So then, Pakistan are going to be playing the semi finals of the ICC World T20 for the 3rd time in as many T20 world cups.
The fact that Pakistan have qualified has raised a number of comments.
Much like "lucky", "they don't deserve to be there", and the likes.
Why I ask?
Sure Pakistan have won only 2 of their matches but then so had New Zealand, South Africa, West Indies, and India - the 4 teams that did not qualify.
Did Pakistan not fare better than them in the matches they played?
Pakistan were beaten comprehensively by Australia, just like all the other teams. While England beat them in the final over and New Zealand of the final delivery!
So despite those losses, Pakistan have not looked all that bad during the World T20.
The openers have fired more often than not, Afridi has played a couple of cameos, and the bowlers have been at the top of their game leaving aside the performance against Australia.
Pakistan's fielding was atrocious in the earlier part of the tournament but in the latter games it picked up, with Umar Akmal and Misbah and a few others holding on to some brilliant catches.
So then why don't Pakistan deserve to be there?
They qualified on net run rate, which they usually never do. So many times, Pakistan have missed out on qualification due to net run rate so I think its high time that it goes the other way now.
Going into the semis, I feel Pakistan's bowling is well settled with the reliance on spinners - the best part being that all 4 spinners are of a different variety.
They should stick to the combination that played against South Africa with the only possible change being Fawad Alam in place of Khalid Latif.
The reason I say that is because Pakistan have struggled with the number 3 spot. A more composed batsman who will not throw away his wicket is what is required to carry on from the platform that Akmal and Butt have so often set during this World T20.
Fawad Alam is an ideal batsman to do that. If not him then surely Misbah should get a promotion to give him time to settle down before he can play his big shots.
Pakistan play the best team of the tournament in the semis, and potentially the eventual champions, but count Pakistan out at your own Peril.
They've got momentum behind them given their victory over South Africa and anything is possible in T20 crciket.
Even moreso, anything is possible when Pakistan take the field in a T20 game!
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