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What are Pakistan’s chances of qualifying for the semifinal of the T20 World Cup 2022?

Pakistan has lost both its matches thus far in the Group 2 of the Super 12 in the T20 World Cup and is staring at probable elimination from the tournament. They still have three matches in hand but will have to rely on many other equations aside from winning those matches to qualify for the semifinals.

Thus the big question for anyone who follows the tournament is: Is Pakistan out of T20 World Cup 2022?

Pakistan was on the verge of winning both their matches but somehow managed to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. They had India under immense pressure before Virat Kohli played an incredible innings and then lost to Zimbabwe by the narrowest possible margin. Here’s how the world of Twitter reacted to India’s sensational victory against Pakistan.

In this article, we will try to analyse the chances of Pakistan qualifying for the last four. Let’s get on with it.

The possible scenarios for Pakistan’s qualification

Pakistan would seriously hope India beats South Africa at Perth on Sunday so that the latter remains under pressure. Should South Africa, who had a share a point with Zimbabwe in a washed-out match, lose to India on Sunday, Pakistan will still have a slim chance to qualify by beating the Proteas in their next match.

However, if South Africa can beat India at Perth, then Pakistan will have to hope for a victory for either Bangladesh or Zimbabwe against India. However, if Zimbabwe manages to beat India and Bangladesh, they will also be in the reckoning for the last four.

Therefore, the only realistic chance Pakistan has for qualification for the semifinals is an Indian win against South Africa and their own victories in their remaining matches. However, if rain plays spoilsport again, the teams might have to share points, and the whole equation might change.

Read: What happens if rain play a spoilsport in the finals of T20 World Cup 2022?

Comparisons to the 1992 World Cup

A few cricket romantics are drawing parallels to Pakistan’s unforgettable campaign in the 1992 ODI World Cup held in Australia and New Zealand. As romantic as the idea might be, one will do well to remember that history does not usually repeat itself in sports.

However, if we tend to compare the ongoing tournament to the one held 30 years ago, there are some uncanny resemblances. Like in 1992, New Zealand beat Australia in the ongoing tournament’s opening match of the Super 12. Pakistan missed the services of their primary weapon Waqar Younis in 1992 owing to an injury. They again have their main strike bowler, Shaheen Shah Afridi, performing indifferently because of having come back from an injury.

Finally, the rub of the green went their way in 1992, as their match against England got washed out after Pakistan were bundled out for 74. Rain is again becoming a crucial factor in the ongoing tournament and might also end up helping Pakistan.

However, one must remember that Pakistan played under the astute and inspirational leadership of the incomparable Imran Khan in 1992.

Imran kept faith in the then 22-year-old Inzamam-Ul-Haq, who repaid the skipper’s faith by playing a couple of great knocks in the semifinal and final. Aaqib Javed stepped up nicely to replace Waqar, and Wasim Akram bowled a memorable spell in the final. Imran also promoted himself up the order to play the sheet anchor’s role in the semifinal and the final.

If the current form is any indication, it seems quite unlikely that the likes of Asif Ali or Haider Ali will do an Inzamam in the current World Cup if given a chance. However, Pakistan has a great bowling line-up and the addition of Mohammed Wasim, who took four wickets against Zimbabwe, is a silver lining for them.

How can Pakistan win their remaining matches?

We can now shift our focus to Pakistan’s likely strategies for winning their remaining matches. Pakistan will play the Netherlands at Perth and should go with four fast bowlers on the bouncy track of Perth. However, they might replace Haider Ali with the big-hitting Asif Ali, who might even be promoted up the order to make use of the Powerplay and hit some lusty shots.

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However, one has to keep in mind that Pakistan play their last two matches on the flatter and slower surfaces of Sydney and Adelaide, and hence, their spinners might have to bowl a good number of overs there. Ifthikar Ahmed’s off-spin might be used in those matches, especially against South Africa, as the Proteas have a lot of left-handed batters in their line-up.

Therefore, Babar Azam might think of giving Ifthikar a chance to bowl against the Netherlands so that the latter gets used to bowling in match conditions. Shadab Khan’s leg-spin has already done its bit for Pakistan, and he will continue to be a key member of the side. It is also high time that the Pakistani think tank assesses Afridi’s fitness issues and then takes a call accordingly regarding his inclusion in the playing eleven.

However, it is the form of Babar and Mohammed Rizwan that is going to keep the Pakistani supporters worried. Should Babar and Rizwan be able to fire in the remaining matches, there is no reason Pakistan can go close to matching their heroics in 1992. Both Babar and Rizwan will be relieved that there will be less bounce in Sydney and Adelaide and hence, should be prepared to be more aggressive and play more drives off their front foot – something that has not happened much thus far in the tournament.

Read Now: Can England qualify for Semifinals of T20 WC 2022?

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