In an inspiring run similar to their 1992 World Cup-winning campaign, Pakistan have won three consecutive games to be alive in the ongoing 2019 ICC Cricket World Cup. The Green Brigade had climbed to the fourth spot in the points table before England’s 31-run win over India on Sunday pushed the Sarfaraz Ahmed-led side a place down.
With a game left, Pakistan still have a chance of making it to the knockouts and former skipper Waqar Younis feels if Sarfaraz’s team enter the semis, they would be the most dangerous side.
Waqar, however, also pointed out that Pakistan will not only have to win but should also raise the bar in their last league game against Bangladesh.
“It is actually becoming quite scary at this point! Is history repeating itself? I have no idea but if Pakistan do make the semi-finals then they are going to be such a dangerous side. For that to happen they will need some results to go their way, but most importantly of all they will have to beat Bangladesh,” Waqar wrote in his ICC Column.
“To beat Bangladesh they will have to play better than they managed against Afghanistan. The win over Afghanistan on Sunday was not the performance of champions and yet, somehow and some way, they are still in contention for a semi-final spot and you can never write them off,” he added.
The 47-year-old also credited bowling all-rounder Imad Wasim for Pakistan’s three-wicket win over the winless Afghanistan on June 29.
“We were so lucky to escape and survive and still be floating in this World Cup, really it was thanks to Imad Wasim. Unfortunately it has always been this way for Pakistan, we don’t seem to be able to find that collective consistency,” he expressed.
“But there is no doubting the individual pure talent in our country, look at a guy like Imad who won us that game,” Waqar added.
He also suggested that the team management shouldn’t make much changes in the Pakistan playing eleven and should stick to the winning combination. Waqar also felt that despite opener Fakhar Zaman struggling with the bat, he should be given more chances.
“We appear to have found a perfect XI at last, and I hope they (team management) don’t tinker with it anymore. Fakhar Zaman has had a poor tournament but I don’t think it would be right to drop him now,” expressed the former Pakistan skipper.
“He (Fakhar) should be given every chance to come good, and at the same time, just think how much pressure that would put on the player coming into the side at such an important time,” he backed the opener adding: “Look at the other teams doing well in this World Cup and they are making very few changes.”
Placed fifth with nine points, Pakistan will not only have to register a win against Bangladesh on July 5 but at the same time, will hope that hosts England lose their last league match against New Zealand as it would boost their chance of entering the semis.