It was all a cruise for Pakistan in the preparatory marathon for the World Cup until it dropped momentum in the most inopportune lap. A harrowing Asia Cup campaign has dampened the fire in the engine room, exposed certain chinks and also broken down a few bodies. Pakistan’s overreliance on the top-order means captain Babar Azam will have to bring his inimitable best to take his side deep into the tournament.
While a wavering Fakhar Zaman could make way for Abdullah Shafique up top with Imam-ul-Haq, Babar remains the most vital piece, shepherding a mercurial middle-order alongside Mohammad Rizwan.
In Shaheen Afridi, Haris Rauf and Naseem Shah, Pakistan had the most enviable pace attack in readiness for the tournament. However, with an untimely shoulder injury sidelining Naseem indefinitely, Pakistan enters yet another World Cup with uncertainties reeking through the ranks. Its spin closet wears a woeful look after its lead spinner Shadab Khan was blunted on tacky Sri Lankan pitches.
While Iftikhar Ahmed can chip in with his crafty off-spin besides his batting muscle in the lower-order, Pakistan heads into the tournament with a pack of unsettled cards, riding thin on the prowess of a few lead characters.
Shaheen in ODIs in 2023
|Mat.||Wickets||Econ.||Bowl. Avg.||Best||Bowl. SR|
Iftikhar in ODIs in 2023
|Mat.||Runs||Strike Rate||Wkts.||Bowl. Avg.||Econ.|
Pakistan has been jostling with India and Australia for the No. 1 ranking in ODIs this year, but Babar’s men look far from a settled unit. As unpredictable as it can be, Pakistan will start the World Cup playing catch-up for a semifinal spot and probably finish just below the top four.
Pakistan in ODIs in 2023
- India vs England live score, World Cup 2023: Rohit to play 100th match as India skipper; toss, playing XI updates soon
- Jammu and Kashmir cricketer handed two-year ban for submitting multiple birth certificates
- FIDE Grand Swiss: Vaishali downs former world champion Mariya Muzychuk
- FIDE Grand Swiss: Gujrathi outplays Kollars, Vaishali jumps to joint third spot
- NBA 2023-24: Kevin Durant scores 26 points as Phoenix Suns beats Utah Jazz 126-104