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Pakistan Vs Namibia – T20 World Cup 2021 Match #31 Quick Review!

Pakistan Vs Namibia Quick Review – Namibia go head to head but Rizwan’s knock makes it Pakistan’s game.

Match Details, Scorecard, & Video Highlights

Scorecard: Pakistan Vs Namibia Video Highlights

Toss: Pakistan won the toss and chose to field first.

Venue: Zayed Cricket Stadium, Abu Dhabi, UAE

Umpires: Chris Brown & Chris Gaffaney

What Actually Happened

  • Winner: Pakistan won by 45 runs
  • Scores: Pakistan 189/2 Namibia 144/5
  • Player of the Match: Mohammad Rizwan 79* (50)
  • Best Figures
    • David Wiese (4-0-30-1)
    • Imad Wasim (3-0-13-1)
  • Most Runs
    • Mohammad Rizwan 79* (50)
    • David Wiese 43* (31)

Moments of The Day:

  • Rizwan & Babar rise again. A 113-run partnership. They are now establishing an iconic T20I opening partnership.
  • Pakistan took more positives – Hafeez finished with 32* (16) & Hasan Ali returned with spells of 4-0-22-1.
  • David Wiese’s 43* ensured Namibia did not collapse for a low score and got 144.

If only they had restricted Pakistan earlier….

Broken Cricket Dream of the Day: Namibia Fail To Take Advantage

  • Pakistan had an uncharacteristically slow start. At the end of the Powerplay, Pakistan were 29/0, the fourth lowest of all time in T20Is, without losing a wicket. By the end of the 8th over, Pakistan were 45/0 with Babar Azam 33 (27) & Rizwan 12 (21).

Poor death bowling by Namibia.

Also Read: 200th Article Special: 5 Things I have Learned From My Journey of Cricket Writing

T20 World Cup Points Table, Most Runs, Wickets, Catches, Dismissals

No need to go elsewhere for the Points Table, Highest Run Scorer, Highest Wicket Taker, Most Catches, and Most Dismissals. We will keep updating it in every article!

  • Charith Asalanka – 231 runs (Sri Lanka, 6 Matches)
  • Wanindu Hasaranga – 16 wickets (Sri Lanka, 8 Matches)
  • Calum MacLeod 7 catches (Scotland, 6 Matches)
  • Matthew Wade – 7 dismissals (Australia, 4 Matches)

Group 1 Table

TeamsPlayedWonLostTied
No-Result
PointsNet Run Rate
1. England44008+ 3.183
2. Australia43106+ 1.031
3. South Africa43106+ 0.742
4. Sri Lanka52304– 0.269
5. West Indies41302– 1.558
6. Bangladesh50500– 2.383
T20 World Cup 2021 Group 1 Points Table

Group 2 Table

TeamsPlayedWonLostTied
No-Result
PointsNet Run Rate
1. Pakistan44008+ 1.065
2. Afghanistan42204+ 1.481
3. New Zealand32104+ 0.816
4. India31102+ 0.073
5. Namibia31202– 1.600
6. Scotland30300– 2.645
T20 World Cup 2021 Group 2 Points Table

Also, if you have not yet read our T20 World Cup Previews, here is a list of all of them! Check them out and share ahead:

  1. A Review – Group A 2021 T20 World Cup Squads Dissected: Ireland, Namibia, Netherlands, Sri Lanka
  2. B Review – Group B 2021 T20 World Cup Squads Dissected: Bangladesh, Oman, Papua New Guinea, Scotland
  3. 1 Review – Group 1 2021 T20 World Cup Squads Dissected: Australia, England, South Africa, West Indies
  4. 2 Review – Group 2 2021 T20 World Cup Squads Dissected: India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, New Zealand

© Copyright @Nitesh Mathur and Broken Cricket Dreams, 2021. Originally published on 11/04/2021. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Broken Cricket Dreams with appropriate and specific direction to the original content (i.e. linked to the exact post/article).

Home » Babar Azam

Image Courtesy: Graphic (original work), Kyle Coetzer – Photo by Francois Nel-ICC/ICC via Getty Images, Mahmudullah – Photo by Mike Hewitt-ICC/ICC via Getty Images

New Zealand Vs Pakistan – T20 World Cup 2021 Match #19 Quick Review! Asif Ali, Rauf, Shoaib Malik Star In a Close Contest

New Zealand Vs Pakistan Quick Review — Pakistan found new heroes in a low scoring thriller. The Kiwis seemed the bit off color, but still made a game out of nothing.

New Zealand’s decision making need introspection. Why did Daryl Mitchell open when Williamson, Seifert, Conway, and Phillips were in the ranks? Why did he not bowl?

Match Details, Scorecard, & Video Highlights

Scorecard: New Zealand Vs Pakistan Video Highlights

Toss: Pakistan won the toss and chose to field first.

Venue: Sharjah Cricket Stadium, Sharjah, UAE

Umpires: Michael Gough & Richard Kettleborough

What Actually Happened

  • Winner: Pakistan won by 5 wickets
  • Scores: New Zealand 134/8Pakistan 135/5
  • Player of the Match: Haris Rauf 4/22
  • Best Figures
    • Haris Rauf 4/22
    • Ish Sodhi 2/28
  • Most Runs
    • Daryl Mitchell 27 (20), Devon Conway 27 (24)
    • Mohammad Rizwan 33 (34), Asif Ali 27* (12), Shoaib Malik 26* (20)

Moments of The Day: Unlikely Heroes Initiate Another Pakistan Win

  • Haris Rauf had a dream day with his best figures in T20I cricket. 4-0-22-4 Wow! What makes him so dangerous? The change of pace. He can bowl 140+ or 115- in a space of 2 deliveries. From 3/90 in 13 overs, NZ could only muster 44 runs with 5 wickets in the last 42 balls.
  • Asif Ali & Shoaib Malik were NOT selected in the original squad. Asif Ali had not yet fulfilled his potential in international cricket as a big hitter. After Wasim departed, Pakistan were reeling at 87-5 in 14.5 overs. 48 runs needed in 31 balls. Then a calm Shoaib Malik, with 4 decades of experience, with a concussed Asif Ali, took Pakistan home in style.
    • 27* (12) with 3 huge sixes from Asif Ali and 26* (20) with 2 fours and 1 iconic straight six by Shoaib Malik.

Match won with 8 balls to spare. Absolutely brilliant.

Also Read: Babar Azam, Rizwan, Shaheen: The Case for Pakistan Players In the IPL

Broken Cricket Dream of the Day: Guptill’s Toe Injury, Ferguson Out, Asif Ali’s Concussion

This match had several injury related issues. Before the start of the match, gun bowler Lockie Ferguson was ruled out of the tournament with a calf tear. Adam Milne will now be added to the squad.

During the game, Guptill was hit in the toe, after which he may not play the next game against India.

Finally, Asif Ali was hit a couple of times on the helmet by the Kiwi fast bowlers. Hope he is okay internatlly because on the outside he was just nailing those sixes.

