Pakistan has clearly emerged as a T20 cricket superpower in the recent times while winning 7 consecutive T20 matches in 2018. Moroever, their dominance on the world of T20 cricket can certainly be proved by their dream run in the same format within this year which saw them winning 15 matches out of 17 matches they have played against different countries around the world. While this places them amongst the most consistent teams around, it certainly speaks about their success stories in the shorter format of the game in the past few months.
While we have a look at their T20 squad, you won’t be finding some of the best hard hitters or strike bowlers in the list and they still seem an average squad with “Quite Good” players. So what’s that which has turned them into a “Dominant name “in the t20 cricket world? Let’s have a look at some of the reasons in the same regards listed below.
#Reason 1 Captaincy of Sarfaraz Khan
We might just put those brilliant performances by their bowlers or some of the best innings by their batsman as the biggest reason for their recent success, but it’s still all about the captaincy of Sarfaraz khan which has held all the departments in check during each and every game in the process.
Ever Since Sarfraz Ahmed took over the captaincy role for the first time in September 2016, Pakistan has beaten some of the best sides in the world in the T20 cricket namely England (1-0 ), West Indies (3-0 and 3-1), a World XI (2-1), Sri Lanka (3-0), New Zealand (2-1), West Indies (3-0), Scotland (2-0) and Australia (3-0) in the Bilateral series. Apart from all those victories, they have also won a T20 tri series including teams like Australia and Zimbabwe. This certainly stamps the mark of brilliance for Sarfaraz khan and his captaincy for the National team in the process.
#Reason 2 Playing as a Team
Gone are the days when Pakistan was used to be quoted as a team with bowling as their main power in the t2O cricket. Quite recently, they have started hunting in packs while getting useful contributions from their bowlers, batters and the fielders alongside. They are no more a team which was dependent on the start given by their strike bowlers or batsman at the top solely and can come up good even when they are struggling at the initial stages of the game.
Their recent list of performances against some of the top class teams around has saw them performing as a bunch and this is certainly something which was missing from the Pakistani cricket for long.
#Reason 3 Young Crop of Strike Bowlers
Although Pakistan has always been known for great bowlers in the cricket history, they have produced some of the most talented crop of young players recently which has made them proud on crucial stages. Names like Hasan Ali, Faheem Ashraf, Shaaheen Shah Afridi and Usman khan are few of them and as a bunch; all of them has given their seat and blood to bring it home for their team in most of the matches they played alongside.
#Reason 4 The Brilliance of Fakhar Zaman at the Top
Ever since Fakhar Zaman made his team win the champions trophy against India in 2017 with a brilliant century, he was been quoted as the future “Star” for the Pakistani team by most of the fans and the cricket experts. Living rightly up to the same, he has scored tons of runs while playing for the team as an Opening batsman in the T20 format as well.
He is that one player who believes in starting the innings with a “Bang” and keep on going in the same spirit till the last ball. Well, that could be the reason why he is holding on the top of the Pakistani opening batsman list with a strike rate of 151.96 since past few months and making his team winning all those big matches in the process.
#Reason 5 Great Consistency from the Middle Order
While Fakhar Zaman has been the lone warrior in the Opening part of the innings for Pakistan recently, it has all come down to the middle order most of the times. And when we talk about the middle order, we are pointing out towards one of the best T20 Batsman for the Pakistan Cricket history.
Shoaib Malik has certainly been that one player who has single handedly made his team cross the winning line numerous times during his illustrated cricket career. Even though this player is playing in his mid thirties, he still holds that skills and power to make his name in a game which is often been regarded as the “Youngster’s game” by many. Apart from Malik, Pakistani middle order has been powered by one of the batting ace, Babar Azam.
Babar Azam has scored 454 runs in only the 10 innings he has played in 2018 and he has scored all these runs at an staggering average of 63.42. Its not just about his big hitting abilities, but also the capability to rotate strike when and wherever required, which makes him a perfect middle order player for his team.
#Reason 6 Ability to Dominate the Game in the Middle Over
Even though Pakistani strike bowlers have often failed to give their team the start they required, team has largely controlled the game from the middle over’s thanks to their spin twins Imad Wasim and Shadab Khan. Both Imad and Shadab has shared some great bowling partnerships in the bowling department which has resulted in making a mess of the opponent teams’ great start numerous times.
While Imad has been able to control the batsman with his tight bowling, Shadab has snatched some crucial wickets in the process. That could well be the reason why Shadab has those 25 wickets in 17 matches this year to his kitty and holds the no.2 position in the ICC T20 Bowlers ranking.
#Reason 7 Priority to the Fitness levels of the Players
Gone are the days when Pakistani players were known for their slow fielding and running on the ground. The Team has gone through a big transformation in the recent years and most of the credit for the same must be given to the captain Sarfaraz and coach Mickey Arthur for the same. You can now see players diving and dipping around to save those crucial runs and turn the singles into twos when it comes to the batting part. This has worked for them especially in the T20 cricket which is quite fast in its nature and level of fitness required in process.