T20 World Cup 2024: Three things Pakistan must do to secure a place in Super 8

Before thinking about next round, Men in Green need to win their group matches against Canada and Ireland

By
Ali Ahmed
Shaheen Afridi of Pakistan interacts with Mohammad Amir of Pakistan during the T20 Cricket World Cup match against India at Nassau County International Cricket Stadium on June 09, 2024, New York. — AFP

Pakistan men's cricket team is in a spot of bother in the USA after their back-to-back defeats in the T20 World Cup 2024.

The Super Over loss to the USA and unsuccessful chase of a 120-run target against arch-rivals India have put a dent in their campaign and now only different scenarios could save them and lead them to Super 8.

Before thinking about the next round, the Men in Green need to win their group matches against Canada and Ireland and there are a few things which need to be rectified otherwise things can only get worse for them.

Here we will look at the three things Pakistan must fix in the upcoming matches.

Utilisation of Powerplay

The opening pair of skipper Babar Azam and wicketkeeper-batter Mohammad Rizwan have been unable to provide a great start in both games.

The game against the USA saw Pakistan losing three wickets, however, Babar scored only 4 runs off 14 balls faced in the powerplay and Green Shirts scored 30 for the loss of three wickets.

A general view of the stadium during play in the T20 Cricket World Cup match between India and Pakistan at Nassau County International Cricket Stadium on June 09, 2024 in New York. — AFP

The underutilisation of the powerplay was also seen against India with Pakistan scoring 35 for the loss of one wicket. In contrast, India scored 50 runs in their first six overs and the difference could be seen in the result of the game.

It is debatable that conditions are not favouring batters but the other teams are also going a bit aggressive in the powerplay despite losing wickets and it is essential for our top order to understand the importance of the first six overs.

Rectifying Playing XI

The squad selection for the T20 World Cup was a huge question mark but these are the players who need to be picked from at the moment regardless of their previous form.

The team combination against India was horrible with Pakistan going one batter short and being reliant on the all-rounders to do the job.

Pakistan celebrate after India's captain Rohit Sharma was caught out during the Twenty20 World Cup 2024 group A cricket match between India and Pakistan at Nassau County International Cricket Stadium in East Meadow. — AFP

Imad Wasim playing at No.5 could not be justified knowing how difficult the pitch played in New York. The 35-year-old was unable to adjust higher in the batting order and his knock of 23-ball 15 is in front of us. We should consider Azam Khan regardless of his previous form and also push Iftikhar Ahmed a bit higher in the order.

On the other hand, the selection of Shadab Khan also puts a huge question mark since his prime role is to bowl, however, he didn't deliver a single over in the game against India.

The selection of mystery spinner Abrar Khan must be considered in the game against Canada since he has been only travelling and is yet to make his T20I debut. Shadab playing solely as a batter doesn't fit well for the team combination

Batting order

Pakistan went back to the successful opening pair of Babar and Rizwan during the England series and carried on in the first two matches of the World Cup too.

Babar Azam of Pakistan bats during the T20 Cricket World Cup match against India at Nassau County International Cricket Stadium on June 09, 2024 in New York. — AFP

Saim was benched after his poor performances, however, he is different from the two in the way he bats. Pushing Babar or Rizwan at No.3 could bring stability in the middle order too.

If Saim is not to play because of his poor form, the option of going with Fakhar Zaman as an opener should not be discarded since the left-hander plays at the top in ODIs and also in other franchise leagues.

Originally published in Geo Super