T20 World Cup Points Table, Stat Alert

No need to go elsewhere for the Points Table, Highest Run Scorer, Highest Wicket Taker, Most Catches, and Most Dismissals. We will keep updating it in every article!

  • Musfiqur Rahim – 135 runs (Bangladesh, 5 Matches)
  • Shakib Al Hasan – 11 wickets (Bangladesh, 4 Matches)
  • Calum MacLeod – 6 catches (Scotland, 5 Matches)
  • Nurul Hasan, Matthew Cross (Bangladesh/Scotland) – 5 dismissals

Group 1 Table

TeamsPlayedWonLostTied
No-Result
PointsNet Run Rate
1. England22004+ 3.614
2. Sri Lanka11002+ 0.583
3. Australia11002+ 0.253
4. South Africa21102+ 0.179
5. Bangladesh20200– 1.655
6. West Indies20200– 2.550
T20 World Cup 2021 Group 1 Points Table

Group 2 Table

TeamsPlayedWonLostTied
No-Result
PointsNet Run Rate
1. Pakistan22004+ 0.738
2. Afghanistan11002+ 6.500
3. Namibia10102+ 0.550
4. New Zealand10100– 0.532
5. India10100– 0.973
6. Scotland20002– 3.562
T20 World Cup 2021 Group 2 Points Table

Also, if you have not yet read our T20 World Cup Previews, here is a list of all of them! Check them out and share ahead:

  1. A Review – Group A 2021 T20 World Cup Squads Dissected: Ireland, Namibia, Netherlands, Sri Lanka
  2. B Review – Group B 2021 T20 World Cup Squads Dissected: Bangladesh, Oman, Papua New Guinea, Scotland
  3. 1 Review – Group 1 2021 T20 World Cup Squads Dissected: Australia, England, South Africa, West Indies
  4. 2 Review – Group 2 2021 T20 World Cup Squads Dissected: India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, New Zealand

© Copyright @Nitesh Mathur and Broken Cricket Dreams, 2021. Originally published on 10/28/2021. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Broken Cricket Dreams with appropriate and specific direction to the original content (i.e. linked to the exact post/article).

Home » Babar Azam

Image Courtesy: Graphic (original work), Kyle Coetzer – Photo by Francois Nel-ICC/ICC via Getty Images, Mahmudullah – Photo by Mike Hewitt-ICC/ICC via Getty Images

Pakistan Tour of South Africa & Zimbabwe 2021 Series Review: Fakhar-Hasan-Nortje-Markram-Rizwan-Babar-Jongwe-Muzarabani The Stars

Pakistan tour of Africa 2021 Series Review!

Pakistan recently played in South Africa (3 ODIs, 4 T20Is) and Zimbabwe (3 T20Is, 2 Tests). The South Africa series, in particular was memorable, with most games going down the wire.

Fakhar Zaman, Babar Azam, Mohammad Rizwan, and Hasan Ali highlighted the tour for Pakistan, while Anrich Nortje, Janneman Malan, and Aiden Markram came to the fore for the Proteas. While the Zimbabwe were criticized for their Test match display, they were pretty good in the T20s, with Luke Jongwe & Blessing Muzarabani emerging as Zimbabwe’s stars.

Also Read: Pakistan host South Africa 2021 Series Review, The Case for Pakistan Players in the IPL, South Africa Cricketers Who Play for Other Countries

Pakistan Tour of Africa 2021 – The Results

South Africa-Pakistan ODI Series: Pakistan won 2-1

* Player of Match

  1. Pakistan won by 3 wickets *Babar Azam
  2. South Africa won by 17 runs *Fakhar Zaman
  3. Pakistan won by 28 runs *Babar Azam
Player of SeriesSouth Africa Pakistan
Fakhar Zaman
Most RunsRassie van der Dussen – 183 runs
(best of 123*, 183.00 average, 107.01 average, 100s-1, 50s-1)
Fakhar Zaman – 302 runs
(best of 193, 100.66 average, 111.43 SR, 100s-2)
Most WicketsAnrich Nortje – 7 wickets
(best of 4/51, 16.28 average, 5.70 economy)
Haris Rauf – 7 wickets
(best of 3/54, 24.42 average, 5.89 economy)
Pakistan Vs South Africa 2021 ODI Series Stats

South Africa-Pakistan T20I Series: Pakistan Won 3-1

  1. Pakistan won by 4 wickets *Mohammad Rizwan
  2. South Africa won by 6 wickets *George Linde
  3. Pakistan won by 9 wickets *Babar Azam
  4. Pakistan won by 3 wickets *Faheem Ashraf
P*layer of SeriesSouth Africa Pakistan
Babar Azam
Most RunsAiden Markram – 179 runs
(best of 63, average 44.75, 182.65 SR, 50s-3)
Babar Azam – 210 runs
(best of 122, 52.50 average, 143.83 SR, 100s-1, 50s-1)
Most WicketsLizaad Williams – 7 wickets
(best of 3/35, 21.00 average, 9.38 economy)
Hasan Ali – 7 wickets
(best of 3/40, 18.71 average, 9.35 economy)
Pakistan Vs South Africa 2021 T20I Series Stats

Zimbabwe-Pakistan T20I Series: Pakistan Won 2-1

  1. Pakistan won by 11 runs *Mohammad Rizwan
  2. Zimbabwe won by 19 runs *Luke Jongwe
  3. Pakistan won by 24 runs *Hasan Ali
Player of SeriesZimbabwePakistan
Mohammad Rizwan
Most RunsWesley Madhevere – 89 runs
(best of 59, 29.66 average, 127.14 SR, 50s-1)
Mohammad Rizwan – 186 runs
(best of 91*, 186.00 average, 133.81 SR, 50s-2)
Most WicketsLuke Jongwe – 9 wickets
(best of 4/18, 8.77 average, 7.29 economy)
Mohammad Hasnain – 5 wickets
(best of 2/19, 14.40 average, 6.00 economy)
Pakistan Vs Zimbabwe 2021 T20I Series Stats

Zimbabwe-Pakistan Test Series: Pakistan Won 2-0

  1. Pakistan won by an innings and 118 runs *Hasan Ali
  2. Pakistan won by an innings and 147 runs *Abid Ali
Player of Series Zimbabwe Pakistan
Hasan Ali
Most Runs Regis Chakabva – 146 runs
(best of 80, 48.66 average, 50s-1)
Abid Ali – 275 runs
(best of 215*, 275.00 average, 100s-1, 50s-1)
Most Wickets Blessing Muzarabani – 7 wickets
(best innings – 4/73, best match – 4/73, 22.14 average)
Hasan Ali – 14 wickets
(best innings – 5/27, best match – 9/89, 8.92 average)
Pakistan Vs Zimbabwe 2021 Test Series Stats

The Moments

Pakistan had several memorable moments, while South Africa and Zimbabwe have some points to cheer about as well.

