Team Pakistan released their 15-man squad for the upcoming ICC Men's World T20 with three reserves as well.
Let's have a look at their squad.
Babar Azam (c), Shadab Khan, Asif Ali, Azam Khan, Haris Rauf, Hasan Ali, Imad Wasim, Khushdil Shah, Mohammad Hafeez, Mohammad Hasnain, Mohammad Nawaz, Mohammad Rizwan, Mohammad Wasim, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Sohaib Maqsood.
Asif and Khushdil return for ICC Men's T20 World Cup 2021— PCB Media (@TheRealPCBMedia) September 6, 2021
More details ➡️ https://t.co/vStLml8yKw#PAKvNZ | #PAKvENG | #T20WorldCup pic.twitter.com/9samGbJgDJ
The squad is not just for the World Cup but also the series against New Zealand and England.
Another news that made the headlines was Misbah-ul-Haq and Waqar Younis stepping down from their coaching roles. The major reason that compelled Misbah for his decision was the rigid COVID-19 regulations that don't permit you to step out of the bio-secure environment.
Misbah and Waqar step down from coaching roles— PCB Media (@TheRealPCBMedia) September 6, 2021
More details ⤵️https://t.co/PHRwRNazCH
Waqar Younis stepped down stating that he had walked in into the role with Misbah and since Misbah has decided to step down, he would like to follow him in this decision as well.
"While selecting the squad, we have tried to cover all our bases by catering for the modern-day brand of T20 cricket that will be required to perform impressively in the ICC Men's T20 World Cup. This includes trusting the abilities, skills, and experience of the players to perform in a high-pressure global tournament in conditions that are familiar to us, as well as looking at the teams we will play in Group-2 matches,"
-Chief Selector Muhammad Wasim said.
Asif Ali and Khushdil Shah's incorporation came after some impressive performances in the domestic circuit, and there will be three traveling reserves as well, they are Fakhar Zaman, Shahnawaz Dahani, and Usman Qadir.
The team looks solid with four batsmen, with Babar Azam leading the pack with Mohammad Hafeez's experience also available. Mohammad Rizwan and Azam Khan are the wicket-keeping options, while the likes of Imad Wasim, Mohammad Nawaz, Mohammad Wasim, and Shadab Khan are the all-rounders who are picked.
The bowling attack will be led by Shaheen Shah Afridi and Hasan Ali, while Haris Rauf and Mohammad Hasnain will also be key in their team's performance in the World Cup.
Players that miss out
Arshad Iqbal, Sarfaraz Ahmed, Pakistan's ex-skipper, Fakhar Zaman, and Usman Qadir were dropped from the main 15. However, the last two will be traveling with the squad as mentioned above. The exclusion of Shoaib Malik was also a surprise to many as the veteran all-rounder has shown some promising performances in the shortest format.
Players and Team Form
Pakistan won the only T20I in the series against West Indies in West Indies as the rest were washed out. Pakistan lost the T20 series against England in England after winning the first one but lost the decider in a very close encounter.
In April, they toured Zimbabwe, beating them 2-1 in the T20 series but their biggest conquest was against the Proteas, where they claimed the T20 series 3-1. They beat the same opponents 2-1 at home as well before they vanquished them in their backyard. Another series loss, the earlier one came against New Zealand, with the hosts winning 2-1.
So as far as the team form is concerned, they are doing well and look to be prepared in the best way possible for the upcoming T20 World Cup. When we talk about individual performances, on the New Zealand tour, Babar Azam was the leading run-scorer in the T20 series with 133 runs in two games, while Usman Qadir was the leading wicket-taker with eight wickets.
Against South Africa at home, Mohammad Rizwan was the top scorer with 197 runs in 3 matches, while the highest wicket-taker in the T20 series was Hasan Ali, who picked 12 wickets in just 2 matches. Then against South Africa in South Africa, the leading wicket-taker for Pakistan was Haris Rauf with seven wickets, while the leading run-scorer was Babar Azam with 210 runs in four matches.
Mohammad Rizwan top-scored again on the tour of England with 176 runs in three matches, while Shadab Khan picked five wickets in three matches.
Against West Indies, things didn't go as planned because three out of the four T20 matches getting washed out.
What we feel is that despite the basic argument that comes around on most occasions, Pakistan could be a tricky opponent to deal with in the T20 World Cup.
Their opponents will be different and the level of competition will be different again. The likes of Mohammad Rizwan, skipper Babar Azam, and Hasan Ali would be influential figures in the squad, while Shaheen Afridi's growing confidence can boost Pakistan's morale to a whole new difference too.
What do you think? How far will Pakistan go into the T20 World Cup? Let us your thoughts via your social media accounts. Follow Cricwizz on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter for more updates.
We bet you won't be disappointed. Stay tuned with Cricwizz for the best cricket content.