The 2015 ICC Cricket World Cup is a few days away. The battle lines have been drawn, the stage is set and the players are ready to give it a go. As far as the team from Pakistan is concerned, they will kick off their World Cup Campaign against arch rivals India in Adelaide on February 15.

Senior Pakistan cricketer Younus Khan believes that this year’s world cup will provide yet another opportunity to the Pakistan players to break the jinx of having never beaten India in the World Cups. The team from pakistan may lack big names like Umar Gul in their squad but with the likes of talented youngsters like Ahmed Shehzad,Junaid Khan,Umar Akmal and Sarfaraz Ahmed in their squad, they are surely the team to watch out for during the world cup.

Pakistan may not have a star studded batting line up but what has worked well for Pakistan over the years has been the team’s unpredictability and moreover the team’s ability to perform under pressure. Another thing that can be termed as the team’s biggest strength is the number of all rounders in their squad. The likes of Mohammad Hafeez, Shahid Afridi and Haris Sohail can chip in with some crucial overs. If you can make Hafeez and Afridi bowl their entire quota of 10 overs and if both of them can return with figures of 2/40 or something like that then I guess they’ll be more than productive. One of them will certainly have to do what Yuvraj Singh did in the 2011 world cup. Hafeez has also been bestowed with the responsibility of getting the side off to a good start.

The 41 year old Misbah UL Haq is surely the right man to lead the the side in the world cup. If we flip through the pages of history then we’ll be able to find out that In 1992, just before the world cup Imran Khan, the then captain of Pakistan was a 40 year old all rounder and uncertainties had surrounded the veteran all rounder regarding his leadership skills and his ability to perform under tense situations. The situation intensified further when Pakistran lost its opening game against the West Indies. But what followed that defeat was the Pakistani juggernaut taking giant strides during the world cup. Youngsters like Inzimam Ul Haq burst into the public eye with a match winning 60 off just 37 balls in the semi final against New Zealand.

If we take a closer look at the team’s pace attack, we’ll realize that big names are missing but talent is not at all missing. The young Pakistani pacemen like Junaid and Wahab Riaz have pace, they just need to work a bit on their line and length. A majority of batsmen find it difficult to handle the short pitch deliveries, the one that bounces just a bit too much. The pacemen from Pakistan can certainly trouble their opponents if they stick to tighter line and lengths. Just what Wasim, Waqar and Aaqib did in the 1992 world cup.

Moving further, if we look at the batting line up then we have the likes of Misbah and Younus. Both of them will have to act as the pillars of strength for the batting line up because barring these two veterans, all other batsmen are largely inexperienced. The likes of Umar Akmal, Mohammad Hafeez and Sarfaraz Ahmed will have to play responsibly. RFesponsibly her means in a channelized way. Misbah and Younus will have to play a long innings and other batsmen will have to hang around with them in order to stitch partnerships together.

Above all, the side needs to play with a positive mindset. They need to play with a positive mindset. Pakistan have been placed in groupB alongside arch rivals India,South Africa,West indies,Ireland,United Arab Emirates and Zimbabwe. With the Indian side in a state of turmoil, The Pakistani side is no doubt the dark horse to watch out for in the upcoming world cup. After all it is cricket, It is not over till it is over.


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