World Twenty20 team preview: Pakistan

Reports & previews

Goodness but this team does love to keep their fans on their toes, eh? They're unpredictable, and can either win a match in the final over in thrilling fashion, or be all out for a rugby score. You never know.

<b>Captain:</b> Mohammad Hafeez<br><b>Coach:</b> Moin Khan<br><b>WT20 Best:</b> Champions, 2009

<b>Overview</b><br>Goodness but this team does love to keep their fans on their toes, eh? They're unpredictable, and can either win a match in the final over in thrilling fashion, or be all out for a rugby score. You never know.

To be fair, they reached the Asia Cup final recently in Bangladesh, and thus have a good base of preparations, and their T20 form in 2013 was good, winning eight out of 12 matches, though the consistency decreased as the year went on.

They have a fairly… well, old, side, featuring Shoaib Malik, Shahid Afridi, Umar Gul and skipper Mohammad Hafeez, while their top order is not as solid as they'd like, and with no Misbah to save them, this will be a team to watch, but not bet on.

<b>Key Batsman</b><br>Obviously, fans will want Shahid Afridi here, and that may prove to be true, but…no. The key to victories will be at the top of the knock and a solid platform, and for that Ahmed Shehzad will have to fire, carrying his century-making form from the Asia Cup into this tournament.

<b>Key Bowler</b><br>You'd think it would be Saeed Ajmal, but again… no. Hafeez has a silly knack of taking three quick wickets and triggering a collapse, and he's the top ranked T20 all-rounder, and fifth on the bowling list. Either way, they make a cracking pair, so it could be either/or.

<b>Likely Benchwarmer</b><br>As long as Umar Akmal stays fit, his brother Kamran should get little game time. This was further solidified by Umar's efforts with the bat in the Asia Cup, while Kamran's keeping continued to provide a comedy of errors.

<b>Cricket365's Prediction</b><br>Who the heck knows. Either wash out in the group stage, or win the bleeding thing. They're in a tough group though, so it will take rare consistency to make it out of there.

<b>They Said:</b> "We can still make an impact, and this impact could be in the shape of Zulfiqar Babar. Sharjeel Khan is another, and his explosive attitude could benefit the team. Irfan will be missed because his first two overs could have been lethal, but it's an opportunity for others to come and make an impact." – captain <b>Mohammad Hafeez</b>.

<b>Squad:</b> Mohammad Hafeez, Shahid Afridi, Shoaib Malik, Saeed Ajmal, Umar Gul, Sharjeel Khan, Sohaib Maqsood, Junaid Khan, Bilawal Bhatti, Sohail Tanvir, Umar Akmal, Zulfiqar Babar, Mohammad Talha, Kamran Akmal, Ahmed Shehzad.

<b>Fixtures</b><br>21 March: v India, Mirpur<br>23 March: v Australia, Mirpur<br>30 March: v qualifying team, Mirpur<br>1 April: v West Indies, Mirpur

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