Team Green: In good form for the World Cup
With new players and sound statistics, our team looks set to take the World Cup by storm.
Spot-fixing trials - criminal-charges - banned - guilty – cheat - bhabi-e-millat - IPL discards – conspirators - Veena Malik - home-advantage.
If you Google “cricket" and "Pakistan” with parameters set to results from the past year, the words above would probably be the key terms generated by the search engine. One cannot blame Google for stating the obvious.
Despite the banning, cheating and media -hyped shaadis cricket fans in Pakistan do still have reasons to love this game. The domestic conveyor belt of talent is continuously producing new players which, alongside the legends, gives us plenty to be optimistic about for the upcoming tournament - especially given our team’s recent success.
The inclusion of Junaid Khan in place of Sohail Tanvir is a smart move. The lad has domestic credentials similar to Mohammad Amir and clocks consistently at 140 kph or more, potentially making him a good death bowler. It’s better to slice a liability and to include a wild card since Pakistan’s aging speedster, the Rawalpindi Express, is bound to lose at some point during the event. Khan’s performance at crucial junctures will go a very long way in establishing his international career.
Given the current situation, the World Cup squad couldn’t have been better.
The World Cup schedule has been devised to ensure maximum commercial return from big games as all the big guns are scheduled to play at least six matches each.
Perhaps, the decision to include only ten teams in World Cup 2015 is a wise one. This format could work out well for Pakistan because we probably cannot be relied upon to dominate a six week tournament but we surely can win three knockout games, provided we peak at the right time.
Team Green is scheduled to play games in Columbo, Hambantota and Pellekelle.
Statistically speaking, Younis’ ODI average is around a modest 30 but at the R Premadasa stadium in Columbo, he averages more than 45 runs. The same stadium yields an average of 64 plus for Misbahul Haq.
Our team’s batting is finally also showing some substance. Misbah and Younis have shown improvement and Akmal Jr has moved on from his naïve tantrums; Wahab's maturity and temperament are impressive and Gul is lethal; Akhtar - in a continuous battle against age and seasoned injuries - is striving remarkably to defy the odds and is still crossing 145kph; Abdul ‘Fauji’ Razzaq is Pakistan’s highest league games.
As the cricketing legend Imran Khan often says, " I have always believed that one should not be scared of losing."