Pakistan qualified for the Super-4 stage of Asia Cup 2022 after beating Hong Kong by 155 runs. They put up a mammoth score of 193 runs and bowled Hong Kong out for meagre 38 runs, registering a huge victory.
This would have definitely boosted the team’s morale after the team was beaten by India in a close contest in their opening match of this year’s Asia Cup. Now, they face India yet again in the Super-4 with a chance to redeem itself.
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Strengths: – Bowling
Pakistan’s premier bowler Shaheen Afridi has not participated in this year’s Asia Cup after sustaining a knee injury against Sri Lanka. The player is undergoing a rehabilitation process in London for his injured knee. This put pressure on young pacers like Naseem Shah to perform well for the team. In the spin department, the team has quality players such as Usman Qadir and Shadab Khan who have consistently bowled well.
Weakness: – Batting
Pakistan’s middle order struggled in the opening match against India as the likes of Fakhar Zaman, Iftikhar Ahmed and Khushdil Shah together just managed to score 40 runs among themselves. World no.1 T20I batsman Babar Azam failed to score big in both of their matches, struggling to find form. He has just scored 19 runs across two matches and the team needs the player to find his groove as the team heavily relies on him to provide a solid start to their innings.
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Opportunities: – beat India, sort out the line up before World Cup
Pakistan will look to avenge a close loss against arch-rivals India on September 4 in an important Super-4 clash. They took wickets at crucial intervals in the first match but were unable to cross the victory line, thanks to fine innings by Hardik Pandya that spoiled the mood in the Pakistan camp. It will also be a great chance for the team to select a strong fifteen-man line-up ahead of the ICC T20 World Cup, which is scheduled for next month in Australia.
Threats: – Out-of-form players
Pakistan has just won one T20I match out of three games played in 2022. They lost against Australia in the year’s first match by three wickets while a close defeat to India in the Asia Cup also hurt the team greatly. Their victory against Hong Kong with a huge margin of 155 runs should motivate the team but their key players like opener Babar Azam, Fakhar Zaman and Khushdil Shah have failed to score big runs consistently.