WASIM AKRAM DUBS PAKISTAN FAVOURITES FOR ICC WORLD T20
August 26, 2012
Former Pakistan skipper turned cricket commentator Wasim Akram has singled out Pakistan as favourites for the upcoming ICC World Twenty20 in Sri Lanka this September, adding that they are also likely to emerge triumphant in their upcoming limited-overs series against Australia in the UAE.
“Pakistan are favourites. Players like Imran Nazir and Abdur Razzaq have the ability to turn a match on its head and there is no reason why Pakistan can’t do well,” Akram said. “They also have a very good chance against Australia in the upcoming series in the UAE.”
The Men In Green got off to a promising start in the inaugural edition of the World T20 tournament, held in 2007-2008. They breezed through the quarter-finals and semi-finals, but lost the final against India by a narrow margin of 5 runs, at The Wanderers Stadium on September 24. Despite their loss, Shahid Afridi was awarded the Player of the Series award.
They managed to bounce back in the second edition of the tournament in 2009, besting Sri Lanka by 8 wickets in the final to lift the trophy at Lord’s on August 21. However, the title was snatched from them by England in the 2010 edition of the tournament, during which Pakistan were knocked out of the competition by Australia, during a semi-final which they lost by 3 wickets at the Beausejour Cricket Ground on May 14.
Alongside pinpointing the Men In Green as favourites, Akram also went on to add that the team needed to improve their batting performances if they were to have a hope of doing well in the shorter formats of the game. Pakistan are due to play a series of 3 ODIs and 3 T20Is against Australia in the UAE, which will be followed by the World T20 in September.
However, Akram claimed that the team needed to quicken the pace of their innings in order to win matches, adding that their batting performances during their recent tour of Sri Lanka in June/July this year had been slow and uninspiring.
“At times, I thought I was watching a Test match. They need to maintain a strike-rate of over 130 and a boundary should be followed by singles to keep the scoreboard moving,” Akram observed. “Their approach needs to become more adventurous if they want more success in the format.”