South Africa – Rising Young Team But Still Has Gaps To Fill

  • Pressure situations reveal the class of a player. Although Anrich Nortje only played 2 ODIs prior to IPL departure, his 4/51 & 3/53 in the middle overs gave Proteas hope. It was his 4 wickets in the 2nd ODI that stopped Pakistan from chasing the mammoth 342 score. Fakhar Zaman was left playing a lone hand as Nortje took out his partners. His wickets in the series? Babar Azam, Mohammad Rizwan, Imam-ul-Haq among others.
  • Rassie van der Dussen – nominee for South Africa’s T20I, ODI, and cricketer of the year award, he has taken responsibility on his own shoulder. South Africa were reeling at 4-55 in the first ODI before Rassie’s maiden century – 123* rescued South Africa to 273, a winning total in the end. Couple of other handy fifties on the tour as well.
  • The new look order does the job – ODI captain Temba Bavuma’s 92, Klassen’s 50 & 36*, Aiden Markram with 3 consecutive T20I fifties (51,54, 63) are positives. Couple of fifties for David Miller & Quinton de Kock with a 80 well.
  • Find of the tournament for me was Janneman Malan. Superb timing. 70 (81) in the ODIs and 24 (16), 15(10), 55(40), 33 (28) in the T20Is provided South Africa the starts. QDK-Malan-Markram is exactly what SA need to drive forward.
  • Will he? Won’t he? Well he has finally decided. AB De Villiers retires. For real this time.
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Pakistan – The Alis Rise to the Occasion (Abid, Azhar, Nauman, Hasan)

Pakistan Top Order a Class Apart in Limited Overs

  • We are living in the Babar Azam era. Except for the Zimbabwe series, Babar is having a good time, both with the bat and as a captain. Babar Azam overtook Virat Kohli’s reign at the top of the ICC ODI rankings. #10 in Tests and #3 on the T20I as well. Just the eighth captain in all of Test cricket to win four Test matches on a trot. Only Pakistani on that list.
  • Mohammad Rizwan continues on his merry way. 74*, 0, 73*, 0, 82*, 13, 91*. These are T20I numbers. Amazing stuff. I do not really mind the ducks if you can play 4 match-winning knocks in 2 series. Rizwan has been Pakistan’s hero for the past year, performing in overseas conditions consistently.
  • Just like Hasan Ali, Fakhar Zaman has yet to scale the heights of his 2017-2018 season. With Babar & Rizwan already in red hot form, Fakhar slotting as an opener was questionable. He repaid the selectors’ faith in style. Chasing 342 in the 2nd ODI, Fakhar Zaman scored possibly the best ODI knock in a losing cause—193 (155) (with 10 sixes), only to be run-out due to QDK’s guile. Until the 99th over of the match, it was anyone’s game. Followed this epic with a 101 in the very next game and 60 in a T20I.

Age is just a number

  • Abid Ali (33), Nauman Ali (34), Fawad Alam (35), Azhar Ali (36), and Tabish Khan (36) all came to the party in the Zimbabwe Test series.
  • Azhar Ali (126) and Abid Ali (215) combined for a magnificent 236-run partnership in the 2nd Test, batting Zimbabwe out of the match.
  • Fawad Alam is making each and every series count. Since his return, he has made a century in New Zealand (102), South Africa (109), and Zimbabwe (140). He has converted all of his four 50+ scores into centuries. Brilliant stuff.
  • Tabish Khan became the second oldest debutant for Pakistan. After toiling in domestic cricket for 19 years and after 598 wickets, Tabish finally received the international cap at the age of 36. Wicket in the first over as well.

The Test Bowling Unit Makes a Mark

  • Shaheen Shah Afridi, Nauman Ali, and Hasan Ali each took five-fors in the Zimbabwe Test Series.
  • Nauman, the left-arm orthodox, ended with figures of 5-86 to end Zimbabwe’s resistance in the final innings of the 2nd Test. Handy 97 (143) as well as a #9 batsman, combining for a 169-run partnership with Abid Ali.
  • Find of the victorious 2017 Champions Trophy campaign, Hasan Ali had a slight blip in his rising career. After a couple of years on the sideline and fighting back with a strong domestic performance, the energizer is back! Hasan Ali has been a revelation on his comeback – Most wickets for Pakistan in the SA T20I series and the Zimbabwe Test series. Truly deserved the Player of the Series award in the Zimbabwe series (4/53, 5/36, 5/27).
  • Take Shaheen lightly at your own peril. Opening bowler, death bowler, can do everything. 6 wickets in the SA ODIs and 3 in the T20Is, and figures of 4/43 & 5/52 versus Zimbabwe.

Imran Butt caught the attention of many as well. His 91 (236) set the tone in the Zimbabwe Test series. Five catches in the slips a pretty good job done as well.

Zimbabwe – Injuries, Memorable T20I Win, Humiliating Test Loss

  • Blessing Muzarabani has the height, pace, and bounce. At 24, he is one of Zimbabwe’s future stars. In a one-sided Test series, his 4/73 and 3/82 was quite a highlight. Babar Azam – 0(1) & 2 (8), Fawad Alam (140) , Azhar Ali (126) among his seven scalps.
  • Luke Jongwe was Zimbabwe’s hero in the 2nd T20I. Pakistan lost their way on a 119-run chase, bowled-out for 99. Jongwe’s figures? 3.5-0-18-4. 30* & 2/24 in the first T20I and 3/37 in the final match sums up a great series for Jongwe.
  • Sikander Raza was diagnosed of a bone-marrow infection operation (initially a cancer scare) and underwent a surgery. Raza was dearly missed with Brendan Taylor out of form and injury-list of Kyle Jarvis (COVID-19, malaria, tick bite fever), Sean Williams (sick), Craig Ervine (calf injury), Prince Masvaure, Wesley Madhevere,, & Tendai Chatara.

Ryan Burl Makes The Headlines

1. Ryan Burl exposes disparity between top nations and less-funded teams.

2. After social media outrage, Burl found a sponsor.

Squad Predictions for T20I World Cup

With 23-men squad for the T20I world possible now, here are my early squad predictions. Based on this Pakistan tour of Africa 2021, here is our early predictions:

South Africa

South Africa just released their squads for the tour of West Indies, which gives us some new hints.

  1. Quinton de Kock (WK), 2. Janneman Malan, 3. Faf du Plessis, 4. Rassie Van der Dussen, 5. Temba Bavuma*, 6. David Miller, 7. George Linde, 8. Chris Morris, 9. Kagiso Rabada, 10. Anrich Nortje, 11. Tabraiz Shamsi

Squad: 12. Heinrich Klassen, 13. Aiden Markram, 14. Andile Phelukwayo, 15. JJ Smuts, 146 Dwaine Pretorius, 17. Lungi Ngidi, 18. Bjorn Fortuin, 19. Lizaad Williams, 20. Kyle Verreynne, 21. Sisanda Magala, 22. Reeza Hendricks, 23. Keshav Maharaj

Wildcards: AB De Villiers (WK), Imran Tahir, Marco Jansen, Lutho Sipamla, Junior Dala, Pete van Biljon

*captain

Pakistan

For reference, here was our earlier WT20 watch for Pakistan’s squad in our Pak Vs NZ and the Pakistan leg of the Pak-SA series.. Some new faces have come into play, while some players have dropped off the list.

