PAKISTAN is still in the World T20 this year after defeating relative unknowns the Netherlands by six wickets. They must win their remaining games and hope that other outcomes go their way if they are to proceed to the semifinals.
With South Africa’s unexpected triumph over India, the calculation grew more difficult. With the Netherlands still to play, South Africa only needs one win to qualify.
Pakistan’s destiny is dependent on Bangladesh defeating India, then Pakistan defeating South Africa and Bangladesh by a large enough margin to qualify on net run rate. If Zimbabwe loses their final two games, which is doubtful, their route to the semifinals is over.
Their three spin bowling all-rounders are Shadab, Mohammad Nawaz, and Iftikhar Ahmed, but none of them are reliable middle order batters.
The alternative would be to add another batsman to the lineup, but Pakistan is still struggling to find in-form players. Both Asif Ali and Haider Ali lack confidence, which begs the question of why Haider’s talent was not recognised as a competent international cricket player.
It has been demonstrated that Pakistan places far too much reliance on Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan. It was a bad strategy because it neglected the obvious fact that even best players make mistakes. Despite the fact that the Dutch bowlers were unable to replicate the bounce that Zimbabwe had utilised to sow havoc on Pakistan’s batting, Rizwan was once again getting runs in Perth.
Despite the fact that Babar suffered more after a run out, his class is undeniable. It’s debatable whether beginning with Babar and Rizwan is the best choice for the team. Changing tactics now, though, would be hazardous given Pakistan’s perilous position in the competition, but given Fakhar Zaman’s return and his ability to exploit fielding limitations in the first six overs, it would be a bet worth taking.
Pakistan’s ambitions are now hanging by a thread, and it will be difficult to halt the probe into how the squad managed to bat itself into a corner, as well as whether or not they have the proper selection and support staff to maximise their potential in T20 cricket.
It would be difficult to sidestep questions about Babar’s role as captain in both formats. The fundamental truth is that overtaxing players in modern cricket is a losing tactic, something Pakistan cricket has consistently refused to acknowledge. That is what Pakistan’s Babar, Rizwan, and Afridi accomplished. They are taking the same path as Haris Rauf.
The Pakistan Cricket Board has ignored these concerns, and they are not being raised in retrospect. Though Pakistan’s chances of winning are slim, it would be foolish to rule out a miracle in this year’s World T20. It’s terrible for international cricket because Pakistan’s bowling attack deserves better than to be let down by batting and planning errors on a regular basis.