Afridi's men will be keen to bounce back from the Asia Cup disappointments

 Afridis men will be keen to bounce back from the Asia Cup disappointments

Pakistan came close to clinching the inaugural edition of the tournament in 2007 but fell just short of the post to India in Johannesburg. They did make up for it though by besting Sri Lanka in the next edition in England 2009.



By James Jose

Published: Thu 10 Mar 2016, 8:00 AM

Last updated: Fri 11 Mar 2016, 12:29 PM

They are a dangerous side that cannot be counted out of any competition, especially one like the ICC World Twenty20.
Pakistan came close to clinching the inaugural edition of the tournament in 2007 but fell just short of the post to India in Johannesburg. They did make up for it though by besting Sri Lanka in the next edition in England 2009.
But to sum them up shortly, Pakistan are indeed a mystery.
Pakistan can be exceptional one moment and mediocre the next. Trouble is one wouldn't know which one will turn up on a given day.
Intriguingly, Pakistan have the capability to squash any opposition in their wake, yet fold without a whimper too.
Pakistan are the most experienced side when it comes to the shortest format of the game, racking up an astonishing 102 matches and a decent win-loss ratio. New Zealand are next with 88.
But none of the teams can lay claim to have mastered the format, because the format is indeed such, although Pakistan's neighbours India may disagree. In a T20, any team has a chance on that given day.
And Pakistan will have to pull it all together and come up with consistent performances if they hope to reach the business end of the competition.
The inaugural Pakistan Super League (PSL) couldn't have come at an apt time as that laid the groundwork for the competition in India.
It was the perfect tune-up for the squad heading to India with them gaining enough experience under match conditions.
If anything, the last minute tweaks to the squad may have suggested that it is not a settled squad just yet. But then, in hindsight, those changes have lent a bit more depth to the squad.
Shahid Afridi's band of men has a meaner look about them now than they did before with the additions of Mohammad Sami, Sharjeel Khan and Ahmed Shehzad, a late call-up in place of Khurram Manzoor.
Pakistan have traditionally thrown up quality fast bowlers along the way and that's no different this time too. They have a battery of fast men who can scythe through any batting line-up.
 Pakistan have the towering Mohammad Irfan, the workhorse Wahab Riaz, Mohammad Sami, who is back from the wilderness as well as Mohammed Amir.
Not all get a second chance but Amir has after the spot-fixing saga. And his inclusion on the back of good performances, can instil fear in the opposition's ranks.
With Saeed Ajmal and Yasir Shah missing, the spin duties will be in the hands of left-arm spinner Mohammad Nawaz, Shoaib Malik and Afridi.
Where Pakistan would feel a little light would perhaps be their batting. Although, everyone had a decent PSL, it all came undone at the Asia Cup with the batting up top mustering just 94 runs in four fixtures.
They do look good on paper with the likes of Umar Akmal, Mohammad Hafeez, Sarfraz Ahmed, Ahmed Shehzad, PSL centurion Sharjeel Khan, Shoaib Malik and maybe even Shahid Afridi, if he can recall his form of old.
But one wouldn't know which way it is going to go.
All we can do is wait and watch which Pakistan side turns up on the night.
james@khaleejtimes.com 


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