Pakistan – Dark Horse for the Cricket World Cup 2015
The Pakistan team’s form in the past 2 to 3 months has been swirling up and down like a yo-yo. When the Pakistan team toured Sri Lanka in July-August, they lost the ODI and Test series, both. The Pakistan team lost the ODI Series by 2-1 and lost the test series was a humiliating 2-0 loss.
The main problem of the Pakistan team has been their batting which lacks consistency. The bowling has never been a problem with promising young fast and spinners which can win the match on its day against any team. The batting sometimes look brittle and fail to perform well under pressure.
When the Australian team toured Pakistan in UAE it was a different Pakistan. They lost the T-20 match badly. The One day international series was pathetic as their batting failed miserably losing all the 3 matches putting pressure on Captain Misbah-Ul-Haq and the team management. Then came the test series against the same opponent i.e. Australia. The tables turned dramatically as the batting of Pakistan was incredible, scoring huge runs in the 2-test matches they played.
In the first test match of the series, Pakistan batted first and scored 454 runs in the first innings with Younis Khan and Sarfraz Ahmed scoring a quick century. Australia’s first innings went on a bad note as they were dismissed for 303 which gave the Pakistan team a lead of 151. Pakistan’s second innings was much better with Younis khan scoring second century of the game and opener Ahmed Shehzad scoring a century to put Pakistan in dominant position and gave Australia a target of 438. The Australian team’s performance was worse than the first as they were bowled out for 216.
The second test match was one sided affair as Pakistan dominated throughout. They batted first and scored a massive 570 for 6 declared with Younis Khan scoring a double century, Azhar Ali and Misbah-Ul-Haq scoring centuries. Australia was bowled out for 261. Then Pakistan decided not to enforce the follow on and they scored 293 for 3 giving Australia a massive target of 603. The Australian batsmen were dismissed by some quality spin and pace bowling for 246. The Pakistan’s bowling attack was deemed to be lacking experience. But the young bowler’s speed and ability to bowl according to the batsmen’s weakness was responsible for the type of performance by the Pakistan team. Pakistan won the test series 2-0 and climbed up to number three in ICC test rankings.
In the first test match against New Zealand, in the ongoing series the Pakistan team scored a massive 566 for 3 declared, with the Ahmed Shehzad scoring 175, Younis Khan also scoring a century. Azhar Ali scored 87, Hafeez scoring 96, Misbah scored a 102 too.
All this proves that Pakistan team is real threat for the other teams not just for the fire power they possess but also for their unpredictable nature.
The lesson for the World Cup 2015 contenders like Australia, South Africa, Sri Lanka, New Zealand and India is writing on the wall. Pakistan will be a formidable opponent, very unpredictable and if they continue to perform the way they are, they might just be the dark horses at ICC World Cup 2015.
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