their timing is good,i think they just need an good innings to get going.i wish them good luck.Moreover,i never expect good batting from Afridi so if he plays well it.s a bonus for me if he does not,i never feel bad about it because i did not expect him him to bat well.For me Afridi is a bowler,wish you good luck team green play with big heart God bless you.

Posted by espncricinfomobile on (March 20, 2014, 12:59 GMT)

Regarding shazad I have to tell u that he has been advised by team management to play this way and stay on the wicket for as long as possible. He will come good. He is a talent. He is playing this way so that Pakistan fragile middle order doesn't get exposed against the new ball.

Posted by   on (March 20, 2014, 12:48 GMT)

Pakistan definitely has the momentum on their side with their recent successes, while India are smarting under one of their leanest patches in recent history. Hopefully this would be a cracker of a game! I am surprised Shoaib Malik is in the squad, I guess he is the Rohit Sharma of Pakistan!

Posted by HarryCS on (March 20, 2014, 12:47 GMT)

@Umar Farooq: I Did not see this strength against SA in practice game. Other than Azmal I see no threat to India!

Posted by ICCexpert.... on (March 20, 2014, 12:28 GMT)

Shahzad should be dropped. Sharjeel and Kamran should open. Shahzad wastes too many balls and doesnt know how to rotate the strike. He puts lots of pressure on the other opener. He is a selfish player.

Posted by ICCexpert.... on (March 20, 2014, 12:28 GMT)

Ahmad Shahzad lovers, listen : He is not able to rotate teh strike, he doesnt even play the abll on its merit, he already has a mind set of blocking even if its a boundary ball. How can you be an international class player if you cant even rotate the strike, look at Kohli, Warner etc they started cricket all at same time but they have left him far far behind. Someone has to teach Shahzad to play for the team and not be so afraid of his place in the team. He has to stop following Misbah tuk tuk

Posted by android_user on (March 20, 2014, 12:20 GMT)

pak has not even won asia cup and they r thinking thy r no 1 team,I wonder how?

Posted by ICCexpert.... on (March 20, 2014, 12:17 GMT)

Shahzad should be dropped. Sharjeel and Kamran should open. Shahzad wastes too many balls and doesnt know how to rotate the strike. He puts lots of pressure on the other opener. He is a selfish player.

Posted by android_user on (March 20, 2014, 12:06 GMT)

Pakistan needs aggressive Captain like Afridi who is a big match player, Hafeez chokes under pressure.

Posted by GermanPlayer on (March 20, 2014, 11:58 GMT)

Inclusion of kamran Akmal is a surprise? Then you must have had a heart-attack listening of Shoaib Malik's inclusion? Both these guys have strong political connections which is why there are always there for the big tournaments.

Posted by ameerakhtar537 on (March 20, 2014, 11:57 GMT)

if pakistan score 150 plus inshallah we defend it and if pakistan chashing they get below 150 inshallah. we just want to click ahmed, akmal brothers and hafeez and in bowling great ajmal and gul hungry of wicket in T20

Posted by Narender_sharma on (March 20, 2014, 11:53 GMT)

It will be better to drop Rohit than Rahane, because Mr Nohit didnt even play well in warm up matches..

The double hundred he got was by sheer luck thats it... and that didnt prove any mettle in him and he lacks consistency as usual..

Posted by   on (March 20, 2014, 11:52 GMT)

mohamed talha is not suitable for t20. becoz he has not got ability to bowl yorkers very often like umar gul or lasith malinga. talha's pace, batsmen can score easily using his pace. why he selected for t20 ???????????????. i think he will be another mohamed sami. becoz he has not got any control of his bowling.

Posted by android_user on (March 20, 2014, 11:51 GMT)

many people here are commenting on this with regards to india vs pak game. this is team preview for whole toutnament not just this game. and tournament will not stop after this game. :)

Posted by   on (March 20, 2014, 11:42 GMT)

Any team can one T20 match b/c its all about luck. But Australia and South Africa are the best teams. then came Pakistan and Srilanka.

Posted by heartyCricketer on (March 20, 2014, 11:40 GMT)

Now both the teams looks good on paper. lets c who gets the upper hand in the field. my money is on india. with kohli's consistency and with dhoni back and raina scoring runs, i think it would be a treat to watch. I am not sure what would be the playing 11 for india. would dhoni go for yuvraj as well as raina and rest rahane??? my team 11 would be dhawan, rohit, kohli, raina, yuvi, dhoni, jadeja, ashwin, kumar, shami, mishra.

