The word ‘Mercurial’ best fits the Pakistan cricket team because of the nature of their performances and unpredictability tag that has been associated with them from ages. In the World T20 in 2016 Pakistan will be carrying the same sort of reputation as they look to stamp their authority on world cricket through the mega event.
Five players who will be carrying the burden of the Pakistan side and will be constantly under the spotlight as the main stage of the tournament begins on the 15th of March.
- Shahid Afridi
The flamboyant Pakistan skipper and an explosive all rounder will be looking to inspire his side for one final time as his 20 year career draws to a close. Shahid Afridi has been contributing more with the ball as compared to his explosive batting but in the world twenty20 he would have to contribute with the bat as well in order to support a fragile Pakistan batting order and provide the all important flourish towards the end of the innings. Shahid Afridi has the added responsibility of leading the side which is why it is vital that he marshals his troops in a manner which optimizes their performances and brings the best out of each player.
- Shoaib Malik
Shoaib Malik has established himself as Pakistan’s mainstay in the middle order since making his comeback in late 2015 and the men in green will be depending on him to provide stability to their batting and provide good enough totals to their bowlers to defend. Shoaib Malik has been one of Pakistan’s top performers in T20 cricket and has scored 194 runs in 7 matches he has played in 2016 at an average of around 39. He knows how manipulate the field and score singles at regular intervals which is so vital in a T20 match as every successful team looks to minimize their dot ball percentage.
- Umar Akmal
When Umar Akmal first came onto the scene he was widely spoken off as one of the best talent produced by Pakistan but unfortunately he could not deliver for Pakistan. But his recent run of form has been quite good and his scintillating performances in Pakistan Super League has clearly benefitted the 25 year swashbuckling batsman. Umar Akmal was the top run scorer in PSL and he played couple of good knocks in Asia Cup as well. He could provide Pakistan with the impetus in the death overs and his style of play is best suited to T20 cricket which is why if he holds himself together he can end Pakistan’s troubles in the batting department.
- Mohammad Irfan
Being the tallest fast bowler in the world with a height of 7’1″ Mohammad Irfan brings a lot to the table and his uncanny bowling can unsettle the best in the business. Mohammad Irfan is a tough bowler to handle and if you are playing him for the first it makes him an even more threatening proposition. Although the pitches in India will be conducive for batting which is why you need wicket taking bowlers in your armory and Irfan is one such bowler who can literally provide you with wickets at will.
- Mohammad Amir
Last but not the least Mohammad Amir will be consistently under the spotlight as he is currently one of the best bowler going around since making his comeback into international cricket after the infamous spot fixing scandal. Amir has impressed one and all with his pace bowling and ability to swing the ball. His lethal in dippers combined with the pace he generates makes him a dangerous entity. He has the ability to run through a batting lineup in a matter of overs and in the recently concluded Asia Cup we got to see a glimpse of that. Pakistan will be heavily reliant on hint to provide them with quick wickets in every match and take Pakistan to victory.
Pakistan begin their World T20 campaign on the 16th of March against the qualifier from group A of the qualifying round which is currently in progress. Pakistan face arch rivals India on the 19th of March at Kolkata followed by New Zealand and Australia on the 22nd and 25th of March respectively.
Although Pakistan might not start the tournament as favourites to lift the title but they can not be taken for granted because whenever they are on the field you can never predict what they may come up with.