  1. Babar Azam (C), 2. Mohammad Rizwan (WK), 3. Fakhar Zaman, 4. Haider Ali, 5. Mohammad Hafeez, 6. Shadab Khan, 7. Faheem Ashraf, 8. Hasan Ali, 9. Haris Rauf, 10. Shaheen Shah Afridi, 11. Usman Qadir

Squad: 12. Imad Wasim, 13. Mohammad Hasnain, 14. Mohammad Nawaz, 15. Sarfaraz Ahmed (WK), 16. Sharjeel Khan, 17. Naseem Shah, 18. Imam-ul-Haq, 19. Danish Aziz, 20. Arshad Iqbal, 21. Zahid Mahmood, 22. Khusdil Shah/Hussain Talat/Asif Ali (lower order finisher), 23. Iftikhar Ahmed/Shoaib Malik

Wildcard: Sohail Tanvir, Zafar Gohar, Mohammad Wasim, Mohammad Musa/Aamer Yamin, Mohammad Amir (rumors has it he applied for UK passport in order to be available for the IPL)

Since Zimbabwe did not qualify for the 2021 T20 World Cup, we will not be looking into their squads.

Awards

South AfricaPakistanZimbabwe
Emerging PlayerJanneman MalanImran ButtLuke Jongwe
Surprise PackageAiden MarkramReturns of Fakhar Zaman & Hasan AliRegis Chakabva
Broken Cricket DreamAB De Villiers Retires. Like ActuallyMohammad Amir applies for British citizenshipBrendon Taylor’s form
Short Test Matches
Sikander Raza
Pakistan tour of Africa 2021 – The Awards

Where Do They Go From Here?

Lots of cricket action coming up!

  • South Africa head to the Caribbean for 2 Tests & 5 T20Is against the West Indies in June.
  • Pakistan tour England for 3 ODIs & 3 T20Is in July, followed by 5 T20Is & 2 Tests against the West Indies. There is a Pakistan Super League resumption in the UAE somewhere in the middle as well (if it gets finalized).
  • Zimbabwe travels to Ireland for a mega tour – 3 ODIs & 5 T20Is.

What did you think of our Pakistan tour of Africa 2021?

Comment below for your favorite moments & squad predictions! Subscribe for more below! Share with your friends as well! Here is our Facebook Twitter pages.

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Copyright (2021: 5/21/2021)– @Nitesh Mathur, aka Nit-X – bcd@brokokencricketdreams.com

Babar Azam, Rizwan, Shaheen: The Case for Pakistan Players In the IPL

While the IPL is in full swing in India, the Pakistan-South Africa series is catching the attention of many.

In the 3rd T20I, Pakistan chased down 204 runs with 9 wickets & 2 overs to spare, courtesy a 197-run partnership from Mohammad Rizwan & Babar Azam, who scored 122 (59). Earlier in the day, news broke that Azam also dethroned Virat Kohli as the #1 ICC ODI batsman after a mammoth 1258 days.

Add Fakhar Zaman’s brilliant 193 in the ODI series, Hafeez’s second coming, & the fast bowling line up, the question should be asked—Is the IPL really the best T20 tournament without Pakistani players?

The Fall of Pakistan Cricket

Pakistan dominated the Indo-Pak cricket rivalry in the 1990s, while India has crushed it in the 2010s. Only in the 2000s, did we have battle of equals.

For India’s tenacious Rahul Dravid, Pakistan had Younis Khan. Similarly, the elegance of Yousuf & Tendulkar, stability of Inzamam & Laxman/Ganguly, & exuberance of Afridi & Sehwag were on par with each other. The destructiveness of Shoaib Akhtar-Asif-Sami on one side matched the abilities of Irfan Pathan-Zaheer Khan-Kumble-Harbhajan on the other.

India narrowly won the 2004 Test series 2-1 & ODI series 3-2 held in Pakistan. Pakistan returned the favor next year with a 1-1 drawn Test series & 4-2 ODI victory held in India. Both memorable events.

Hence, the struggle of Pakistan cricket team over the last decade & lack of competitiveness in recent ICC tournaments has been disheartening. The new generation of Pakistan cricket is slowly making this a battle of equals again.

The New Generation of Pakistan Cricket Rises

Mohammad Rizwan is currently the best T20I batsman in the world (sorry Dawid Malan). Shaheen Shah Afridi can compete with the Rabadas & Bumrahs of the world. The leg spin of Shadab Khan & Usman Qadir with a line up of Afridi-Naseem Shah-Hasan Ali-Haris Rauf can send shivers down the opposition camp.

Babar Azam is the best player in the world. Period.

Each IPL team can benefit from Haider Ali & Faheem Ashraf’s power, experience of Mohammad Hafeez & Shoaib Malik, and the pace of discarded Mohammad Amir & Mohammad Hasnain.

“Imagine Babar-Kohli opening for RCB, Fakhar-Rohit hitting double centuries, & Bumrah-Shaheen bowling together at the death.”

With South African, Sri Lankan, & West Indian foreign contingent in the prime of their careers from 2007-2017, absence of Pakistani players in the IPL made sense.

It no longer does.

South Africa & Sri Lanka’s Eternal Transition Period

Kumar Sangakkara & Mahela Jayawardene once used to captain IPL teams. They are now the only Sri Lankan representation in IPL 2021 (as coaches) as no SL players were picked in the auction. Gone is the era of Malinga-Murali-Dilshan.

With an eternal transition process in South Africa, only Rabada-Nortje (and Ngidi to a certain extent) have risen to the occasion. Otherwise, AB De Villiers & Faf Du Plessis from an earlier generation are still carrying the South Africa baton. Similarly, lots of West Indians in the IPL are from the World Cup winning generation (Gayle, Narine, Pollard, Russell).

The lack of variety in foreign talent is hitting the brand of the IPL. It seems that only India & England are producing new talent year in & year out, with Australia & New Zealand close behind.

It is time for some more talent to flow in—Pakistani talent that is. On the flip side, BCCI’s reluctance to let Indians play abroad should also be reconsidered, but that is a story for another day.

Looking Back to IPL 2008

The inception of the tournament in 2008 is the perfect template to follow.

Rajasthan Royals benefitted from having Pakistan talent in their squad with Kamral Akmal, Younis Khan, & most importantly Sohail Tanvir, the maiden purple cap winner. The Knight Riders enjoyed the pace duo of Shoaib Akhtar & Umar Gul, who took a match-winning 4-fer. KKR also had Salman Butt & the ageless Mohammad Hafeez in their ranks.

Few others participated in the IPL as well—Shahid Afridi (Deccan Chargers), Shoaib Malik & Mohammad Asif (Delhi Daredevils), & Misbah-ul-Haq (Royal Challengers Bangalore).

