Two contrasting teams will battle it out on the cricket world stage in an attempt to win the IPL tournament. Both have a bright future with big expectations. But that will emerge victorious? This is a battle that requires some serious thinking on both sides. Here are three ways to help you decide.
Pakistan Vs Zimbabwe. Two very different teams, both from different sides of the world. Both have a strong cricketing community, both have earned respect in their respective leagues and both boast experienced head coaches. What makes these two so different is their respective chances of success against the other. The cricket world is all set for this historic match, and everyone is looking forward to it.
One man’s pet project is Zimbabwe. The Zimbabwe team is largely populated by players who played in the professional leagues of their country, like Michael van Zyl and Tendulkar Jon Matonis. It’s all but certain that these players will give their all in this world cup. If they don’t deliver, this group will be headed for the exits.
Pakistan, meanwhile, has a batting trio of Azad Babur, Sarfraz Ahmed and Junaid Khan. They’ve all had great moments in the cricket world, and all have helped their sides win a lot of matches. But this is won only after many disappointments. All of those major tournaments, like the Champions Trophy, weren’t easy. Only UAE managed to pull it off, but that was still a major scalp for Pakistan.
Injuries to key players have been the cause of some major shocks for Pakistan. captain Azharullah was injured in a training session and is out of action for almost six weeks. He was a fine replacement as he scored well against England and West Indies, but this is going to be a major headache for the PCB. The other key player who has been missing from action is leading all batsmen, Misbah ul Haq.
The balance of the team hasn’t quite come into form yet. There are very few positives from them and a lot of knocks on their performance. The bowlers are also doing a good job, but not as well as they could have done. Pakistan has yet to win a Test series in the West Indies and haven’t even reached the knockouts in three Tests.
Zimbabwe is the world champions, but are no match for the skills of the top order. They have the perfect XI in place, but there are holes in their batting line-up. Wilfred Tsonga and Chamiliana Gujarati have been their only real successes in the last two years, but injuries have hit the bowling department hard, leaving them without the strike partner they need. Zimbabwe is another to face a tough series against a top side with a world title on their shoulders.
There is little doubt that Pakistan will win this series, but the pressure is on the Zimbabwean team to perform. If they don’t, they run the risk of losing their second world title, which would be a major blow to the Zim fans. But if they play like they have been doing, then it looks like the home team has all the chances of taking the trophy back to the West Indies.
The overall quality of each side is a point in their favour, though. Bangladesh’s batsmen have been sensational in their three matches so far, while the wicket keeping and fielding has been superb for Zimbabwe. If their batsmen can continue to perform like they have been doing, then it looks like Pakistan won’t be too far behind.
Both teams play extremely important matches against the other sides from their region. This will mean a lot to both of them, and it also gives them an opportunity to learn from each other. The matches will be tough, but at the same time, this is a chance for the teams to hone their individual skills and learn how to play against stronger teams in the future. It should be a fantastic opportunity for Pakistan to build up some momentum and take their foot into the world cup.
The World Cup is a tournament which requires all the teams to step up to the plate and give their best, because the world is watching. Each team needs to win in order to advance, and this is the only tournament that matters. So don’t be counting the chickens until the eggs are hatchin’. Get yourself into the mix, and give your team the best chance at a world title.