ICC T20 World Cup: Pakistan - a team that relied more on miracles than consistent performances


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  1. #1
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    ICC T20 World Cup: Pakistan - a team that relied more on miracles than consistent performances

    Many thanks to @Titan24 for his excellent review of Pakistan's fortuitious campaign in the ICC T20 World Cup.




    Whilst England was a better and more consistent team overall and won the ICC T20 World Cup 2022 at the end, this tournament did, however, witness another extraordinary element which makes cricket and other sports as big as they are.
    That was the turnaround of a team which nobody expected to do well, one which gave hope to people from all spheres of lives as well as the belief to the respective nation that it’s possible to turn things around from any situation. If there will ever be a history book of sporting turnarounds, then Pakistan's performances throughout the years would be right up there as the main highlights.

    However, the turnaround during the ICC T20 World Cup 2022 topped anything like what has been associated with Pakistan in the past. In this tournament, Babar Azam's side were not just 'Cornered' but rather possibly like tigers stuck in a cage with no key to get themselves out. It is true that Pakistan could not win the tournament but, this will go down in the history books as one of the biggest turnarounds ever witnessed from almost bowing out from the group stages to playing a T20 World Cup final.

    That being said let’s have a look at Pakistan’s ICC T20 World Cup 2022 journey as well as the general approach from a microscopic lens.

    There were some obvious shortcomings when it comes to the overall intent of the batting which was something experts and fans talked about in the previous series as well as tournaments like Asia Cup and even the ICC T20 World Cup 2021.

    In majority of the matches which Pakistan won in the period leading up to the World Cup, there generally was a tendency to have last over finishes with the bat irrespective of the total and the opposition. Whether it was couple of Asif Ali knocks going back to the 2021 edition of the T20 World Cup or Naseem Shah’s couple of sixes against Afghanistan in ACC Asia Cup 2022, which were pleasing to the fans, the fact is that there was something wrong in the Pakistan approach when it came to chasing totals alongside as setting them up with their batting approach. The ACC Asia Cup 2022 final was a good example of above.

    So, Pakistan arrived at the ICC T20 World Cup 2022 with a lot of unwanted baggage in terms of defective strategies in their batting approach and a lack of a dependable middle order.

    On the other hand, Pakistan’s pace bowling was able to assume another dimension in the absence of Shaheen Shah Afridi leading up to the tournament, as Naseem Shah took the responsibility of bowling with the new ball and did the job with a considerable success.

    That rather conveniently solved the puzzle of who would partner Shaheen, when he returned, with the new white-ball and keep that pressure going from both ends. The pace bowling unit was looking good after many years.

    The tournament started with a narrow loss against India, a match which should have been won from the situation Pakistan was in. It highlighted the fact that Pakistan management, just like in the ODI World Cup of 2019, needed at least some time to get their combination right for the conditions they were playing. However, this was a bit disappointing as they would have had ample time before the start of a major tournament to sort this important aspect of their strategy. The fact is that if they had thought a bit more and included a 4th seamer in the game against India, the result could well have been completely different for Pakistan. It was not until the 2nd match of the tournament versus Zimbabwe that Pakistan brought in Mohammad Wasim Jr as the 4th seamer and that pace bowling combination created the impact straight away.

    Strategic mistakes and incorrect team combination saw Pakistan almost leaving the tournament until the final day of the group stage. That day required a miracle for Pakistan to stay in the tournament. Pakistan fans from around the world diligently stayed up to watch all 3 games of the group and a miracle was delivered by Netherlands with an upset win against South Africa, after which a win against Bangladesh sealed the semi-final spot.

    In the final analysis, the group match against South Africa and semi-final match against New Zealand were possibly the two most complete games Pakistan played in the tournament. It was disappointing for Pakistani cricket fans and pundits that Pakistan lost the final but, the main reason they lost the match was not surprising as it was due to another batting collapse with Pakistan going from 2-84 to 8-131.
    Overall, the development and exposure for some of the young players like Mohammad Haris, Naseem Shah and Mohammad Wasim alongside quite a few established team members who are still pretty young was great to watch. Be it Shadab Khan, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Haris Rauf and others - all impressed with their dedication and commitment and this was a big positive.

    There is still a lot to learn from this tournament for the Pakistan think tank in the way we approach the T20 format, however, this should not take away anything from the comeback and overall performance which Pakistan delivered. One feels that with some addition to the overall batting intent in white-ball cricket and Pakistan fans can fancy some impressive performances from these set of players in the coming years. However, for this to happen, the Pakistan think tank needs to be proactive to utilize the resources at hand when it comes to the right combinations, emphasis on matchups as well as some bold decisions on the batting order.