IPL 2020 Was Ideal But There Is Still Time

IPL 2020 was the best opportunity for adding Pakistani players to the IPL auctions. The world was struggling from a pandemic, and the tournament was taking place at Pakistan’s adopted home ground, the UAE.

What better time to get Pakistan players in? Unfortunately, that did not happen.

There is still time.

Babar is 26, Rizwan 28, & Amir 29. It would be great to watch Mohammad Amir versus Virat Kohli once again, and there is enough love across the border to make it happen.

Copyright (2021: 4/14/2021)– @Nitesh Mathur, aka Nit-X – bcd@brokokencricketdreams.com

Photo Courtesy: Koshy Koshy via CC by 2.0

India Vs South Africa Women 2021 Series Preview: Cricket Finally Makes A Comeback to Women’s Cricket

India Vs South Africa Women 2021 Series Preview—finally some progress in women’s cricket in India.

Earlier, we explored why Nobody Cares About Women’s Cricket. The Indian men have played a 60 day IPL, had a complete tour of Australia, and is now hosting England for a full series. On the other hand, Indian women have played half-a-week long T20 Challenge. That is it. No training either until recently. This will be India’s first assignment since the World T20 Final on March 8th, 2020.

Meanwhile South Africa women are coming on back of a 3-0 ODI & 2-1 T20I victory against Pakistan at home. Here is a preview of the 5 ODI & 3 T20I match tour between India and South Africa. Here is what you should expect, the big surprises in team selection, the squads, and our series prediction.

When and Where?

Here are the dates and the venue for the India Vs South Africa Women series.

ODIs

  1. 6 March, 2021 – Lucknow
  2. 8 March, 2021 – Lucknow
  3. 11 March, 2021 – Lucknow
  4. 13 March 2021 – Lucknow
  5. 16 March 2021 – Lucknow

T20Is

  1. 20 March, 2021 – Lucknow
  2. 21 March, 2021 – Lucknow
  3. 24 March, 2021 – Lucknow

Also Read: What If Indian Women Had Won the 2017 World Cup?, What Can Ellyse Perry Not Do?

The Batting

India: Blend of Youth & Experience Key

  • Mithali Raj, the highest run scorer in Women’s ODI cricket, is just 85 runs shy of 10,000 international runs across formats (6888 ODI, 2364 T20I, 663 Tests). After 487 days away from national duty, she will back trying to take India to the ODI World Cup next year. At 38, this might be Raj’s final hurrah.
  • On the other end of the spectrum, watch out for the explosive 17-year-old Shafali Verma in the T20Is. She already has 19 international caps and strikes it at 146.24.
  • A lot will depend on the India’s experienced middle order. Harmanpreet Kaur, Deepti Sharma, and Sushma Verma (comeback) will need to make sure India bats 50 overs in case of a collapse.

South Africa: Enviable Top-Order With Lee, Wolfvaardt, and Luus

  • If the top order of Lizelle Lee, Laura Wolfvaardt, and Sune Luus play to their potential, this South African team will be very hard to beat. Luus also has the extra responsibility of the stand-in captain in the absence of injured Dan van Niekerk.
  • Lookout for Trisha Chetty. A veteran of 114 ODIs, the wicketkeeper-batsman is integral to the core of this South African side.
  • Tazmin Brits is the in-form T20I batsman for South Africa. With scores of 52* & 66, she was the Player of the T20I series against Pakistan.

The Bowling

India: Shikha Pandey’s Omission The Talking Point

  • In the build up to this series, the omission of India’s pace spearhead, Shikha Pandey, has taken the public by surprise. India’s most successful pace bowler of recent times and 2nd highest wicket taker in India’s last assignment (T20 World Cup) this is a huge call.
  • In Shikha’s absence, the pace responsibility will lie with the veteran Jhulan Goswami, Mansi Joshi, and Arundhati Reddy (T20I only)
  • I am most excited to watch India’s spin trio—Poonam Yadav, the T20 World Cup star,, Radha Yadav, and Rajeshwari Gayakwad. The youngster, Harleen Deol, impressed in the T20 Challenge with the Trailblazers and might get more opportunities to showcase her talent on the international stage.

South Africa: Ample Fast Bowling Resources, but Spin the Concern

  • The allrounder, Marizanne Kapp, is the glue that holds South Africa’s together. In the Player of the Match performance in the 2nd ODI against Pakistan, she scored an unbeaten 68 along with 3-44 as the opening pace bowler. Brilliant.
  • Shabnam Ismail is one of the best fast bowlers on women’s cricket circuit at the moment. South Africa’s highest wicket taker in both ODIs and T20Is, she will be key to South Africa’s success.
  • Without regular captain and off-spinner van Niekerk, South Africa’s spin bowling department is the concern.
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The Broken Dream

India: Shikha Pandey & Veda Krishnamurthy

  • Along with Mandhana, Raj, & Kaur, Veda Krishnamurthy caught the public’s eye in the 2017 ODI World Cup as India’s finisher. Yet, an ODI average of 25.9 & T20I average of 18.61 was not justifiable. Hopefully this is just a short term loss of form, and she we come roaring back soon.
  • Harmanpreet Kaur insisted that Pandey was ‘rested, not dropped‘ in order to experiment with the rest of the squad for upcoming tournaments. I do not buy this statement given a 18-member squad was picked regardless and that India has not played any international cricket for over a year.

South Africa: Masabata Klaas

  • South Africa are carrying a settled squad, with the exception of Klass. She suffered a last-minute injury in the Pakistan series and has not been picked for this series.

Prediction

Verdict: 3-2 South Africa (ODIs) & 2-1 India (T20Is)

South Africa’s top order and fast bowlers should give them the edge in the ODIs. Expect competitive games with scores around 225-250.

I am going with India 2-1 for the T20I series. The swashbuckling top order of Jemimah, Shafali, and Mandhana may be too much to handle for South Africa. India should look to bat first, put up a decent score, and let the spin trio handle the rest.

Let us know your thoughts on India Vs South Africa Women, and the eventual scorelines.

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My Starting XIs

These are my starting XIs (assuming everyone is available in terms of COVID and injuries).

