“One minute down, next minute up”, this quote perfectly epitomizes Pakistan Cricket. They were thrashed by the Windies at Trent Bridge when they were bundled out for only 104. This was their 12th successive loss on the trot. But a couple of days later, on the very same ground, they fought back to beat the hosts England. They were down and out against the Windies but the mercurial side came storming back in the next one, to give a blow to the firm favourites England and suddenly made the World cup wide open.
1. Sarfaraz Captaincy
Say what you will about the Pakistani captain Sarfaraz Ahmed, but no one deny the fact that he is the best person to lead Pakistan at the moment. His batting form can be iffy at times and he can make some blunders behind the stumps but when it comes to leading the side especially on the World stage, he goes in a totally different zone. It was his captaincy that made Pakistan win Champions Trophy two years back. During pressure-filled situations, he leads from the front and guides his bowlers from behind the stumps as he is a good manager and has the ability to take out the best from every individual of the side. Sarfaraz knows how to handle pressure on big occasions and is no stranger to the big ICC events. He played a crucial role in his side's victory over England by making a valuable half-century and then handled the nerves of the Pakistani bowlers by constantly urging them from behind the stumps. Pakistan would hope he continues to flourish as a batsman and lead Pakistan to World Cup glory.
2. The top order Form
Pakistan has always unearthed amazing fast bowling talent, fast bowling is literally in Pakistan’s DNA. But surprisingly, it's their batting line who has led their charge in recent times. The top order of Pakistan has an outstanding record in recent times and has scored several centuries. The trio of Fakhar Zaman, Imam ul Haq and Babar Azam have been in prolific form this year. The had an off game against the Windies but they came roaring back against the hosts and helped Pakistan post a mammoth 348 runs on the board. They all average above 50 in ODI format and are the backbone of the Pakistan cricket team. If these three manage to continue their rich vein of form in the rest of the World Cup, Pakistan will surely be major contenders to win the World cup.
3. The form of Mohammad Hafeez
The seasoned campaigner showed his class against England by scoring a match-winning 84 off just 62 deliveries and gave the needed impetus to the Pakistan batting. He then later contributed with the ball and removed the England Captain Eoin Morgan with an arm ball, to shiver down the spine of the rest of the England batsman. The form of Professor Hafeez is critical as he offers the side balance and contributes with both bat and ball. An inform Hafeez will prove to be deadly in the business end of the World cup.
He may be struggling to pick up wickets in the last few years, but onto the big stage, he is in the form again. He is undoubtedly the leader of the pack when it comes to their bowling lineup and plays a major role in his side's success. He was the only shining light in their opening game as he picked up 3 wickets and was showing signs of being in top form. Amir also picked the prized wicket of Jos Buttler when he was threatening to take the match away from them, the fast bowler showed his class and sent the fearless England wicket-keeper batsman back to the hut. The Champions Trophy is one perfect example of the fact that Amir puts his hand up in the toughest of situations. He knocked the top order of team India and ended the game in the first few overs itself. Amir is a lethal weapon, and captain Sarfaraz would be desperately hoping that he stays at his best and strike crucial bows in the World cup.
No one just can’t predict that fact which Pakistani side will turn up on the day, and in a stage like World Cup, such sides become the most dangerous ones. Pakistan will get a huge amount of support in England in the World cup. Since they do not play in Pakistan, they would be looking forward to provide happiness to the Pakistani people all over the World. They may be down and out in bilateral series but come to the major championships they rise to the occasion and play best to their ability. No side would want to face Pakistan when it comes to the knock-stage as everyone is familiar that their unpredictable tag can hurt any side on the big day.