Since the dawn of cricket, Pakistan has been given several names to characterize them. One of the titles that have sliced with the team, to this period, is that they’re an “unpredictable” side. Pakistan’s Cricket team is called the most unpredictable team in the Cricket World because they tend to alternate between dominant and abysmal performances. On their day, they can tear apart any team like jackals on a piece of meat. But this unpredictability is the reason why they won the 1992 world cup but lost the 1996 quarter-final despite being in a commanding position.
The middle order of Pakistan becomes a serious topic of debate whenever any tournament is approaching. This is the first time after a huge chasm that we are going with an inexperienced Pakistan’s middle order for Asia Cup 2022. Here we will argue why this is a big problem for the side.
Pakistan’s middle order for Asia Cup 2022 is different from the T20 World Cup 2021
The last T20 World Cup was held back in October 2021, and since then, the dynamics of Pakistan cricket have changed drastically, in terms of the players and management. There was a lot of experimentation done in the past two to three series to prepare the ideal 15-men squad, which was announced the previous week, for the Asia cup with various options in the middle-order and pacers to suit the conditions in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
We were having Experienced middle order in the form of Shoaibf Malik, Mohammad Hafeez and Imad Wasim, while this time, we are relied on young players Haider Ali and Khushdil Shah, including slightly experienced Iftikhar Ahmad. None of these three has ever played a single match in any big tournament. If we look at other teams in India and Bangladesh, they have a bunch of experienced players. Young talent can win their team unexpected matches but can also cause defeat in predictable wins.
No Number has been decided for players
This is still Uncertain whether Shadab khan will play at no four or Haider, Will they go with Swabi-born left-hand batsman on number five, or will they bring Iftikhar at 5, Who will be pinch hitter Mohammad Waseem Junior or left-arm all-rounder, Mohammad Nawaz, if the team needs that hitting in some circumstances.
Pakistan doesn’t have any T20 series before the Asia cup. Consequently, they can decide the playing 11, so this is another element to worry about. It is yet to be decided whether Khushdil will play the function of a finisher or a proper middle-order batsman. Will Babar Azam and co use their bowling aptitudes as he was the best all-rounder of the PSL 7 season?
Also read: Is this the end of Shoaib Malik? Will we see him playing in the T20I WC?
The strike rate Against Spinners is a big problem for the middle order of Pakistan
Batting SR of our middle order batsmen against spinners in T20 Internationals
Asif Ali 95.74
Khushdil Shah 104.1
Haider Ali 105.42
Iftikhar Ahmed 117.56
No Pakistan frontline batter in the squad has a strike rate of 130 vs spin in current years. Only Shadab vs spin is 130+.
We have seen in the recent world cup that Spinners were tough nuts to crack. India is going with their two promising spinners, and the same is the possibility for Afghanistan and Bangladesh. Men in green’s middle order struggles bitterly against the quality spinners, and this can make Pakistan’s middle order in Asia Cup 2022 pay through the nose.