Momentum building for Babar's side - Pakistan team preview

The opening pairing of Babar and Mohammad Rizwan has provided the team with stability

Momentum building for Babar's side - Pakistan team preview PHOTO COURTESY: ICC

Stunning India to start the last tournament before being beaten thrillingly at the semi-final stages, Pakistan still has a point to prove a year later in Australia.


Pakistan: Babar Azam (c), Shadab Khan, Asif Ali, Haider Ali, Haris Rauf, Iftikhar Ahmed, Khushdil Shah, Mohammad Hasnain, Mohammad Nawaz, Mohammad Rizwan, Mohammad Wasim, Naseem Shah, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Shan Masood, Fakhar Zaman. Standby Players: Mohammad Haris, Shahnawaz Dahani, Usman Qadir.

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Best Finish at Tournament

Champions (2009)

Coming back from a final defeat to India in the inaugural edition, Pakistan stuck with their vastly experienced side for the 2009 tournament, falling to England in Group Stage action but progressing through to the Super 8s under a big win over the Netherlands.

Pakistan fell to Sri Lanka in the next stage, though it defeated New Zealand and Ireland to make the semi-finals, where they overcame South Africa.

In their second meeting, Pakistan had to overcome Sri Lanka for the trophy. After holding their opponents to 138 at Lord’s, Shahid Afridi’s 54* (40) powered Pakistan to an eight-wicket win with eight balls to spare.

Results in the last ten games


T20 World Cup 2021 performance


For most of the 2021 campaign, Pakistan looked like the form side, with their 10-wicket win over India propelling them to favoritism. Strong performances across the Super 12 stage ensure they kept the tag. However, a stunning individual batting effort by Matthew Wade in the dying stages stole the semi-final from Babar Azam's men.


v India (October 23) - Melbourne
v Winner Group B (October 27) - Perth
v Runner-up Group A (October 29) - Perth
v South Africa (November 3) - Sydney
v Bangladesh (November 6) - Adelaide

Key match 

v India - A historic rivalry that needs no explanation, this fixture was sold out at a ground fitting 100,000 people in five minutes, and the result will likely dictate both sides’ campaigns.

History may be against Pakistan in ICC global tournaments, though the last meeting at a T20 World Cup was a heavy win in their favour.

For Pakistan to win, it would likely take a similar effort from the opening pair with the bat, capping off a solid platform made from the bowling group.

Key Player

Babar Azam - In the top three on the men’s MRF Tyres batting rankings in every format, Babar would have to be the complete batter in the game in 2022. Languid and aesthetically pleasing to the cricket tragedy, Babar can also pivot into a more pragmatic, attacking role.

While blessed with a dearth of bowling talent, his changes and field placements will be vital in Pakistan's quest for tournament supremacy.


After the run to the semi-finals in UAE, 2022 in T20I cricket has only proved that Pakistan is inching towards being the finished product. Reaching the final of the Asia Cup only to fall to the less-fancied Sri Lanka and losing home T20I series to Australia and England, Pakistan does come into the tournament with a tri-series win in New Zealand alongside Bangladesh.

Pakistan’s constant in the upcoming campaign should come through the bowling line-up, with an attack that will challenge all-comers in Australia. All reports point to Shaheen Shah Afridi being fit and firing after his treatment in London, and should be complemented by speedster Haris Rauf, who has enjoyed domestic success in Australia. The likes of Mohammad Wasim, Naseem Shah, and Mohammad Hasnain, with Shadab Khan and Mohammad Nawaz shouldering the spin workload.

A late shuffle has meant fellow spinner Usman Qadir sits as a traveling reserve for the time being, with Pakistan opting to include the batting experience of Fakhar Zaman. The move only fuels the discussions surrounding Pakistan’s Modus Operandi, with the aggressive left-hander seemingly needed to give the side an added impetus.

The opening pairing of Babar and Mohammad Rizwan has provided the team with stability, though the pair's pace asks more questions. The strike rates of both players have led to discussions on team balance, and it’s within the realms of possibility that they both know one of them must bat all the way through. Fakhar’s selection would theoretically beef up the top order after the concerning performances of Shan Masood and Haider Ali at three, but Fakhar himself strikes at just 107 and averages under 20.