ODI

India

  1. Jemimah Rodrigues, 2. Smriti Mandhana, 3. Priya Punia, 4. Mithali Raj*, 5. Harmanpreet Kaur, 6. Deepti Sharma, 7. Sushma Verma (WK), 8. Jhulan Goswami, 9. Poonam Yadav, 10. Mansi Joshi, 11. Rajeshwari Gayakwad

South Africa

  1. Lizelle Lee, 2. Laura Wolvaardt, 3. Sune Luus (C), 4. Lara Goodall, 5. Mignon du Preez , 6. Marizanne Kapp, 7. Trisha Chetty (WK), 8. Shabnim Ismail, 9. Nondumiso Shangase, 10. Ayabonga Khaka, 11. Nonkululeo Mlaba

*captain

T20I

India

  1. Shafali Verma, 2. Smriti Mandhana, 3. Jemimah Rodrigues, 4. Harmanpreet Kaur*, 5. Deepti Sharma, 6. Sushma Verma (WK), 7. Richa Ghosh, 8. Radha Yadav, 9. Poonam Yadav, 10. Mansi Joshi/Arundhati Reddy, 11. Rajeshwari Gayakwad/Harleen Deol

South Africa

  1. Lizelle Lee, 2. Tazmin Brits, 3.Marizanne Kapp, 4. Laura Wolvaardt, 5. Sune Luus (C), 6. Sinalo Jafta (WK), 7. Mignon du Preez,, 8. Shabnim Ismail, 9. Nondumiso Shangase, 10. Ayabonga Khaka, 11. Nonkululeo Mlaba

The Squads

India: (ODIs) Punam Raut, Dayalan Hemalatha, Radha Yadav, Yastika Bhatia, Monica Patel, Challuru Pratyusha, Sweta Verma (WK), (T20Is) Ayushi Soni, Nuzhat Parween (WK), Challuru Pratyusha, Monica Patel, Simran Bahadur

South Africa: (ODIs) Tazmin Brits, Anne Bosch, Nadine de Klerk, Sinalo Jafta, Faye Tunnicliffe, (T20Is) Tumi Sekhukune, Faye Tunnicliffe, Lara Goodall, Nadine de Klerk, Trisha Chetty

Copyright (2021: 3/6/2021)– @Nitesh Mathur, aka Nit-X – bcd@brokokencricketdreams.com

Image Courtesy: Shikha Pandey – Bahnfrend, CC BY-SA 4.0 via Wikimedia Commons

Pakistan Super League 2021 (PSL 6): Everything You Need To Know Quickly—Teams, Fixtures, & Predictions

Pakistan Super League 2021 is back once again!

Yes everybody, just 4 months after Karachi Kings lifted the PSL trophy (due to COVID interruption), we are back at it. Pakistan Super League 2021 is already making some noise—with “Groove Mera” anthem, entire tournament held in Pakistan, and the allowance of 20% crowd capacity.

With a Pakistan limited overs side on the rise and the upcoming T20I World Cup later this year, PSL 6 has additional context, both for Pakistani players and international recruits wanting to prove a point.

Babar Azam Vs Shaheen Shah Afridi, Mohammad Rizwan Vs Faheem Ashram, Hasan Ali Vs Haider Ali

These are just some of the in-form star players that will be on show. Talent galore and good cricketing all around.

Here is a quick summary of everything you need to know about the PSL 6: Teams, Dates, Fixtures, Coaching Staff, Commentators, predictions, and more!

Quick Summary

  • Matches: 34 (6 teams, 10 matches each, double round robin, top 4 qualify for playoffs)
  • Teams: Islamabad United, Karachi Kings, Lahore Qalandars, Multan Sultans, Peshawar Zalmi, Quetta Gladiators
  • Dates: February 20th- March 22nd
  • Venues: Gaddafi Stadium (Lahore), National Stadium (Karachi)
  • Commentators/Presenters: Pommie Mbangwa (Zimbabwe), Alan Wilkins (Wales), Simon Doull, Danny Morrison (New Zealand), David Gower, Dominic Cork (England), Rameez Raza, Zainab Abbas, Urooz Mumtaz, Sana Mir, Bazid Khan, Sikander Bakht, Tariq Saqeed (Pakistan)

History

  1. Islamabad United: 2016, 2018 (Won), 2019 (3rd), 2017 (4th), 2020 (6th)
  2. Peshawar Zalmi: 2017 (Won), 2018, 2019 (Runners Up), 2016 (3rd), 2020 (4th)
  3. Quetta Gladiators: 2019 (Won), 2016, 2017 (Runners Up), 2018 (4th), 2019 (5th)
  4. Karachi Kings: 2020 (Won), 2017, 2018 (3rd), 2016, 2019 (4th)
  5. Lahore Qalandars: 2020 (Runners Up), 2016, 2017 (5th), 2018, 2019 (6th)
  6. Multan Sultans: 2020 (3rd), 2018, 2019 (5th) (*Franchise did not exist before 2018 season).

PSL 6: Teams & Expected Playing XI

With Australia’s T20I tour of New Zealand, Sri Lanka’s tour of West Indies, Bangladesh’s tour of New Zealand, and the limited overs leg of India vs England, there are several players who withdrew or will be only staying for a short time.

*Teams highlighted in their respective jersey colors

Islamabad United

  • Pakistan Internationals: Shadab Khan (C), Asif Ali, Faheem Ashraf, Hasan Ali, Hussain Talat, Ifthikhar Ahmed, Muhammad Musa, Zafar Gohar
  • Pakistan Domestic: Ahmed Safi Abdullah, Mohammad Wasim, Rohail Nazir, Zeeshan Zameer
  • Foreign Recruits: Ali Khan (USA), Fawad Ahmed (Australia), Alex Hales, Lewis Gregory, Phil Salt (England), Paul Stirling (Ireland)

*Withdrawn: Reece Topley (England), Chris Jordan (England), Colin Munro (New Zealand), Akif Javed

Coaching Staff: Johan Botha (Head Coach), Saeed Ajmal (Assistant coach), Rumman Raees (Bowling Coach), Corey Rutgers (Fielding Coach)

I am looking forward to the impact of the openers, in-form Faheem Ashraf, and the Alis. Hasan Ali + Ali Khan = ENERGY & wickets (Asif Ali, the hitter as well).

Islamabad United Expected XI:

  1. Alex Hales, 2. Paul Stirling, 3. Rohail Nazir (WK), 4. Asif Ali, 5. Hussain Talat, 6. Ifthikhar Ahmed, 7. Shadab Khan, 8. Faheem Ashraf, 9. Hasan Ali, 10. Ali Khan, 11. Fawad Ahmed

Karachi Kings

  • Pakistan Internationals: Imad Wasim (C), Babar Azam, Mohammad Amir, Aamer Yamin, Sharjeel Khan, Waqas Maqsood (1 T20I)
  • Pakistan Domestic: Abbas Afridi, Arshad Iqbal, Danish Aziz, Mohammad Ilyas, Qasim Akram, Zeeshan Malik
  • Foreign Recruits: Daniel Christian (Australia), Joe Clarke (England), Colin Ingram (South Africa), Mohammad Nabi, Noor Ahmad (Afghanistan), Chadwick Walton – WK (West Indies)

Coaching Staff: Wasim Akram (Bowling Mentor), Herschelle Gibbs (Head Coach), Dougie Brown (Assistant Coach), Faisal Iqbal (Batting Coach)

I am looking forward to the middle order of Nabi-Christian-Wasim. Babar Azam and Colin Ingram are pretty strong, but if they fail for once, it will all depend on the senior middle order.

