ArticlesWorld Cup

T20 WC 2022 Final: 3 Things that might determine the fate of the PAK vs ENG game

Pakistan will face England in the final of the T20 World Cup at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on Sunday. Pakistan, who won their only T20 World Cup title in 2009, will hope that a repeat of the 1992 ODI World Cup final, which Pakistan won in the same venue, takes place.

However, their job will be challenging against an England side that demolished India in the semifinal. The English will aspire to become the first team to hold the ODI and T20 World Cup titles at the same time, and it is for Pakistan to ruin their ambition.

On that note, we will take a look at three things that might determine the fate of the final.

#1 Pakistan’s pacers’ ability to surprise the English openers

After their outstanding display against India, England openers Jos Buttler and Alex Hales will also look to repeat the act against the Pakistanis in the final. Pakistan quite possibly has the best bowling attack in the world, but they will have to perform at their best against the English.

Amid all the euphoria that has surrounded the Pakistani players and supporters after their remarkable turnaround in the tournament, it has to be kept in mind that only Shaheen Shah Afridi and Shadab Khan have regularly picked wickets for them. For all his control, discipline, and express pace, Haris Rauf has primarily done a containing job for them. He has been difficult to score off but has yet to take too many wickets, either.

Hence, it is time for somebody like Naseem Shah to step up and take wickets in the final. Shah usually bowls with an upright seam, and should there be enough grass on the surface in Melbourne, he might generate movement of the seam that might trouble the English batters.

In addition, Afridi should continue to pose the threat of trapping the batters in front of the wicket early on, and both Rauf and Shah should be ready to surprise the English openers will occasional bouncers. The Pakistanis need to get early breakthroughs and ensure that England does not get off to a flying start in the powerplay.

#2 England’s plethora of options with both bat and ball make them the more balanced side

England is quite possibly the most balanced team in the world in the shortest format of the game, as they have a lot of batting and bowling all-rounders on their side. Players like Ben Stokes, Moeen Ali, Chris Woakes, Sam Curran, and Liam Livingstone can perform with bat and ball and tilt the scale slightly in England’s favor.

With their team batting deep, the English openers can bat freely and take calculated risks right from the start of the innings. Moreover, Buttler also can fall back on one or more of the bowling options at his disposal should any of his main bowlers go for too many runs.

However, Mark Wood’s absence might hurt England in the final, and they will pray for his recovery before the match. Chris Jordan took three wickets against India, but his tendency to bowl from wide of the crease to outside the leg-stump line might prove too expensive against free-flowing batters like Babar Azam, Mohammad Rizwan, and Mohammad Haris.

#3 Spinners coming in handy on a considerable ground

Spinners should play a critical role on the considerable ground of Melbourne, as it will be difficult to clear the ropes off their deliveries. Adil Rashid and Livingstone have done a splendid job for the English in the middle overs, and Pakistan cannot afford to let them race through their overs cheaply.

Therefore, people like Iftikhar Ahmed and Haris should be ready to take risks against the English spinners. Iftikhar can play big shots down the ground, and Haris has the free swing of his bat, but the latter should be ready to curb his tendency to overplay the sweep shot, especially against short deliveries from the English spinners.

The sixth bowling option is a concern for Pakistan, and they will sincerely hope Mohammad Nawaz does not go for too many runs in the final. It is expected that Mohammad Wasim and Nawaz will bowl at least four overs between them; hence, Nawaz should ensure that he does not go for too many runs. Wasim’s in-swinging Yorkers should also be effective in the death overs, but he might not bowl his full quota of four overs.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *