A lot of predictions linger around this World Cup, as all the nations announce their squads.
One such borderline announcement made in this edition of the World Cup is by the Pakistan Cricket Board. The team which has always been known for its fearsome fast bowlers, had a hard time picking their seamers for this World Cup.
With Mohammad Amir and Wahab Riaz getting a last minute call, the experienced and promising left arm quick, Junaid Khan got left out. Pakistan has packed its squad with 5 seamers and about 3 regular all-rounders, who can be used as spin options.
The squad with will be led by their adept captain, Sarfaraz Ahmed. The skipper believes that his team will perform when it matters. He also believes that the English conditions suit both their batsmen and bowlers.
Ever since the team acquired its Test status in 1952, the Men in Green are considered to be one of the most consistent cricketing sides ever. The team has made 4 Semi-final appearances and emerged as Finalists in 3. The biggest feat they’ve ever archived, however, was in 1992 when the Imran Khan lead side lifted the World Cup for the very first time.
The Men in Green have also emerged as the ICC T20 Word Cup Champions in 2009, after they felt short in the inaugural edition of the World Cup in 2007, against India. Apart from the World Cups, Pakistan has also been crowded as the Winners of ICC Champions Trophy, in 2017.
The team has always showed great potential and has in fact lived up to it, being one of the most consistent teams, when it comes to ICC Championships. The team, however, isn’t picked as one of the crowd favourites in this edition. Coach Micky Arthur, is all praise for his team and has high expectations from his squad for this edition.
The Man in Form
The batting attack will be lead by their inform batsman, Barbar Azam. The 24 year old, averages a mammoth 52 and is recorded to be the fastest Batsman to score 1000 runs in ODI cricket.
The prodigy has a lot of hopes pinned to him as Pakistan walk into this World Cup. With 12 Half Centuries and 9 Centuries, Azam is ranked 7th in ICC ODI Rankings and will be looked upon to architect Pakistan’s batting this World Cup.
Pakistani fast bowling unit has always been the one to watch out for. Even in this edition, The Cornered Tigers walk in with a reliable fast bowling attack.
The Lightening Quick Youngster
Shaheen Afridi is a 19 year old Child prodigy, making his World Cup debut in this edition. One of the all time greats, Wasim Akram, confessed that he sees a bit of himself in this left arm lightning quick bowler. The bowler however, is only 14 games old in One Day cricket and lacks experience.
Another child prodigy that had the spot light few years back, is Mohammad Amir. The now 27 year old, made his debut in the year 2009. The controversy child, was termed as the next big thing in International Cricket, before he was caught in the match fixing scandal and received a five year ban. However, the term sentence was shortened by a year for the left arm quick.
Amir is known for his ability to swing the ball both ways consistently, while bowling at 145+. The left arm quick will be key factor for his team this World Cup, as he makes a late entrance to the side.
The squad sure does have a side packed with experience and youthful talent, but will they balance out and hold on to their nerves, or continue their “Just missed out” run?