Karachi Kings Expected XI:

  1. Babar Azam, 2. Colin Ingram, 3. Sharjeel Khan, 4. Chadwick Walton (WK), 5. Mohammad Nabi, 6. Daniel Christian, 7. Imad Wasim (C), 8. Aamer Yamin, 9. Mohammad Amir, 10. Waqas Maqsood, 11. Arshad Iqbal

Lahore Qalandars

  • Pakistan Internationals: Shaheen Shah Afridi, Mohammad Hafeez, Fakhar Zaman, Haris Rauf
  • Pakistan Domestic: Sohail Akhtar (C), Agha Salman, Ahmed Danyal, Dilbar Hussain, Maaz Khan, Muhammad Faizan, Muhammad Zaid, Zeeshan Ashraf
  • Foreign Recruits: Rashid Khan (Afghanistan), David Wiese (South Africa), Joe Denly, Samit Patel, Tom Abell (England), Ben Dunk -WK (Australia)

Coaching Staff: Aaqib Javed (Head Coach), Mansoor Rana (Batting Coach), Shahzad Butt (Fielding Coach)

I am looking forward to the international contingent—Ben Dunk, Samit Patel, David Wiese, and Rashid Khan. David Wiese was instrumental to Qalandars’ runners up campaign last time around, and the same is expected this season.

Lahore Qalandars Expected XI:

  1. Fakhar Zaman, 2. Sohail Akhtar (C), 3. Mohammad Hafeez, 4. Ben Dunk, 5. Samit Patel, 6. David Wiese, 7. Rashid Khan, 8. Haris Rauf, 9. Shaheen Shah Afridi, 10. Dilbar Hussain, 11. Muhammad Faizan

Multan Sultans

  • Pakistan Internationals: Mohammad Rizwan (C), Shahid Afridi, Shan Masood, Sohail Tanvir, Usman Qadir, Khusdil Shah, Sohail Khan, Sohaib Maqsood, Imran Khan
  • Pakistan Domestic: Mohammad Umar, Shahnawaz Dhani, Sohaibullah
  • Foreign Recruits: Imran Tahir, Rilee Rossouw (South Africa), Chris Lynn (Australia), Carlos Brathwaite (West Indies), Adam Lyth, James Vince (England)

Coaching Staff: Andy Flower (Head Coach), Azhar Mahmood (Fast Bowling Coach), Mushtaq Ahmed (Spin Bowling Coach), Richard Halsall (Fielding Coach), Nathan Leamon (Director of Strategy)

I am looking forward to the top order of Lynn-Rizwan-Vince and the leg spinners. With Usman Qadir, Shahid Afridi, and Imran Tahir, anything is possible.

Multan Sultans Expected XI:

  1. Chris Lynn, 2. Mohammad Rizwan (C/WK), 3. James Vince, 4. Rilee Rossouw, 5. Sohaib Maqsood, 6. Shahid Afridi, 7. Carlos Brathwaite, 8. Sohail Tanvir, 9. Sohail Khan, 10. Usman Qadir, 11. Imran Khan

Peshawar Zalmi

  • Pakistan Internationals: Wahab Riaz (C), Shoaib Malik, Haider Ali, Imam-ul-Haq, Kamran Akmal (WK), Mohammad Irfan
  • Pakistan Domestic: Abrar Ahmed, Amad Butt, Mohammad Amir Khan, Mohammad Imran (right arm all rounder), Mohammad Imran (left arm medium-fast), Umaid Asif
  • Foreign Recruits: David Miller (South Africa), Ravi Bopara, Saqib Mahmood, Tom Kohler-Cadmore (England), Mujeeb Ur Rahman (Afghanistan), Sherfane Rutherford (West Indies)

*Withdrawn: Liam Livingstone (Withdrawn)

Coaching Staff: Darren Sammy (Head Coach), Hashim Amla (Batting Coach), Arshad Khan (Team Manager)

I am looking forward to the finishing power. If the top order can set the platform, Shoaib Malik, David Miller, and Ravi Bopara can be a handful.

Peshawar Zalmi Expected XI:

  1. Imam-ul-Haq, 2. Haider Ali, 3. Kamran Akmal (WK), 4. Shoaib Malik, 5. David Miller, 6. Ravi Bopara, 7. Mujeeb Ur Rahman, 8. Saqib Mahmood, 9. Wahab Riaz, 20. Mohammad Irfan, 11. Umaid Asif

Quetta Gladiators

  • Pakistan Internationals: Sarfaraz Ahmed (C/WK), Anwar Ali, Naseem Shah, Mohammad Hasnain, Mohammad Nawaz, Usman Shinwari, Zahid Mahmood (1 T20I)
  • Pakistan Domestic: Azam Khan, Arish Ali Khan, Abdul Nasir, Hassan Khan, Saim Ayub, Usman Khan
  • Foreign Recruits: Chris Gayle (West Indies), Faf du Plessis, Dale Steyn, Cameron Delport (South Africa), Tom Banton (WK) (England), Ben Cutting (Australia), Qais Ahmed (Afghanistan)

Coaching Staff: Moin Khan (Head Coach), Viv Richards (Batting Coach), Umar Gul (Bowling Coach), Julian Fountain (Fielding Coach)

I am looking forward to see how the Umar Gul mentored team with international stars like Dale Steyn and Ben Cutting is going to impact the likes of Naseem Shah & Mohammad Hasnain.

Quetta Gladiators Expected XI:

  1. Chris Gayle, 2. Faf du Plessis, 3. Tom Banton/Cameron Delport, 4. Azam Khan, 5. Sarfaraz Ahmed (C/WK), 6. Ben Cutting/Dale Steyn, 7. Anwar Ali, 8. Naseem Shah, 9. Mohammad Hasnain, 10. Mohammad Nawaz, 11. Usman Shinwari

Key Match Ups To Watch Out For

  1. 40 is the new 30 feat Shahid Afridi & Chris Gayle: These two have been playing cricket for over two decades. Whenever you think they are done, they will come back with a man-of-the-match performance. Also add the newly retired from Test cricket, Faf du Plessis to the list of prominent veterans.
  2. Prove a point with a bang feat Alex Hales & Paul Stirling: Alex Hales, once again ignored from the England national set up (despite most runs in the Big Bash) and Paul Stirling, ignored from the IPL auctions (despite being the best ODI batsman over the last year), find themselves together as opening pair for the Islamabad United. No better time to prove your critics wrong.
  3. Mohammad Amir Vs The Rest of The World: Amir controversially announced in a statement that he is still available to play for Pakistan, although it is unlikely to happen under the current management. Will he walk the talk?

Pakistan Super League 2021 Predictions

Finally here are my predictions.

My prediction for the team to lift the PSL 6 trophy is….Islamabad United with the Top 4 of Lahore Qalandars, Multan Sultans, and Peshawar Zalmi.

  • Green Cap (Most Runs): Mohammad Rizwan
  • Maroon Cap (Most Wickets): Hasan Ali
  • Emerging Player: Rohail Nazir
  • Surprise Package: Paul Stirling
  • Broken Cricket Dream: Shahid Afridi finally retires? Like really.

Here were my Pakistan Super League 2021 Predictions. What did you think? What are YOUR predictions? Comment Below!

