The T20 World Cup begins tomorrow with Pakistan and India facing off at Melbourne Cricket Ground.
Even though Pakistan has a lethal pace attack led by Shaheen Shah Afridi, Haris Rauf, and Naseem Shah, its batting might be weak. Now that the Indian bowling attack is greatly favored by Australian conditions, let’s examine how Pakistan will counter it.
Opening pair Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan form the core of Pakistan’s batting. The Pakistani bat still struggles to dominate at times, despite having two of the world’s best-ranked T20I batters, but Indian bowlers know how to take advantage of the conditions regardless of how star-studded Pakistan’s pace attack seems on paper. The challenge for Pakistan is to plan carefully and tactically for batting.
Death Over Blues: MCG
It believes in saving wickets in the first half of a match and accelerating in the second half. The nature of MCG seems to be the opposite. Statistics show that the venue is tougher for the batters in the death overs. The Pakistani batsmen will need to change their strategy of just hitting at the end.
Innings to Build
Australia has a tough boundary hitting culture, despite the T20 format favoring batters. In comparison with other countries, according to the statistics, in Australia there is a relatively low percentage of batters hitting boundaries compared to other countries around the world. It is also important to note that most runs are scored when a strike is rotated while simultaneously.
Considering the circumstances, Pakistan can maximize their scoring by putting the ball in the air whenever possible and attempting to find gaps to make as many singles and doubles as possible. The opening duo of Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan could also be an advantage for Pakistan as Babar Azam likes to hit it for fours through gaps while Mohammad Rizwan responds to bouncers with a pull shot to counter the bouncers.
There is no escaping the fact that Pakistan should attack the Indian bowlers in the powerplay period while fielders are inside the circle. Following that, Pakistan should carry the rhythm through the middle overs to ensure that they have a solid base before making reckless decisions during the death overs.
Taking down bouncers is not an easy task
As far as bouncers are concerned, Pakistan should be extremely careful if they want to avoid short balls in the future. India seems to be fully aware of the fact that Pakistani batters have been clueless when faced with short balls in the past. There are plenty of records to support this statement. There is no doubt that Australia’s bounce pitches provide a great deal of support for the bowlers to use lethal bouncers. The shorter lengths of the pitch pose a difficult challenge to the Pakistanis. Therefore, one of the most critical factors for Pakistan’s success on the batting front will be how they plan to deal with the short ball.
Taking advantage of match-ups to your advantage
Further, it can be quite a game-changing move for Pakistan to promote Shadab Khan and Mohammad Nawaz up the order according to the match-ups since it helps put the Indian bowlers under pressure and, in the end, ensures a better batting line-up on their behalf.
As Pakistan’s batting order has become more flexible in the past few months, it has not only worked wonders for them but has also helped them unlock their potential as a power-hitter. Iftikhar Ahmad and Asif Ali would take on the spinners in the middle overs with Shadab Khan and Mohammad Nawaz utilizing their low valued wickets to take on the spinners, and thus giving Pakistan’s batting outfit tactical stability with their pace bowlers.
The Pakistani bowlers will depend on their pace attack to restrict the Indian batters, so they must plan perfectly in order to prevent the Indian bowlers from doing the same to the Pakistani batters. It is no secret that Australia is a challenging wicket for batters, so Pakistan will have to be a very fine and balanced batting unit if they are to prevent a complete collapse on the bouncy track of the MCG. Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan, who are the two main batters in the middle order, will need to lay a solid foundation for their future teammates to build upon in this regard. For Pakistani batters, the final word they must keep in mind and repeat is; keep the scoreboard ticking and do your best.