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Lowest of lows to highest of highs—the Pakistan story! Why Babar Azam’s men can’t be taken lightly by India

Lowest of lows to highest of highs—the Pakistan story! Why Babar Azam’s men can’t be taken lightly by India

25 years ago, it was Bangladesh that beat Pakistan in their first ever ICC tournament. Pakistan couldn't rise above that; can they do it now after a humiliating defeat at the hands of the USA?

Pakistan losing to underdogs at World Cups is a story as old as time. It was Bangladesh in 1999, Ireland in 2007, Zimbabwe in 2022, Afghanistan in 2023, and now it’s the USA. But what you forget are the moments when they rose like a phoenix from the ashes. On June 9, Babar Azam and his men have a chance to do something similar in the India vs Pakistan at the T20 World Cup.

Pakistan’s long history of miraculous comebacks

You see, Pakistan’s first-ever ICC trophy win was one of the greatest runs in cricket’s history. Weirdly enough, it was ‘Qudrat ka Nizam’ that helped them there as well. At the 1992 World Cup, the Men in Green were basically out of the tournament. They started with a 10-wicket drubbing from two-time champions the West Indies.

The Men in Green beat Zimbabwe and were saved against England. They would go on to lose the next two matches against India and South Africa as well, and had just three points after five matches. But from there, Pakistan went on a run, winning five consecutive matches and lifting the ODI World Cup for the first time.

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No one, including Pakistan, would have believed that they would go on to win. Yet, there they stood at the podium. They have repeated something in their other two ICC event victories in the T20 World Cup 2009 and Champions Trophy 2017. In 2009, they got to the semifinals after beating just one top side (New Zealand) and losing to Sri Lanka and England. But once they went through, they beat South Africa and Sri Lanka to lift the title.

In 2017, they were the 8th-ranked ODI team in the world. They started by losing by a huge margin (124 runs) to India in the tournament opener. What did they do next? Won the next four matches and lifted the title, beating South Africa, Sri Lanka, England, and India on the way.

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Why Babar Azam & Co. will repeat past heroics

There have been talks of infighting within the team. Former vice-captain Shadab Khan stated that Shaheen Afridi shouldn’t have been removed as captain. Babar Azam is being criticized by everyone, including his own teammates behind his back. People are raising questions about the selections and fitness levels of players.

All of this won’t harm Pakistan against India on June 9. Instead, they’ll help them. The team may have been divided before they lost to the USA. But now, which backs against the wall, reputations, and spot in the team in danger, you’ll see a Pakistan side, which would leave it all on the ground.

Expect bowlers to breathe fire, batters to be at their best, and even some great fielding. Why? Because that’s just what Pakistan has done and will continue to do as cricket’s most unpredictable and exciting side.

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