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Fixtures

The league stage begins on 20th February and ends on the 16th of March. The Playoffs schedule is:

  • Qualifier (Lahore) – 18 March (1 vs 2)
  • Eliminator 1 (Lahore) – 19 March (3 vs 4)
  • Eliminator 2 (Lahore) – 20 March (Eliminator 1 winner Vs Qualifier loser)
  • Final (Lahore) – 22 March (Eliminator 2 winner Vs Qualifier winner)

Here is the rest of the schedule:

Islamabad UnitedKarachi KingsLahore QalandarsMultan SultanPeshawar ZalmiQuetta Gladiators
Islamabad United
Karachi Kings24 Feb
7 Mar
Lahore Qalandars4 Mar
12 Mar
28 Feb
14 Mar
Multan Sultan21 Feb
13 Mar
27 Feb
5 Mar
26 Feb
16 Mar
Peshawar Zalmi27 Feb
15 Mar
3 Mar
10 Mar
21 Feb
6 Mar
23 Feb
12 Mar
Quetta Gladiators1 Mar
6 Mar
20 Feb
13 Mar
22 Feb
11 Mar
3 Mar
7 Mar
26 Feb
14 Mar
Pakistan Super League 2021 Fixtures

Image Courtesy:

Image Courtesy: Sarfaraz Ahmed – License, as on date of upload: ‘Creative Commons Attribution license (reuse allowed)’ , CC BY 3.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

Pakistan Cricket On The Rise: Pakistan Vs New Zealand T20I 2020 Series Preview

Pakistan cricket has rejuvenated in the last couple of years.

Post 2015, Pakistan has invested in youngsters and focused on bringing cricket back home. With the likes of Babar Azam and Shaheen Shah Afridi, this Pakistan T20I team is a force to reckon with in the near future.

Can they triumph against New Zealand in their own backyard?

Read till the end to check out our predictions. Let us know who you think will win in the COMMENTS below!

When and Where?

Here are the dates and the venue for the Pakistan Vs New Zealand T20I series.

  1. 18 December, Auckland
  2. 20 December, Hamilton
  3. 22 December, Napier

Also Read: New Zealand vs West Indies Review, Series Predictions, The Magician With the Yorker: Umar Gul

The Batting

Pakistan: Young Talent Highlight Azam-less Batting Line-Up

New Zealand: Explosive But Inexperienced

  • Williamson is on paternity leave but is expected to come back by the 2nd T20I. Another key selection is that Ross Taylor has been dropped. You heard it right—dropped, not rested.
  • Glenn Phillips and Devon Conway cemented their places with marvelous performances against the West Indies. Another young talent from Hong Kong, Mark Chapman, has got a few chances but now needs to follow suit and deliver.
  • Expect Guptill-Seifert to provide New Zealand with explosive starts and Neesham to finish it off in style.

The Bowling

Pakistan: Pakistan Cricket and the Flurry of Bowling Options

  • Shaheen Shah Afridi is the complete package – can bowl up front and at the death. Need 4 wickets in 4 balls? Can do that as well. One of the bests in this format right now.
  • Wahab Riaz is the experienced man in this line up. Has been in and out of the side in the last few years. With Haris Rauf’s rapid rise and Naseem/Musa waiting, Riaz would want to nail his T20I World Cup spot.
  • Stand-in captain Shadab Khan & Imad Wasim will occupy key spinning-allrounder roles. Much rest on their shoulders for the balance of the XI.

New Zealand: Rotation Policy Central to New Zealand’s Depth

  • Southee-Boult-Jamieson should return for the last 2 T20Is as the first choice bowling line-up.
  • The first T20I gives the likes of Doug Bracewell, Kuggeleijn, Tickner, and possible debutant Duffy a chance to seal the reserve seamer spot.
  • Santner will captain in the absence of Williamson. In short New Zealand grounds and flat pitches, Santner needs to keep economy rate low otherwise another Pollard-like carnage is on the cards.

Key Matchups To Watch Out For

  1. Haris Rauf Vs NZ’s middle order: As Rauf has shown in the Big Bash, he is a quite a skiddy customer and a smart, thinking cricketer. The Kiwis ought to be wary.
  2. Battle of the Keepers: Both Seifert and Rizwan are safe behind the wickets and have had a decent past year. The winner of this mini-battle will have an impact on the series.
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The Broken Dream

Pakistan: Shoaib Malik and Mohammad Amir

  • Shoaib Malik, the first Asian to 10000 T20 runs, has already won the National T20 Cup and the Lanka Premier League finals. Yet, with veterans Hafeez and Iftikhar Ahmed, is it curtains on a two-decade long career?
  • Mohammad Amir’s recent international retirement/break statement has shaken the social media world. The journey of a promising young kid whose rise took the world by surprise, followed by a spot-fixing exile, a remarkable comeback, and finally dropped from the side—end of the dream for Amir?

What are your thoughts on his sudden retirement? COMMENT BELOW!

New Zealand: Ross Taylor

  • Devon Conway’s consistent performances has cast Ross Taylor aside, the only person to play 100+ games across formats. Always a decent performer, Taylor never lived up to his RCB 2009 heights in T20Is. Can he make it to the next World Cup?

Prediction

Verdict: 2-1 Pakistan

This young Pakistan cricket team is definitely favorites to reach the top 4 at the 2021 T20I World Cup in India. Without Babar Azam, the team will not be at its maximum potential, but neither is New Zealand without Williamson and with its fast bowling-rotation policy.

Both teams have fluid, explosive line ups with multiple bowling options. In this series, I am most excited for the youngsters on show!

Expect Haider Ali and Glenn Phillips to provide some entertainment.

Let us know your thoughts on Pakistan cricket, New Zealand cricket, and the eventual scoreline. COMMENT BELOW AND LET US KNOW!

My Starting XI:

These are my starting XI for the first Test (assuming everyone is available in terms of COVID and injuries).

Pakistan:

Abdullah Shafique, Haider Ali, Mohammad Hafeez, Mohammad Rizwan (WK), Khusdil Shah, Iftikhar Ahmed, Imad Wasim, Shadab Khan*, Haris Rauf, Shaheen Afridi, Wahab Riaz

New Zealand (1st):

Martin Guptill, Tim Seifert (WK), Glenn Phillips, Devon Conway, Mark Chapman, Mitchell Santner*, James Neesham, Ish Sodhi, Jacob Duffy, Blair Tickner, Doug Bracewell

New Zealand (2nd-3rd):

Guptill, Seifert (WK), Williamson*, Phillips, Conway, Daryl Mitchell, Neesham, Jamieson, Southee, Boult, Sodhi

*captain

The Squads

These are the other options in the squads. Note, India has 2 squads – for the first 2 and last T20I respectively

Pakistan: Faheem Ashraf, Hussain Talat, Mohammad Hasnain, Muhammad Musa, Sarfaraz Ahmed (WK), Usman Qadir

New Zealand: Todd Astle, Scott Kuggeleijn

Image Courtesy: Shoaib Malik – (By Pakistan Cricket Board – Youtube): License, as on date of upload: ‘Creative Commons Attribution license (reuse allowed)’, CC BY 3.0 , via Wikimedia Commons