Posted by Narender_sharma on (March 20, 2014, 11:38 GMT)

India should really play well and in a disciplined way to win aganist Pakistan. Pakistan have very good bowling attack and batting is not dependent on a single/few players like we have in our team were most of times either Dhoni/Virat have to play. And looking at recent performances by Arfidi & Umar Akmal, they can be devastating and unpredictable... Time for a cracker of match.. lets watch and enjoy...

Posted by   on (March 20, 2014, 11:26 GMT)

@asgar.ali...if you call a 5 wkt loss with 9 balls remaining a marginal loss then you have all the rights to dream you so called tigers winning the WC T20 and keep on dreaming bcoz your team is even worst then HongKong... playing at ur home... preparing slowest pitches possible and winning one or two games out of 100 wont make ur team world beaters.... first just go and learn to play and then dream of beating Pakistan...

and CRICINFO kindly publish this post...

Posted by   on (March 20, 2014, 11:23 GMT)

If i get chance to select team so ..... 1- Sharjeel Khan 2- Imran Nazir 3- M.Hafeez 4- Umar Akmal (WK) 5- Shahid Afridi (C) 6- Abdul Razzaq 7- Azhar Mehmood 8- M.Amir 9- Umar Gul 10- Saeed Ajmal 11- Junaid Khan

Posted by anzlem on (March 20, 2014, 11:19 GMT)

Time for reality check for Pakistan out of 5 t20 games against Indian they just won 1 and beating India's B string team in Asia cup Pakistan think they are best. Wanna see reaction from shoaib akhtar who says Pakistan is no. 1 team after india thrashes Pakistan tomorrow!

Posted by android_user on (March 20, 2014, 11:06 GMT)

should be a cracker on Friday hopefully it lives up to its billing. come on Pakistan!!!

Posted by keptalittlelow on (March 20, 2014, 11:00 GMT)

Pakistan just might win against India if they were lucky on the day, however against teams like Australia and South Africa they have no chance.

Posted by heartyCricketer on (March 20, 2014, 10:48 GMT)

20-20 could always be anyone's game... one innings from afridi or one incredible spell by jadeja could change the match... what is interesting to c tomorrow is the battle between two teams which has got more allrounders in the form of spinners... Raina, yuvi,ashwin , jadeja for india and hafeez,afridi, malik for pak... hope to witness a cracker...

Posted by bouncer709 on (March 20, 2014, 10:48 GMT)

@ICCExpert: Shehzad was leading scorer in T20 last year, yes I agree his problem he goes into complete block state some times, but he can hold one end. and lcan play quick also.

Posted by lionslanka on (March 20, 2014, 10:48 GMT)

Dear Pak fans,

Let's see 2 Matches Comparison...

Bangladesh A v/s SA PAK v/s SA

BD A 116 (18.4 overs) PAK 71 (17.3 overs) SA 122/5 (18.3 overs) SA 72/2 (14 overs)

If you are struggling against our A side who fought brilliantly in balling dept also against SA in narrow defeat, then how these fans could predict in final of this T20 world cup. Let your team win against us in league phase first which is not even 0.0001% predictability. Do you forget last evening's thrashing??

Posted by Saad.Navaid on (March 20, 2014, 10:48 GMT)

a lot will depend on the captaincy of hafeez his decisions on and off the feild will matter the most in Pakistan's progress in the tournament. i hope they will not play sohail tanveer and realize soon enough that sharjeel khan can only be played against india or maybe Bangladesh any other good bowling line will catch him up too early putting pressure on the other batters.

all in all well wishes for Pakistan may Allah pak guide the men in green to victory always...

