T20 World Cup: Why Pakistan are now top billing | Cricket News – Times of India

TOI sees the reasons behind the team’s strong performance World Cup
New Zealand captain Ken Williamson admitted on Tuesday after the loss to Pakistan that Babar Azam’s men are one of the favorites of the tournament. With two wins in many games, Pakistan looks good to stay at the top of the group, unless something goes terribly wrong.
But Pakistan wasn’t exactly top billing before the tournament, especially after the turmoil on board and the change of coaching staff. But things have fallen into place very quickly for Pakistan.

TOI looks at the reasons behind the rise of the 2009 champions, who failed to reach the 2014 and 16 semifinals …
The exiles became ‘home’
Since 2009, when the Sri Lankan team bus was attacked in Lahore, the teams have often refused to visit Pakistan. Even New Zealand withdrew from the tour of Pakistan a few days before the T20 World Cup, which meant Pakistan was forced to make the UAE their adoptive home.
While this was not an ideal situation, decades of experience playing in Dubai, Sharjah and Abu Dhabi meant that India’s home World Cup had turned into a home event instead of Pakistan. The Desert Venue has a solid support base for the team and they have an enviable record over the last five years, winning 13 games in a row.
Expressed in chaos
Pakistan always seems to come together as a team whenever there are internal problems. In 1992, when they won the 50-over World Cup, the team had a lot of pride in addition to the injuries of players like Walker Younis. In 2009, the year of their T20 World Cup victory, they were caught up in the Lahore tragedy. Besides, chief selector Abdul Qadir has resigned after Shoaib Akhtar was dropped from the party.
Once again, coaches Misbah-ul-Haq and Waqar Younis resigned just before the World Cup because they believed they would be sacked by new PCB chief Ramiz Raja. But Ramirez, a respected figure on the international cricket circuit, brought in senior heads like Matthew Hayden and Vernon Philander into the support staff and it seems to have worked for them.
Babur’s favorite team
It is very important that a captain gets the team of his choice and finally Babur gets his team. The 15-member squad has been changed three late and one of them — Fakhar Zaman — has played two matches so far. In addition, Babar and Mohammad Rizwan, who have started opening together since 2021, were outstanding in the T20 at an average of 67.30. There is also diversity in bowling with all the bases covered and spearheaded like Shaheen Afridi at the top of his game.
Experience of Shoaib Malik and Mohammad Hafeez
Malik is probably the only player in this T20 World Cup without Chris Gayle to make his international debut in the 1990s. The owner has kept himself fit, knows the ins and outs of the game and is an extremely low-rated finisher. The right-handed batsman has 18 unbeaten innings to chase a successful run, a world record in T20 cricket. Even against New Zealand, he showed his ultimate skill by scoring 26 * off 20 balls, steering the Pakistani ship when it seemed a little difficult.
Hafeez, whose action has often been in the face of scanners, has returned to bowling to help Pakistan. This gives the team an extra cushion of an offspinner. Add to that his street-smartness as a batsman and shows Pakistan a complete package.
PSL spread its wings
Pakistan started out as a powerhouse in T20 cricket, playing the first three finals and winning one. But Pakistani players have not been allowed in the IPL since 2009 and the team’s performance has declined since 2010. The sub-continental powerhouse failed even in the 2014 and 16 semifinals and it has a lot to do with the fact that the players were not playing top quality T20 events in the subcontinent.
But in the last five years, the Pakistan Super League, which started in 2015, has gradually turned into an important event. Apart from Indian players, most of the other superstars in the world are seen in it. This generation of Pakistani cricketers has become accustomed to the pressure of the regular T20 situation and that is reflected in their performance.

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