The T20 World Cup has been one of the major tournaments organised by the ICC. Apart from the ODI World Cup, the shorter format has been the eye-catcher for many non-regular cricket fans. Hence, somehow it becomes important for the teams to perform well in these tournaments.
Since 2007, the T20 World Cup has been the tournament where the Pakistan cricket team has performed better as compared to the ODI World Cup. In 2007, they were the finalists while in 2009, they were crowned as the champions, and in 2010, they were the semifinalists. The format suited their way of playing.
Adding on, after the departure of many iconic players, they have failed in the last two editions of the T20 World Cup. But, this time, they have few players who can turn the game around within a few overs. This time, they have those players, who can play match-winning innings or bowl match-winning spells.
Here is Pakistan’s predicted playing XI for T20 World Cup 2021
1. Mohammad Rizwan (wicketkeeper)
Mohammad Rizwan is one of the finest wicketkeepers in the current generation. He has a safe pair of hands and compliments the bowlers to perfection. Adding on, he is one of the senior members of the side.
Rizwan is a solid batsman who can accelerate when required. In 40 T20I matches, he has scored 1019 runs with an excellent average of 48.52. He has been a regular member of the Pakistan team for quite some time.
A strike rate of 129.15 seems a bit low for an opener but he can play according to the situation. He has scored a century against South Africa which shows his ability to accelerate when required. Adding on, he has been consistent in the recently concluded series against England.
2. Babar Azam (captain)
There have been talks about who amongst Virat or Babar Azam is a better-limited overs batsman. Well, this upcoming T20 World Cup will add more spice to the rivalry. Although Virat seems to have an upper hand, Babar can shine in this World Cup for his country.
The captain of the Pakistan team is in the form of his life. If Pakistan has any chance to make this tournament count, Babar has to lead from the front. He has played 58 matches so far in the shortest format and has scored 2153 runs with an average of 46.8. He has also led Pakistan well so far.
Babar is one of the few players who has a batting average over 40 in every first of the game. Babar is technically sound and with a decent strike rate, can be the “impact player” Pakistan has been searching for in the last five years. His 19 half-centuries in 58 games showcase his talent with the bat.
3. Mohammad Hafeez
The “Professor” might play his last ICC Tournament this year. And the Pakistani team might be preparing to give him a perfect farewell if he decides to bring down the curtains on his career. Hafeez has been one of the most iconic players along with Misbah and Younis.
Hafeez has played 110 T20Is for Pakistan so far. With 2423 runs, he is one of the highest run-scorer for the former champions. Although he has a mediocre strike rate of 121.03, he can steady the ship when others fail. Hafeez could be the man who can save Pakistan if they need someone to step up.
Apart from his batting, Hafeez has been phenomenal with the ball as well. He has picked 59 wickets in the shorter format. Adding on, he has an excellent economy rate of 6.6 with the ball. He can dry up the runs at one end which will enable the other bowler to pick up wickets.
4. Fakhar Zaman
Fakhar Zaman might be a bit inconsistent, but he is a player a captain would keep in his squad. Zaman has been one of the most prolific strikers of the white ball in recent times for Pakistan. He is a big match player and his 117 in the final of the Champions Trophy is a perfect example of that.
Zaman has played 50 T20I matches so far. With 1006 runs to his name, he has a decent strike rate of 136.31. He could tear apart any bowling on his day, but the only issue is his inconsistency.
He has scored a double century in ODIs and has the highest score of 91 in T20Is. Just like Hafeez, Zaman could anchor the innings as well if he is in form. With three decent players at the top, the presence of Fakhar as a power hitter adds cherry to the cake.
5. Azam Khan
Azam Khan is the son of former cricketer Moin Khan. In the domestic circuit, this youngster has been in the news because of his ball-striking ability. Even though he is not the fittest cricketer, he can smash the ball out of the ground with ease.
In his T20 career, Khan has played 44 games so far. With a strike rate of 152.49, he has been an effective batsman in the middle order. He has the highest score of 88 as well in the format.
Talking about his international career, he recently made his debut in T20Is. But he couldn’t get much of a chance to bat and scored six runs in two outings. Well, he has a long future ahead of him. This T20 World Cup is a great opportunity for Khan to shine for Pakistan.