Posted by   on (March 20, 2014, 10:47 GMT)

One has to agree with the fragile batting line up Pakistan possess but it depends upon the combination we play. Against WI, IND and BD, Pakistan's batting line up must be as following Shehzad, Kamran, Hafeez, Malik, Umar, Maqsood, Afridi,Bilawal, Gul, Ajmal, Junaid

*Sharjeel should play at Malik's place against Australia as sharjeel can hit the faster bowlers well and Malik is a great strike rotator and hitter against spin and medium pacers. Against BD, IND and WI, malik will be an awesome player

Tanvir may come at bilawal's place but bilawal can be used effectively in between the 7th & 15th over. Malik is a good spin option. With this team, 20 good overs of batting and bowling can easily be extruded out

Posted by   on (March 20, 2014, 10:47 GMT)

Did'nt agree @Shakeeb Khan

Pakistan team Against india is this Ahmed Shazad , kamran akmal ,Muhammad Hafeez,Umer akmal,sohaib maqsood, Malik, shahid afridi , umer gul, saeed ajmal,Junaid khan, Muhammad Talha

Regarding to spinners Shahid, Ajmal, Hafeez will be enough to Indians

Posted by   on (March 20, 2014, 10:43 GMT)

We have seen their worlds best combination & All round talents yesterday against RSA (minus their premier bowler Steyn). Afridi's claims as silly as his batting style. I think if u consider afridi as All rounder then Mitchell Starc & Coulter Nile are Top order batsman.

Posted by   on (March 20, 2014, 10:43 GMT)

Come on guys.. We all know that both sides have excellent players and we should expect to see a nail biting end to this match as well.

Posted by   on (March 20, 2014, 10:38 GMT)

pakistan teams should not change the combination of asia cup and starts with sharjeel and ahmad shehzad, then hafeez and umer akmal should play at 4, he always need some time to build his innings as well as sohaib maqsood. then shoaib mailk or kamran akmal one of them should be in the team. afridi bilawal bhatti/sohail tanvir, talha/zulfiqar babar, umar gul, saeed ajmal and junaid khan. but oppening pair should not be disturbed, just look at asia cup pakistan vs india where sharjeel has made only 26 i think so but he has put the indian teams moraal so down. and india has strenthen thier team by addition of yovraj and suresh raina but they will miss ghambir who has win them two finals of wc, one in 2007 and 2nd in 2011.

Posted by born2DIE on (March 20, 2014, 10:37 GMT)

@ICCExpert I can't understand your pathetic logic... What would be beneficial for Pakistan, >=100 at the strike rate of 130+ or a composed 140-160? Pakistan have won a lot of matches with the strike rate of around 7-8 with the help of brilliance in bowling, so we wouldn't need all the sloggers in a team at once, if we do, the result would be the same as our warm-up match against SA.

Posted by mzm149 on (March 20, 2014, 10:29 GMT)

@ ICCexpert....: It's not about Sharjeel or Shehzad. The one who performs should stay and non performers should be dropped. Stats are there to show. Sharjeel has no footwork, no timing and has very limited set of shots. Sharjeel may be playing for the team but those quickfire 10 or 15 runs don't do any good for the team. Every single bowler now knows his weakness and he is dumb to gift them his wicket every time. His first and only 50 was a fluke or may be bowlers were bowling him for the very first time and didn't know him. It's in his and team's interest that he should not be exposed in front of bowlers of Australia, West Indies, South Africa, England, India and New Zealand. They will completely annihilate him. He has already been exposed against Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.

Posted by   on (March 20, 2014, 10:28 GMT)

@ICCexpert I do not consider Ahmed Shahzad changed batting style , a selfishness. Infect he is learning how to play calm and built an inning. You need this in ODI. Please check out his strike rate in Asia cup. He is getting mature I guess. ...

Posted by yuvi_gladiator on (March 20, 2014, 10:23 GMT)

supporting india but pak looks more balanced on paper. should be a competitive game. whoever handles pressure better will win, pak slightly ahead based on form

Posted by bouncer709 on (March 20, 2014, 10:20 GMT)

@mainul079080: You Bangali, after beating associate teams, jumping high into air, but forgets that Pakistan beat you with the same batting line, and your people were crying, only Misbah was there, and he did not score any thing while chasing 326 and also against India. See you again in next round soon. I hope once again you will see your players also crying like last asia cup.

Posted by espncricinfomobile on (March 20, 2014, 10:11 GMT)

All indians kindly see the statement PAK is the unpredictible team! why u guys loose ur memory , have u forgotten the ASIA CUP match, that was unpredictibility at its best So be aware

Posted by   on (March 20, 2014, 10:10 GMT)

INSHALLAH pakistan wil win the matcH... pakistan hav to bat well, and if toss wins, pakistan hav to bat firsttt

Posted by Zilay.Shah on (March 20, 2014, 10:02 GMT)

Pakistan Team can do wonders(both positives/negitives) anytime, anywhere, against anyone...so BE AWARE ALL(including INDIANS).. My perdiction for this world cup winner is AUS..can bet on it

Posted by Sheikasif on (March 20, 2014, 10:00 GMT)

The winner of the best win depend on who wins the toss. Id India wins and choses to field, they have the capability to overhaul a big score with the class of batsman they have. If India losses the toss and Pakistan puts them to bat, they are more likely to lose. Indian medicore bowlers have great reputation for losing matches. On the other hand, Pakistan medicore batsman sometimes couldn't change small targets. As the article suggests, one will never know what kind of batmans has Pakistan brought for the day. Good luck to both. May the best team on the day win.

