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Pakistan beware! Team infighting, poor past performances & Indian expats can lead to downfall in Dallas

Pakistan beware! Team infighting, poor past performances & Indian expats can lead to downfall in Dallas

T20 World Cup: The Babar Azam-led Pakistan side might look like the clear winners in PAK vs USA, but one cannot rule out their knack of losing against minnows.

The first word that comes to mind when one speaks about Pakistan cricket team is, unpredictable. The team can go on to win big matches when no one gives them a chance, and lose some of the easiest matches in the world. And this phenomenon has always been their highlight, their trademark. The T20 World Cup 2024 is yet another ICC tournament where Babar Azam & Co. are the underdogs, and the fans, not just Pakistanis, better be prepared for surprises.

Pakistan’s Knack of Losing to Lesser Opponents

Pakistan might be one of the best T20I teams in the world, perhaps, but they look like the most vulnerable side against the minnows. Just look at how they were beaten by New Zealand ‘B’ side this year under. Then they also lost a match vs Ireland in the run up to the T20 World Cup 2024.

In 2023, the team had gone on to lose three T20Is to Afghanistan and one to Bangladesh as well. So you just don’t know with them.

Rift Between Babar Azam & Shaheen Afridi Grows?

Ever since Shaheen Afridi was made the T20I captain of the Pakistan cricket team, there were reports of a rift between Babar and him. Then once again, after Babar was made the captain again, the rift only seems to have widened. And it’s visible in the performances. Pakistan all-rounder Shadab Khan recently came out in defence of Shaheen and said, “From Shaheen’s point of view, things shouldn’t have changed so rapidly; instead, a system or adequate process should have been in place to ensure consistency and provide consistent results,” he told Wisden.

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Uncertainty of Pitches, USA no Pushovers

As has been a clear case in all the matches that have taken place in the USA, the pitches aren’t that reliable, even in Dallas, where USA played the tournament opener against Canada. While over 190 was chased in that match, the next match saw scores barely above 100. And in that situation, Pakistan batsmen might just choke with a vulnerable line up.

USA too has batsmen and bowlers, mostly of Indian and Pakistani descent, who can give a good fight. There’s Saurabh Netravalkar and Ali Khan who pick up early wickets, and spinner Harmeet Singh, who is generally miserly. Among batsmen, skipper Monank Patel with Steven Taylor can be a handful. Then Aaron Jones in the middle-order, who scored 94 from 40 against Canada, is there too. Andries Gous, the South Africa-born can provide stability to the batting order.

IN short, Pakistan beware, is the writing on the wall.

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