When discussion of the most unpredictable teams in cricket history is done, Pakistan’s name is certainly the first name that comes to mind. Pakistan is a team, that which on its days can beat the worlds best with considerable else and on other days can come crashing down like a fairly average side.
Despite of their inconsistency over the last 2 decades, Pakistan have been one of the giants of World Cricket. No matter how unpredictable they are as a team, you would surely regard them as dark horses, if not favorites when it comes to next month’s ICC Cricket World Cup 2015.
The fact that the men in green have loads of talent in their 15 man squad cannot be denied. Lets take a look at 10 concrete reasons why Pakistan can go all the way in Australia and New Zealand:
1 Form in World Cups: Pakistan may go into every World Cup not as the favorites, but their form in most ICC’s major competitions over the last two decades hasnt been disappointing at all. Pakistan won the 1992 World Cup when everybody least expected them to. They reached the semi finals of the 1996 and 2011 World Cups, and made it to the final of the 1999 World Cup. Although, next month’s World Cup is the ODI world cup, Pakistan’s form in the World T20 shows how well the seem to show up in all major competitions, having reached the semi final two times, the final once, and winning it once too.
21992 world cup was in australia and new zealand: The venue for next month’s elite tournament is the same as the one in the 1992 World Cup. Heading into the World Cup 2015, team Pakistan would surely have incredible moral backing and motivation of the side that triumphed famously back in 1992.
3Shahid Afridi’s last world cup: It is indeed going to be the end of an era, the era of Shahid Khan Afridi. Lala has been a massive asset to the Pakistan cricket team over the last 1 and a half decade, with both, bat and ball. His last World Cup would surely spark some emotions and promises to bring the best out of the legend, who can single handedly win matches for his team.
4Misbah and Younis’ solid duo: The retirements of Inzamam ul Haq and Muhammad Yousuf left a huge void in the Pakistan middle order. Pakistan have been lacking solid finishers who can see out games with a calm and composed attitude. The return of Younis Khan to the ODI fold and his partnership with Misbah can provide Pakistan with some much needed solidity right in the middle.
5 Spin bowling: Despite losing the services of both Ajmal and Hafeez in the spin attack, Pakistan’s leg spinners should do the trick in Australia and New Zealand. What many good teams in the world lack is a lethal spin bowling attack. Pakistan certainly have that, and with 3 of the favorites in England, Australia toand South Africa known to struggle against spin bowling, the men in green seem to carry a deadly weapon with them.
6Irfan , a more lethal version of Wasim Akram: No disrespect to the legend Wasim Akram, who is undoubtely one of the greatest bowlers to ever bowl a cricket ball, Pakistan have a deadlier left armer in the footer Irfan. Besides just his good line and length, along with the ability to swing the ball both ways with pace, Irfan’s incredible height promises to give him a massive edge over any batsman in the World Cup.
7 First match against India: Its a fixture that might haunt every Pakistani when they think about it. Pakistan have never succeeded in picking up a win against their deadly rivals in World Cup tournaments. Many Pakistani legends have tipped the men in green to make history this time and topple the Indians over. A win in the opening game against India would be an enormous confidence booster for team Pakistan, who might take the momentum all the way.
8 Versatility in the squad: Unlike in recent years, the Pakistan squad for this World Cup possesses variety in all departments. If they get going, the men in green can do wonders with the bat. Two specialist openers in Hafeez and Shehzad would give Pakistan the perfect platform to take off right from the. The middle order contains the perfect blend of defence and with the likes of Younis Khan, Misbah, Sohaib Maqsood and Umar Akmal. Much like the batting, their bowling also looks a perfect mixture of pace and spin, with two left arm fast bowlers in Irfan and Junaid, and two specialist leg spinners in Afridi and Yasir Shah.