The last time the Cricket World Cup was staged with ten teams competing in an open pool Pakistan won the trophy, something Mickey Arthur’s men might take as a good omen.
Not so good for Pakistan has been the walloping they have been subjected to at the hands of England in their ODI series which has taken place at some of the World Cup venues.
Leg-spinning allrounder Shadab Khan feels the misfiring displays by the team of late are down to a lack of rhythm among the bowlers. Shadab himself missed the series with a viral infection but has been cleared to appear at the World Cup.
“Bowlers are not doing well, they are actually not in the rhythm required, but once they start clicking, we will start winning games,” Shadab said.
“When you are missing your four key players, it becomes increasingly tough. But there is a difference between pressure for a [bilateral] series and a World Cup.
“Nowadays, you have to take wickets because cricket has become very fast and even 350 isn’t a par score. Yes, we have been struggling with the ball in middle overs, but the way the batsmen are performing, it’s a good sign.”
Shaheen Afridi tormented the Proteas when Pakistan visited our shores earlier this year but he and Hasan Ali have yet to fire in their bilateral series against England.
Fakhar Zaman and Imam Ul Haq are at least looking in good touch at the top of the order while Babar Azam has shown signs of delivering on his enormous talent.
Pakistan Cricket World Cup squad
Sarfaraz Ahmed (Captain), Fakhar Zaman, Imam-ul-Haq, Abid Ali, Babar Azam, Shoaib Malik, Haris Sohail, Mohammad Hafeez, Shadab Khan, Imad Wasim, Hasan Ali, Faheem Ashraf, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Junaid Khan, Mohammad Hasnain.
Pakistan Cricket World Cup fixtures
June 3 – v England, Trent Bridge
June 7 – v Sri Lanka, Bristol
June 12 – v Australia, Taunton
June 16 – v India, Old Trafford
June 23 – v South Africa, Lords
June 26 – v New Zealand, Edgbaston
June 29 – v Afghanistan, Headingley
July 5 – v Bangladesh, Lords (d/n).