6. Imad Wasim
Imad Wasim is one of the premier all-rounders for Pakistan in the limited-overs format. He has been in the circuit for nearly six years and hence, brings some experience to this squad. Wasim is an excellent fielder, an excellent bowler, and a clean striker of the ball.
Wasim has played 52 T20Is for Pakistan so far. He averages 13.12, but he has a strike rate of 146.43 in the format. If Pakistan needs someone to hit some mighty blows down the order, it’s Wasim.
Talking about his bowling, Imad has picked 51 wickets so far. With the best bowling figures of 5/14, he is a tricky customer to face during the initial stage of an innings. Wasim has an economy rate of 6.4 and this makes him a special bowler.
7. Shadab Khan
Shadab Khan made it to the headlines after his solid performance during the 2017 Champions Trophy. He is a clever bowler who can adapt to situations. He is never afraid to toss it up to the batsman and hence, is a perfect limited-overs spinner.
Khan has played 50 T20Is so far. With a wicket tally of 58 and an excellent economy rate of 7.44, he has been a regular member of the playing side. Adding on, he has the best bowling figure of 4/14, which showcases his ability to destroy lineups.
Talking about his batting, Khan is a decent batsman. He has a strike rate of 127.01 and can hit the ball cleanly. If the team needs someone to hit some balls out of the park during death overs, then Shadab can easily do it. His fielding abilities are also exceptional, making him a great asset to the team.
8. Shaheen Afridi
“Tall, raw, and accurate”. This is what defines Shaheen Afridi. A product of the Under-19 team and the PSL, Shaheen Afridi has already performed exceptionally well for Pakistan. The team management has also done a commendable job as they have guided him throughout his career.
Afridi has already played 29 T20I matches for Pakistan. With 31 wickets to his name and an economy rate of 8.06, Afridi has been able to provide breakthroughs for his captain. He can bowl at any stage of the fame and that makes him an asset for the team.
He has a variety of change-ups in his arsenal. His height also enables him to bowl bouncers to perfection at will. Being a regular member of the shorter format for over two years, Afridi has some experience behind him.
9. Usman Qadir
Usman Qadir is a wrist spinner just like his father Abdul Qadir. He had a successful U19 stint with Pakistan but he could not upgrade his skills. Later, he shifted his base to Australia. But, below par experience did not help Qadir.
It was almost impossible for him to join the Pakistan national side. However, suddenly, he was drafted into the national T20I side in 2020. Usman has played 13 T20I games so far. With 20 wickets to his name, he has the talent to make it to the national side regularly.
He has an economy rate of 7.33 and has a bowling average of 15.75. The best bowling figures of 4/13 show that he could be a match-winner on his day. With the T20 World Cup being played in the UAE, he can destroy any batting lineup. The management should back him to perform well.
10. Mohammad Hasnain
Even though it is T20 cricket, where spinners are somehow more effective, how about a paceman who could bowl over 150 kilometers per hour? Yes, Mohammad Hasnain is a part of the national side and is their fastest bowler. His express pace can unsettle the batsman and could provide early breakthroughs for his team.
Mohammad Hasnain has played 17 T20Is so far and picked 17 wickets. With an economy rate of 7.63, he has been one of the best finds in limited-overs cricket. Hasnain’s pace can enable him to deliver the slower ones more effectively.
With so much experience in the side, the presence of young legs like Hasnain is a great asset. His experience in CPL and PSL can also help him to settle his nerves during a huge tournament like the T20 World Cup. He had a decent outing during the recently concluded T20I series against England as well.
11. Haris Rauf
Haris Rauf has been a part of the Big Bash league and had a decent outing for the Melbourne Stars. He has played 21 T20I games so far and picked 28 wickets for the side. Although he has a higher economy rate of 8.94, he can pick crucial wickets at any stage of the game.
Rauf has been with the national side since last year. He has been a regular member of the side since then. Adding on, his experience of 77 T20 games will surely help him to cement his place in the team.
Talking about his overall T20 stats, he has a five-wicket haul as well. Adding on, he has a bowling average of 22.29 in his T20 career. As Pakistan is looking to perform better in the T20 World Cup, the form of Rauf is crucial for the team.
Source: The source of this content is our cricket news platform Crictracker.
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