    Positives

    • Young stars in Wasim Jr, Mohammad Haris and Naseem Shah making their presence felt
    • Experienced but, still age wise young stars in Shadab Khan, Haris Rauf and Shaheen Shah Afridi continuing their upward career trajectories
    • Middle order showing decent reliability



    Negatives

    • Lack of proactiveness from thintank on few occasions for sometime now when it comes to batting order as well as team combinations
    • Not enough unorthodox strokes as well as power shots available for batsmen in comparison to other teams
    • Opening combination failing to deliver impact other than in the semi-final
    Last edited by MenInG; 14th November 2022 at 21:29.


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  2. #2
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    Good, even-handed analysis.

    Pak think tank not been thinking well it seems - so many games we had before the tournament and still couldn't figure out their best one!


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  3. #3
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    Great analysis, right on the money with the strategic mistakes costing us.

    I do think though we were overdoing it with the proactiveness in the batting order. Too much experimentation going on game to game. Promoting Nawaz and Shadab worked in the past, yet in the final they were sent to finish the innings. The team fails to learn from its previous experiences whether it's mistakes or success.

  4. #4
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    “Pakistan - a team that relied more on miracles than consistent performances”

    This has been true for Pakistan cricket since the fluke 92 World Cup triumph. It destroyed Pakistan’s cricket culture and mentality forever.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mamoon View Post
    “Pakistan - a team that relied more on miracles than consistent performances”

    This has been true for Pakistan cricket since the fluke 92 World Cup triumph. It destroyed Pakistan’s cricket culture and mentality forever.
    Larger story of 92 is different, basically before 92 world cup Pakistan were known as chokers in limited overs cricket world cups where all exits from 1975,79,87 happened despite being in winning positions.

    1975

    In virtual quarter final
    West indies needed 65 runs with 1 wicket left and somehow derek murray won the game

    1979 semi final

    115 needed in 120 balls 9 wickets in hand

    Middle order collapsed and we lost.

    1987 semi final.

    Our Openers gave a bad start but good recovery happened and then late mid & lower order collapsed + saleem jaffer conceded 21 in 50th over unexpectedly.

    In 83 semi final ( we were outplayed)

    So desperation was rocket high in 92 then miracle happened in 92 so that is how it became fairytale.

    Had we won 1987 world cup, our cricket culture would have been very different.

  6. #6
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    Luck eventually runs out. It happened with India then us as well. England after defeating New Zealand, India and Pak fully deserved to be crowned champs. England would have probably defeated Australia too had the match not bee rained off. Pak only defeated RSA and the half decent Bangladesh in the group stages. Our batting is third class compared to most top sides.

    I wasn't too upset at all when England scored the winning runs.


    PP's own self proclaimed sharpshooter and defender of Islam and Pakistan.

  7. #7
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    Faced four tier-1 teams. India, South Africa, New Zealand and England.
    First three were chokers.

    India-World cup chokers with has been batters and bowling attack weaker than Afg and Bangla.
    -LOSS

    South Africa - The best of chokers. -WIN.

    New Zealand - World Cup chokers. Specialists in choking against Pakistan. -WIN.

    England - Top allround team. -LOSS

  8. #8
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    And back in 2021 this team was consisstent and yet lost.

    So what?
    If miracles help us get in than i see no problem.

    This team is not as bad as some people are saying. They just messed up on the captaincy and not playing according to the conditions.

    Tell me how can a team that lost only one game in 2021 wt20 is now a bad team because of one loss to minnow?

    The champion team lost to a minnow. Sa losing to a minnow wasnt even a miracle for us but shows how bad the SA team was along with being over rated

  9. #9
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    Pakistan's performance was predictable relatively. It totally depended on which ground they played on.

  10. #10
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    The problem is that everyone knew what the shortcomings were but nothing was done about them.

    It was clear as day what the issues were going to be, but no changes to the opening slots were tried, we took players who were there to collect air miles not runs.


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  11. #11
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    I think to be quite honest us fans have unrealistic expectations from the Pakistan team in T20 cricket. Currently, Pakistan cricket is well behind in batting ability compared to the other top 5 teams. Fortunately, our bowling department keeps bailing us out but it can only do so much.

    We keep hearing Pakistan should change their batting approach but we fail to see that in reality we lack capability to change the batting approach. To adopt a batting approach like England you need big hitters that can target all parts of the ground so that shorter boundaries can be utilized and you need fast bowling all rounders to formulate a deep batting lineup.

    PSL is a great example that demonstrates Pakistan's lack of ability. Most teams utilize the overseas players for the big hitting and all rounder spots. Only a handful of domestic players are used for these roles and the domestic big hitters that are selected largely only know to target one area of the field, which ends up woking out in home conditions.


    Inko Takleef Pohanchay Gi, Inko Rulaon Ga Main - IK

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Saj View Post
    The problem is that everyone knew what the shortcomings were but nothing was done about them.

    It was clear as day what the issues were going to be, but no changes to the opening slots were tried, we took players who were there to collect air miles not runs.
    You are 100% right.Most people knew Asif and Khushdil can’t perform against top class bowling.Haider has poor judgment and shot selection but nothing was done to find their replacements.Everyone knows Pakistan needs a fast bowling allrounder but the management has turned a blind eye.

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