Posted by ICCexpert.... on (March 20, 2014, 9:56 GMT)

mzm149....you have to look at the broader prospective here, Sharjeel tries to hit while as Shahzad always defends, he doesnt have the intent to hit, blocking wont help, he has been in international cricket for amost 5 years now, while as sharjeel just a couple of months. you have to play for your team not for your own self. Sharjeel needs on big innings and then you will see him flourish. While as Shahzad has had so many but still he plays selfish cricket.

Posted by Santosh_G_Vashista on (March 20, 2014, 9:55 GMT)

India will this Match for sure... I Bet

Posted by mainul079080 on (March 20, 2014, 9:49 GMT)

Pakistan has the worst combination in the squad in this world T20. How? Look carefully.They have 8 bowlers (far too many bowlers), only 7 batsmen including Kamran (although batting is theiir weakest point) and they have only one all rounder Md Hafeez (I never consider Afridi like ''hit or out'' batsman an allrounder).And these 7 batsmen include so called talented batsmen like Malik , Sharjeel and Maqsood (whose talent will never bloom in their lifetime). So India should win easily. Pakistan wont reach the next round i predict with their weakest team in the history.

Posted by espncricinfomobile on (March 20, 2014, 9:42 GMT)

Shehzad, kami, profess,maqsood,malik,omer ,lala,bhatti,junaud,gul, and guess what ? Magician . No Sohail . No need zulfi, sharjeel is bencher but may play..

Posted by mzm149 on (March 20, 2014, 9:41 GMT)

@ICCexpert....: Sharjeel Khan has been given enough chances already. He has played all his games in Bangladesh and UAE against Asian teams on featherbeds and has failed every single time. I remember you were very supportive of him before he came in the team. He has shown that he is simply useless.

Ahmed Shehzad may be selfish or whatever you say. But he is much better than Sharjeel Khan.

Posted by android_user on (March 20, 2014, 9:39 GMT)

yes I think introduction of an additional spinner can help on the kind of wickets they are to play.Tthere should be however st least two dependent fasters.The ones who have reasonable speed,line and lenght.I think amongest the available tallent,Tallah and gul will be idle.Then a couple of all rounders.May be bhati with afridi.bhati can be a handy bowler as well.may be for a couple of overs.then wicket keeper kamran akmal.rest batting specialists.it is a tough competition.every team has the tallent.lucky ones will get through.

Posted by   on (March 20, 2014, 9:37 GMT)

Pakistan team Against india is that Ahmed Shazad , kamran akmal ,Muhammad Hafeez,Umer akmal,sohaib maqsood, shahid afridi ,bilawal bathi, umer gul,saeed ajmal,zunaid khan,zulafqar baber

You agee this team

Posted by Momzy on (March 20, 2014, 9:37 GMT)

1. Ahmed Shehzad 2. Sharjeel 3. Hafeez 4. Kamran 5. Umar 6. Sohaib 7. Malik 8. Afridi 9. Gul 10. Sohail 11. Ajmal

Go with 2 fast n 3 spinners strenthen your batting.

Posted by   on (March 20, 2014, 9:36 GMT)

The cup belongs to one of them PAK,AUST,SA rest of the teams r just formality for the T20 show................

