The Pakistani team brings out the wild exciting side of cricket as no other team does. They are completely unpredictable, hugely talented, vulnerable to misdemeanors and usually are a group of individuals rather than team. If they come together they can beat any team due to their natural talent and are a treat to watch. However the loss of Amir and Asif due to spot fixing is a big blow. That brings them down from true contenders to dangerous floaters. Here goes
X Factors – Abundance can be seen here in Umar Akmal, Shahid Afridi, Saeed Ajmal, Razzaq, Shoaib Akhthar. On their day , they can really hurt the opposition.
Team balance – For a one day team they have good balance, Good Fast Bowlers, Spinners and all-rounders to complement a batting side with a mix of youth and experience.
Bowling: Despite the absence of Asif and Amir, the bowling is capable of running through a side. Shoaib, although not at his speediest, Umar Gul, Afridi and Ajmal are a handful
Brittle Batting: The opening combination is a problem. Misbah’s form is great and Afridi is contributing. However Younis Khan’s form is key to this side and Umar Akmal needs to take up more responsibility.
Absence of a Great : The team lacks a player of the reputation of a Sachin, Kallis, Ponting or Jayawardene. As it has been through history of Pakistani cricket a strong personality like Imran Khan, Akram, Miandad or even Inzamam is needed to lift them.
Wicket Keeping and Fielding – There are bound to be dropped chances and Kamran behind the stumps is not really the handiest of keepers. Costly errors could cost them some matches.
Questionable Leadership – Afridi epitomises the Pakistan team leading with guts and passion without much application of the grey matter. It could work brilliantly or it could all end horrible. A game of Russian Roullete that makes this team so interesting.
A Nations Hopes: Pakistan is a nation going through a lot and the spot fixing controversy just hurt the entire nation. Winning the World Cup will bring the nation joy and sweeten some of the bitterness. The team knows that, though this could be a double edged sword. They are desperate to win this.
The World Cup Format: Making it through the Quarter Finals is not that tough, beating the minnows and even one good team may get them through. After that it is a shoot out and you only have to win 3 matches. This suits the Pakistani team very well – much like a player with a big serve in a tie-break.
Infighting in the team: This is a possibility with the Captain being announced just a few days before the tournament. This is a major problem that will affect Pakistani chances. Hopefully this will not be the case.
Their chances are bleak but you cannot write them off.
Winning possibility – 40%, Entertainment Value – 100%
Australia up next