KARACHI: The cricket World Cup has opened wide after England lost to Sri Lanka on Friday but with Australia, New Zealand and India comfortably in the top three, the race will only be for the fourth spot.
Pakistan are currently on the ninth position courtesy a horrific show in the World Cup until now, but they face South Africa on Sunday, another team which is struggling and both will be looking for a welcome win to get their campaign back on track.
While both teams boasts a pace battery which can destroy any batting line-up on a given day, the problem lies in the batting department where lack of stars is causing the teams to lose the plot when chasing or setting a target.
Here are the three changes which Pakistan need to make in their line-up if they want to beat South Africa on Sunday and breathe some life into their World Cup campaign.
1. Bring in Haris Sohail
As we saw against India, Pakistan need someone stable and dependable in the middle-order unlike Shoaib Malik and Asif Ali who have doing nearly nothing with the bat and also without it in the field.
Bringing in Haris Sohail gives Sarfaraz a much-needed all-rounder who can consolidate the innings if the openers depart quickly and also bowl a few overs of left-arm spin.
His presence will also give Babar Azam the cushion of playing fearlessly without worrying about holding the wicket.
2. Give Hasan a break
It is not important for Pakistan that they give youngster Mohammad Husnain a chance in their pace line-up, rather it’s more pertinent that they give Hasan Ali a break to gather his thoughts and review his performance.
The pacer, who rose the occasion in the Champions Trophy with his middle-overs heroics, has lost his Midas touch where he was able to churn out wickets regularly for Pakistan.
The pacer is relying more on pace and line and length while ignoring the fact that change of pace and variations have been doing wonders for him in the past.
A break will help him realise that his strengths are still valid, only if he knows when to use them.
3. Change of attitude
If you are in a World Cup, for at least two month, the players should forget everything and focus on only the silverware.
Pakistan team has embroiled in so much controversy only during the tournament that they don’t need any more till the end of year maybe to make it into the news.
The players need to realise that they are in England to serve a purpose, to represent Pakistan in the World Cup and only that.
Small outings and a day off never hurt anyone, but if you are not performing at par, then those hours could be spent in the nets and in the dressing room, preparing strategies and game plans for matches.
Also yawning and sloppy running while fielding is a big no if you are trying to beat the best sides in the world. A positive attitude can work wonders for the team and since Sarfaraz is leading the camp, it becomes his responsibility to invoke confidence into the players when they are on the field.