The world cup returns to Australia and New Zealand after a period of 23 years and there is no doubt that the world cup 1992 lasts within the minds of the people of Pakistan and had provided everlasting memories to the whole nation to relish. Likewise, who can forget the magical moments of Imran Khan’s Farewell speech and then lifting the World cup trophy. But now it remains to be seen how the current Pakistan cricket Team and its Captain Misbah-ul-haq will perform in the 2015 Cricket World cup.
However, there are quite a few similarities between the team back in 1992 and 2015, firstly both the captains are from Mianwali, both were over 39 years of age, and similarly had announced their retirement’s before the world cup and both had lost one of their best bowler’s in the form of Waqar Younis (in 92) and Saeed Ajmal (in 2015) and lastly both had teams that weren’t that brilliant as well. But unfortunately the comparisons just finish here.
Imran Khan and Misbah-ul-Haq have totally different styles of captaincy; Imran Khan was a very aggressive and intelligent captain, who led from the front whereas, Misbah ul Haq is a very defensive and laid back captain. While Imran was a match winner and loved the challenge of a big match pressure, Misbah hasn’t performed in big matches and crumbles under pressure.
Now looking at both the teams, in 92 the team had a brilliant middle order batsman, Javed Miandad, who played the role of the sheet anchor and performed according to the situation of the match.Whereas the current team lacks talented aggressive middle order batsmen like a Virat Kohli, AB de Villiers, Steve Smith or an Eoin Morgan, who can play according to the fast pace of modern cricket. Similarly our top and middle order batsmen like Muhammad Hafeez, Younus Khan , Misabah Ul Haq and Haris Sohail are very slow according to the modern standards which could result in our major troubles.
Furthermore, we lack fire power not only in our batting but it’s so heartrending to say that in the bowling department as well, which was one of the best and most fearsome for years but hasn’t got the same quality now. While in 92 there were match winning bowlers like Wasim Akram and Mushtaq Ahmed. With due respect to Mohammad Irfan and Shahid Afridi ,they aren’t of the same class as them.
Junaid Khan’s injury has exposed our bowling line badly, and therefore, our team management and selectors must be blamed for not creating a good enough backup to strengthen our bench which would have been so useful now. Similarly the 5th bowler could be our biggest problems while Haris Sohail has done well so far in that role but in pressure situations he could be our weakest link.
Despite the fact that there aren’t all negatives there are quite a few positives to look forward to and as there are few talented new additions to the squad to look forward to, players like Sohaib Maqsood , Sarfaraz Ahmed, Haris Sohail, Ehsan Adil and Yasir Shah could provide people with a lot of thrill, excitement and surprises.
Our hopes are lying on Ahmed Shehzad and in those bouncy and quick pitches, which will suit his stroke play. The stage is all set for him to show his complete talent to the world and cement his name as a premier batsman. While players like Younis, Misbah and Afridi ,will be playing their last world cup would like to prove a few things and end their careers on a high. Lastly if Pakistan plays thoughtfully as a team, victory is not impossible. Team Pakistan can achieve the heights of 92 because like 2011 world cup ,this will be quite an open tournament, with no cricket team as the clear favorite. And best of luck to team Pakistan.
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