Posted by   on (March 20, 2014, 9:34 GMT)

my team would be batting Order Wise

1) Shahid Afridi 2) Ahmed Shahzad 3) Kamran Akmal 4) Muhammad Hafeez 5) Umar Akmal 6) Shoaib Malik 7) S Maqsood 8) Zulfiqar Babar 9) Umar Gul 10) Junaid Khan 11) Saeed Ajmal

Afridi should open and retire if he cant he should do it now i know i have been voicing for quite sometime i just want to be answered this time

Posted by Slough327 on (March 20, 2014, 9:32 GMT)

Your fav ind&sa will not last longer dear it's gona be pak sl or win u need to watch cricket more and don't need to judge any team abt pak all out on 71 is not first time hapd is normal to pak but they can still dominate all the teams let the battle to start on 21 & 23 just be calm and watch

Posted by   on (March 20, 2014, 9:28 GMT)

My 11 for Pakistan with sequence of batting: Open with Shahzad & Kamran, Hafeez, Maqsood, Malik, Afridi, Umr Akmal, Gul, Zulfiqar Babar, Ajmal, Junaid

If Pakistan Stays with this selection thn nobody can even give them a tough chance for sure

Go Greeen Go

Posted by android_user on (March 20, 2014, 9:25 GMT)

Pakistan really has good chance under these conditions with a kind of team they have.

Posted by   on (March 20, 2014, 9:25 GMT)

I think India team far better than pak team.India batting is better than pak and bowling looks like descent now for pakistan batting.definitely ind win no doubt.

Posted by TaufiqA on (March 20, 2014, 9:22 GMT)

Semi final 1: Sri Lanka vs India Semi final 2: Australia vs South Africa

Posted by   on (March 20, 2014, 9:04 GMT)

Batting : Sharjeel, Shahzad, Maqsood, Umar, Kamran, 5 All rounder : Hafeez, Afridi, Malik 3 Bowler: GUL, Ajmal, Tanveer/Junaid, 3 So the combination well be : 8 regular batting side & 6 regular Bowling

Posted by ICCexpert.... on (March 20, 2014, 8:58 GMT)

Junaid khan has to play, Sohail tanvir is useless in these conditions with no swing and pace.

Posted by android_user on (March 20, 2014, 8:58 GMT)

I am skeptical of Sharjeel and Kamran Akmal. Sharjeel embodies the whole batting dogma of pakistan, flamboyant with auto self-destructive mode active.

Overall a dangerous side on paper and off course on any day, but can not have too many expectations from them. They expertly knew how to break your heart.

Posted by ICCexpert.... on (March 20, 2014, 8:57 GMT)

Ahmad Shahzad should be dropped, Kamran and Sharjeel should open, Shahzad waste so many deliveries even in t20's now. He is so selfish, doesnt play for the team. He looks like a pirated copy of Misbah.

Posted by Ikram.Yousefzai on (March 20, 2014, 8:46 GMT)

Tomorrow's Match will decide my Mood for the next 5 months. It's up to the boys now, to make or break my mood. Let's see TeamGreen.

Posted by mzm149 on (March 20, 2014, 8:39 GMT)

1. Kamran Akmal 2. Ahmed Shehzad 3. Mohammad Hafeez 4. Umar Akmal 5. Shoaib Malik 6. Sohaib Maqsood 7. Shahid Afridi 8. Bilawal Bhatti 9. Umar Gul 10. Saeed Ajmal 11. Junaid Khan

should be the ideal team against India. But I think they will play Sohail Tanvir instead of Junaid Khan.

Posted by mzm149 on (March 20, 2014, 8:30 GMT)

From group 1: Sri Lanka and South Africa will qualify From group 2: Pakistan and Australia will qualify

Semi final 1: Sri Lanka vs Australia Semi final 2: Pakistan vs South Africa

final: Pakistan vs Australia

Winner: Australia

Posted by   on (March 20, 2014, 8:26 GMT)

@ Namal kumara.. yeah bro, you are right. India have lost games to teams like school team (Like srilanka, Pakistan and Newzeland)LOL

Posted by kinggxcv on (March 20, 2014, 8:26 GMT)

I am too excited about it,i have already started counting hours,hope it will not be a one sided match

Posted by missionbegins2011 on (March 20, 2014, 8:20 GMT)

71 all out in any sort of match is laughable. No way this PAK team can get hold of the cup. My favorites would be SA & IND for the cup

Posted by   on (March 20, 2014, 8:07 GMT)

@Khurram S Chaudhry I totally agree with you.. But Sohaib is really required in the middle, because he can hit the ball big, and continue the score card moving, but his Running is a big question, plus Pakistan's fielding is really the biggest trouble for me, I wish they could let Misbah Ul Haq play :(

Posted by matchfixerpkn on (March 20, 2014, 8:06 GMT)

on what basis apk is good...they lost to srilanka 2 times in asia cup..and agian india,bangldesh and afgan ..it should went any side ..only luck supprted pak side...

