Former England captain Nasser Hussain reckons Pakistan’s opening batters are similar to India’s, given their cautious approach. However, Hussain feels Pakistan’s strength lies in their bowling, reflecting on how a selection error cost them a win against India.
Pakistan and England will lock horns in the final of the T20 World Cup 2022 at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) on Sunday, November 13.
The two sides have had a challenging path to the final and will look to seal their second T20 World Cup crown.
Hussain wrote in his column for the Daily Mail:
“Pakistan are a little similar to India in that their opening batters in Babar and Mohammad Rizwan still play slightly old-fashioned white-ball cricket, even though they did tee off against New Zealand.”
Hussain also expects Shaheen Shah Afridi to be a real threat after missing the T20I series against England in September and making a slow start to the ongoing World Cup. He said:
“There is no question Pakistan’s strength lies in their bowling. They have had probably the best bowling attack in the competition, even in that agonizing defeat by India right at the very start when only their last eight balls really let them down.
“Their best bowler in Shaheen Shah Afridi did not play in the T20 series against England through injury and looked as if he might have come back too soon in the tournament. But he is getting stronger with every game and will pose a real threat tomorrow.”
The left-arm speedster missed some key series for Pakistan before the multi-nation event. He also went wicketless in the first two matches of the T20 World Cup before some relentless bowling spells against the Netherlands, South Africa, Bangladesh, and New Zealand.
“It is remarkable they are in the final against England” – Nasser Hussain
Reflecting on Pakistan’s unpredictability in ICC events over the years, the 96-Test veteran conceded:
“That sums Pakistan up and has been their story over the years. They are so talented and can put in world-class performances but they can also implode and crash out. It is remarkable they are in the final against England. Everyone is comparing their progress to Imran Khan’s cornered tigers of 1992 and there are definite similarities.”
The 1992 ODI World Cup final between Pakistan and England saw the latter clinch the title with a 22-run victory.