Thursday, November 11, 2021
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Pakistan vs Australia: Inzamam, Mushtaq, Sohail confident Babar XI will put up good show

Veteran cricketers insist it will be important for Pakistan to control their nerves in this important game

Pakistans cricketers celebrate after the dismissal of Scotlands George Munsey during the ICC Twenty20 World Cup cricket match between Pakistan and Scotland at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium in Sharjah on November 7, 2021. — AFP
Pakistan's cricketers celebrate after the dismissal of Scotland's George Munsey during the ICC Twenty20 World Cup cricket match between Pakistan and Scotland at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium in Sharjah on November 7, 2021. — AFP

  • Focus on the final; play positive cricket, Inzamam says.
  • Pakistan can pressurise Australia by utilising spin power: Mushtaq.
  • Sohail backs Rizwan, Babar to continue as Pakistan’s opening pair.


KARACHI: Pakistan's former captain Inzamam ul Haq, spin legend Mushtaq Ahmed, and former fast bowler Sohail Tanvir are hopeful of a good show from Pakistan in today’s ICC World T20 semi-final against Australia in Dubai.

Speaking to Geo News ahead of the clash, the trio advised the Pakistan team to continue playing the same brand of cricket in the knock-out stage which the team had played in the earlier stage of the tournament.

They stressed that it will be important for the team to control their nerves in this important game.

“Whatever your past record may have been, just forget it and focus on the final; play positive cricket the way you’ve been playing in this tournament and hopefully victory will be yours,” Inzamam said.

“Pakistan has emerged as best of all the teams in this tournament and I want them to continue displaying the same level of energy and intensity when they take on the Australians in the semi-final on Thursday. They just need to keep their nerves controlled, the rest is all the same,” he said.

Inzamam insisted that the Australian side is no more the same that was considered invincible at one point and if Pakistan can manage a good start then it will not be all that difficult to beat the Aussies.

Send top two batters earlier

The former batter said that Pakistan must know that if they can send their top two batters earlier then the rest can’t worry them much. The same is the case with bowling as Australians are good with the new ball so Pakistan need to be careful in the initial stage.

“It is important to extract full benefit from the power play and death overs and the good sign for us is that Pakistan has been good in both brackets of the innings — with the bat as well as the ball,” Inzamam said.

Utilise spin power

His teammate Mushtaq Ahmed agreed with him and insisted on the need for the side to settle their nerves.

Mushtaq pointed out that Pakistan can put Australia on the backfoot by utilising its spin power.

“Along with Shadab and Imad, Mohammad Hafeez can play an important role. Babar’s leadership will be important,” he said.

“I am confident of a good show from Pakistan, especially our batters. Muhammad Rizwan and Babar Azam can see off their pacers well and they can provide a good start. Also, we can exploit the missing extra bowler factor in the Australian lineup,” Mushtaq said.

Babar and Rizwan 'consistent' pair

Fast bowler Sohail Tanvir said that it is good for Pakistan that they’re playing the game in Dubai where they have a very good record.

“Even if past stats aren’t in our favour, the conditions in Dubai always favour us. We have a better record at this venue against all teams, including Australia,” Tanvir said.

He also backed Rizwan and Babar to continue as Pakistan’s opening pair.

“A lot of people say that their strike rate as openers isn’t as good as it should’ve been but they should also realise that these players provide a good start with consistency which builds a good platform for players to charge in in the latter part of the innings,” he said.

“There may be some with better strike rates but they’re not as consistent as Rizwan and Babar are. So, if this strategy is working for the Pakistan team then we all should be happy with it,” Tanvir said.