Posted by 1835828 on (March 20, 2014, 8:05 GMT)

i think australia is the better chance to win this cup because they there team is balance and in form

Posted by android_user on (March 20, 2014, 7:59 GMT)

nasir jamshed was pakistan top scorer in 2012 t20 and should be playing, alam top scorer in asia cup should be playing abd yarir arafat was good in the big bash and should be playing.

Posted by   on (March 20, 2014, 7:57 GMT)

pak will win,,, they are talented than Indians. no second thought about that. also Indians lost matches continuously.we saw from SA they have lost games to teams like school team.

Posted by   on (March 20, 2014, 7:54 GMT)

Pakistan is very unpredictable team..on their day.they can demolish other team.who knows may be that day is tomorrow..one should always be optimistic ..on the other hand Indian squad is consist of quality players,dhoni,raina and yuraj inclusion has strengthen their team. uv and raina seem to be in good form

Posted by   on (March 20, 2014, 7:51 GMT)

Pakistan has never against in the world cup, that is enough for India to boost their confidence even though they lost to Pak in asia cup. India Rocks .......

Posted by android_user on (March 20, 2014, 7:47 GMT)

despite all these facts ths truth cnt be rejected tht pak is the most unpredictable team..1 day thy perform brilliantly in all 3 departments ..nxt day thy scored 71 runs n all out n gave a target of 72...thy r many more strong teams wth consist dependable players .Australia westindies srilanka have an edge .so all i can say is gudluck pakistan n plz do well consistantly

Posted by   on (March 20, 2014, 7:43 GMT)

Terric comments, I really appreciate you guy's love to cricket actually, and obviously being a Pakistani am supporting Pakistan only, but its lovely to watch Virat Kohli Looking forward to a world's best match, can't wait, ahhh am already too Excited...:) May the best team win.

Posted by   on (March 20, 2014, 7:38 GMT)

Pakistan is the most balanced team in WCT20 2014, being a Indian, I support India from Heart, but my brain support Pak.. May the best Team wins... All the best to both of u.....

Posted by android_user on (March 20, 2014, 7:20 GMT)

i think if kamran is playing, he should be playing as opener and sharjeel should sit out. he has initial 1 or 2 innings but since then nothing. because if they will play then they will have to leave bhatti out . and we need 3rd fast bowler because of dew. maqsood is a terrible runner and have to improve it. involved in so many run outs in his short career and may break inzi's record . malik's role is also questionable but with the squad they have , there is no other option so he will be playing. their batting looks a bit settled this time around. did have a bad warm up game but been among runs in last 2 series. gul had poor asia cup but bowling good in warm ups. ahmed , kamran, hafeez, maqsood, malik, umar, afridi, bhatti, gul, ajmal, talha/ sohail. they might also bench bhatti and play both talha and sohail.

Posted by   on (March 20, 2014, 7:20 GMT)

There will good game coming in this week. Pakistan vs India is always a battle but only one team will win who play well in ground and control their nerves.

Posted by   on (March 20, 2014, 7:14 GMT)

the most exciting match More than a Final

Posted by espncricinfomobile on (March 20, 2014, 7:07 GMT)

I m a Sri Lankan fan but I m predicting PAK to be one of the finalists. Nobody else has such overall talent pool and success record in WT 20

Posted by   on (March 20, 2014, 6:56 GMT)

and that's why they were booked for 72 yesterday lol....

Posted by   on (March 20, 2014, 6:55 GMT)

what ever team win the title but one thing is sure....terrific and glorious moments

Posted by   on (March 20, 2014, 6:40 GMT)

i am Indian but i like to support good cricket this time history will change who plays good cricket that team going to win tomorrow Match best of luck to both teams

Play hard and win match for our our nation....

all the best!!!

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Tournament Results
India v Sri Lanka at Dhaka - Apr 6, 2014
Sri Lanka won by 6 wickets (with 13 balls remaining)
India v South Africa at Dhaka - Apr 4, 2014
India won by 6 wickets (with 5 balls remaining)
Sri Lanka v West Indies at Dhaka - Apr 3, 2014
Sri Lanka won by 27 runs (D/L method)
Pakistan v West Indies at Dhaka - Apr 1, 2014
West Indies won by 84 runs
Bangladesh v Australia at Dhaka - Apr 1, 2014
Australia won by 7 wickets (with 15 balls remaining)
More results »
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News | Features Last 3 days