Preview, Pak vs Aus: Pakistan need to bring in Asad Shafiq
By CricLens Staff Report on October 1st, 2012

Despite winning 3 consecutive matches in the event, situation for Pakistan to qualify for the Semi Final looks bleak. Even if they beat Australia tomorrow, a win would not guarantee them a place in the Semis and they will have to rely on India and South Africa’s match later in the evening.

Best chance for Pakistan to qualify is beat Australia by margin of 42 odd runs or chase the target inside 14 overs, it would take their Run Rate above all other teams and they will qualify for the Semis irrespective of the result of India’s match. Or beat Australia and then hope India does not win their match. Contrary to that, Australia have their one foot in the Semis and their place is guaranteed unless they lose to Pakistan by a massive margin.

Australia is the only team of the event which have not tasted defeat yet and their batting has been such formidable that they lost only 7 wickets in four matches they have played. For that they owe to their spearhead Shane Watson, who has scored most runs, taken most wickets, hit most sixes and earned most Man of the Match awards in this World Twenty20.

If Pakistan are to go to the knock-out stage of the event, they need to overcome two forces tomorrow: 1) Australia. 2) Shane Watson.

Pakistan’s problem and vulnerability is with their batting, which was exposed in their last two games. If their top three perform, they tend to do well. But in case of a collapse they dont have any batsman of accumulating skills who can drag them out of trouble. In the past, batsmen like Younis Khan, Inzamam-ul-Haq, Misbah-ul-Haq and Mohammad Yousuf have carried their middle order in limited-over cricket when the top order used to get failed.

So they need to bring in a batsman who has ability to stick to the crease in case the wickets are tumbling. Asad Shafiq seems to be the only option in the current squad who have the patience to stay. For that they will have to leave out either Imran Nazir or Shoaib Malik. In case, they are not leaving out Nazir and picking Shafiq, they must bring Malik to at least at Number 4 so he could carry the middle order.

Another debatable slot is of an all-rounder in the late order. Yasir Arafat’s selection in the playing XI seems to be questionable when Abdul Razzaq is busy warming the bench. Arafat has neither impressed with bowl nor with bat so far. It is likely that Pakistan will bring in the experience of Abdul Razzaq, who also adds depth in the batting, to counter Australia. Also they need to stop experimenting with Shahid Afridi as floater and let him stay in the late order, even below Abdul Razzaq.

Less than a month ago, both the teams also squared up in UAE where they played 3-match Twenty20 series. Pakistan won it by 2-1. Hence, when they play on Tuesday, Australians would be familiar of Pakistan’s tactics and of their spinners. If there was anything which Pakistan saved for this match and didn’t use it in UAE, it could be unveiled in Colombo.

Watch out for Shane Watson vs Raza Hassan

Raza Hassan played only two matches in this World Twenty20 and in those gave he a tough time to the top order. In match against South Africa, he bowled as much as 8 consecutive Dot Balls to batsmen as good as Hashim Amla and Jacques Kallis while against India he didn’t only start off with a wicket but also bowled strangling line to Virat Kohli, who was forced to play 4 consecutive dot balls.

Shane Watson on the other hand has given tough time to all the teams he faced and seems to have carried all the burden of Australian batting on his shoulder. Therefore, Watson vs Hassan would boast an entertaining show. It would be interesting to see if the young Hassan has the nerves and skills to trouble the best batsman of the tournament.

Stats and Trivia

Kamran Akmal has 303 runs against Australia – most by a Pakistan batsman against a particular team. In doing so, he has 3 fifties and was also out on duck (0) twice.

Saeed Ajmal has 15 Wickets against Australia – most by a Pakistan bowler against a particular team.

In 10 Twenty20 Internationals, both the teams have won 5 times each – Pakistan won one on Super Over.

Pakistan and Australia have played 3 times in World Twenty20s, Australia lead the way with 2-1 (including a Semi Final heist in 2010).

Umar Gul has taken wicket of Shane Watson 3 times in ODI Cricket and twice in T20 Cricket. Including once last year in 50-over World Cup at the same venue (Colombo RPS)

5 Responses to “Preview, Pak vs Aus: Pakistan need to bring in Asad Shafiq”

  1. Asad Kamal Abbasi says:

    I’ve read almost all of your articles and stats.. But i never had sent you any reply.. So it was looking a bit unfair for not appreciating you for this marvelous work you are doing.. So i just want to thank you for giving us all the stats before and after the match..
    Just keep on doing this work, my best wishes are with you..

  2. Taha says:

    Malik has been performing consistently and looks in form. There is no way that Asad Shafiq could be brought in place if Malik. Imran Nazir should be dropped, Nasir Jamshed should open along with Hafeez.

  3. Shah says:

    Good article but difference will be whether to pik shafiq diring this stage when pakistan are almost out of the competition? In order to beat aus with 42 ofd runs difference u need ur openers to fire up and keep rotating strikes. Shafiq could be a good batsmen but nazir can make difference. Need to drop arafat and pik abdul razzaq if pak wana win this game

  4. Israr Ahmed says:

    Mazher Arshad – You Are A Good Talent. Everytime I See Any Of Your Posts – Whaoo Comes Out Itself !

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