A high-octane battle took place at Sydney Cricket Ground on Monday night in which Babar’s men destroyed an apparently unbeatable South African side in a high-octane clash that roared back Pakistan in style ahead of the 2022 T20 World Cup. As the game was played on a rain-affected day, Men in Green put up a solid total on the board before restricting South Africa to win the game by 33 runs while putting up an impressive total on the board.
In the early stages of the match, it looked to be a humbling day for the Green Shirts as they lost three of their top order players cheaply, but the team put up a valiant fightback and took the South African bowlers to the cleaners, which the Proteas appeared to never recover from.
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As a result of their intensity and strategy to tackle a strong South African side, Pakistan finally looked like a team that fans of the cricket team have grown accustomed to seeing over the past year. I am sure that Pakistan cricket fans will be hoping that the Men in Green continue their exceptional work and continue the positive T20 intent that they have demonstrated in their previous match and continue the great work they are doing.
Considering the thumping win Pakistan had over South Africa, here are five things the country should take away from it:
1. Utilize the Powerplay
As a team, Pakistan has struggled at the start of the innings due to a lack of ability to fully utilize the fielding restrictions imposed on them. On numerous occasions, Pakistan has been harmed by slow starts as they are left with a lot of work to do at the end of their innings, giving them too much to do.
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It was like a breath of fresh air for the side when Mohammad Haris made his debut T20 World Cup innings as he faced a world-class bowling unit, consisting of Kagiso Rabada and Anrich Nortje, which was a seriously good bowling unit. Haris’ time at the wicket was short, but his brilliant innings provided the impetus for the rest of the batting unit to play their usual game and post a big total for the side in the all-important match, despite Haris’ short stay at the wicket.
You can just imagine what it would be like if the Men in Green did this consistently. In addition to putting pressure on the opposition bowling unit, fast starts will also provide the confidence to the rest of the batting unit to play at a consistent rate from the moment they step out to bat, and not look to hit sixes off the first ball they face.
2. No Need for 3 Anchors
I believe that Pakistan should scrap its experiment with three anchors at the top of the order as soon as possible. In their own right, Babar, Rizwan, and Shan have all proven to be good players, but if these three were to start the game at the top of the order, it would be a sure-fire recipe for disaster.
It would be ideal if Pakistan had only one anchor in their top order, but due to the vastly superior records of Babar and Rizwan, as well as Shan’s sensational form, they really didn’t have much choice. Since Haris has been included in the team, the management has been given an insight into what it would be like to have a player in the side that can smash from the word go onwards.
Pakistan will have to drop at least one anchor from the three main anchors of Babar, Rizwan, and Shan going forward. Shan would be the unlucky one in this situation since he loses a significant amount of his role if he is not one of the top three players. Although Shan has put in some solid performances in the T20 World Cup, one of Asif Ali or Khushdil Shah may be a better choice to replace him since they have both put in excellent performances in the tournament.
2. THREE. The middle overs match is a battle between the spinners and the batsmen
During the middle phase of Pakistan’s innings, and so far in the tournament, they have been able to achieve a great deal of success because they have decided to take on spinners when they need them most.
Iftikhar was pitted against Ashwin and Axar Patel during Pakistan’s encounter with India, while Shadab Khan and Mohammad Nawaz were pitted against Tabraiz Shamsi during Pakistan’s encounter with South Africa. With the momentum tilting in Pakistan’s favor during this phase of the game, Pakistan was given the impetus to continue scoring runs for the remainder of the innings.
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Since Pakistan has been following this strategy throughout the tournament so far, I do not see any reason why they should change this strategy in this match against Bangladesh as well.
4. Trust Shadab & Nawaz as Middle-Order Batters
Mohammad Nawaz and Shadab Khan’s inability to be trusted by the Pakistan team management as proper middle-over batters has caused the team’s performance to suffer on more than one occasion. A lot of the batting responsibilities are going to fall on the shoulders of these two players in the future, since they are both excellent all-rounders.
With their performances with the bat, both of these players have demonstrated their talents and have proven to be match-winners for the team with their performances with the bat recently. As a testament to their talent with the bat, Nawaz’s epic innings against India in the 2022 Asia Cup and Shadab’s sensational half-century against South Africa in the 2022 T20 World Cup are proof of their exceptional abilities.
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By promoting their position up the order, Pakistan will be able to play a proper end-of-innings batsman lower down the order, which will not only prolong their innings, but also provide a better team chemistry.
5. No Set Pattern in Death Bowling
Among the pace attacks in the tournament, Pakistan has undoubtedly one of the best, if not the best, pace attack. It is true that the Men in Green are blessed with some outstanding fast bowlers who are capable of excelling in various match situations. The frontline is dominated by Shaheen and Naseem, while Haris Rauf and Muhammad Wasim Jr. are lethal up back. We are one of the leading death-over specialists in the world.
Pakistan’s pace attack is gifted with a variety of strategies that allow the team to utilize different strategies throughout the course of the game depending on the phase of the game. A set pattern should not be followed, but instead the focus should be on the bowlers’ strengths combined with the conditions on the pitch to make the most of their abilities.
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As an example, both Mohammad Wasim Jr. and Mohammad Wasim Sr. As part of the South African innings, both Mohammad Wasim Jr. and Mohammad Wasim Sr. bowled brilliantly, but they bowled in completely different ways. Naseem, on the other hand, used the pitch conditions to his advantage and bowled slow-cutters to get the best out of Wasim’s yorkers. There are differences between the two, but they are both equally effective when done correctly.