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What Changes Should Pakistan Make in T20s?

Pakistan cricket team narrowly lost the final of the 2022 T20 World Cup as England emerged victorious by 5 wickets. The final of the mega-event was a perfect depiction of the national team as they put their all on the field only to come up agonizingly short at the end.

The Men in Green should be proud of their performance in the shortest format of the game. They have arguably been one of the best sides in T20I cricket over the past year but for all their magnificent achievements, they still don’t have a trophy to show for it.

Pakistan has come up short thrice in big events over the past year. They lost the 2021 T20 World Cup semi-final after five straight wins in the Super 12s stage, lost the final of the 2022 Asia Cup, and then lost another final, this time the 2022 T20 World Cup.

There is no doubt that Pakistan is a fantastic T20 team and could have won three trophies in a short span of time, but there are some loopholes in the side that need to be addressed to turn the team into a world-beater.

As the dust settles around Pakistan’s heartbreaking loss in the final, let’s have a look at the issues that the Men in Green need to address ahead of the 2024 edition of the T20 World Cup, which can help them go one step further and win the tournament.

Change in Management

Pakistan’s head coach, Saqlain Mushtaq, has been an extraordinary servant for the side ever since he took charge after the sudden resignation of Misbah-ul-Haq last year. Saqlain, who is seen as more of a motivator than a coach, has been a calm influence on the side which has enabled the players to play their best cricket in the shortest format.

For all of Saqlain’s great influence, Pakistan is lacking a modern coach who can out-strategize the opponents and bring in new techniques for the team to follow. While Pakistan does have a vast pool of talent at their disposal in T20 cricket, they do need to work on their ability to outwit an opponent.

It would be a nice change for the Men in Green to work with a head coach that believes in match-ups, rotating the batting order, and playing modern T20 cricket without having any doubts regardless of the magnitude of the game. There are a few such coaches in world cricket these days, but the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) will need to appoint a coach who would be best suited to the players. This appointment would be key as Pakistan has its sights set on the 2024 T20 World Cup.

Explosive Batters

Explosive wicket-keeper batter, Mohammad Haris, was like a fresh breath of air in an otherwise timid Pakistan batting unit. Haris took the attack to the bowlers, regardless of their stature in world cricket. Haris’ sensational outing with the bat in the 2022 T20 World Cup provided Pakistan’s batting unit the impetus to score big and his quickfire runs put the pressure back on the opponents.

Pakistan should look to include one or two players in the batting unit who have the ability to play as freely as Haris. At the moment, Pakistan plays with at least three anchors in the batting department. Babar Azam, Mohammad Rizwan, and Shan Masood are all magnificent players in their own right, but all three together in the team have held back the national team from winning major trophies.

Pakistan will need to change its approach in the batting unit and unearth some more talented players like Mohammad Haris. England is a prime example for Pakistan to follow as they keep on playing a fearless brand of cricket regardless of the match.

Jos Buttler showcased this particular skill against Naseem Shah, as he scooped Naseem for a six despite being beaten all ends up five times in the over. This is the type of batters Pakistan should look to play as they have the ability to turn the game on its head.

Change in Mindset

Pakistan needs to change its approach as to how they view T20 cricket. There have been numerous instances where Pakistan has been on top of the game but lost the game after losing the plot midway through the game. The 2021 T20 World Cup semi-final against Australia, the 2022 Asia Cup final against Sri Lanka, and the 2022 T20 World Cup opening match against arch-rivals India, are three such games that Pakistan should have won but ultimately lost due to their inability to plan properly.

The Green Shirts’ reluctance to rely on match-ups is one big issue that has led to the downfall of the side at crucial junctures of the match. With how quickly the T20 game has evolved, Pakistan needs to catch up before the other sides move ahead of them. Innovation and trying new ideas should be the national team’s focus as they prepare for the next mega-event in 2024.

Bowling Unit

It’s a very popular saying in cricket that batting wins you matches while bowling wins you tournaments. Pakistan’s bowling unit almost pulled off an impossible win at the MCG as they came close to defending a miserly target of 138.

Pakistan needs not worry about the bowling talent pool at its disposal and should trust the current bowling unit until the next world cup. The bowling unit should be wrapped in wool by the PCB as these fast bowlers are some of the best in T20 cricket around the world.

No changes should be made to this well-rounded bowling attack. Trust them and they will deliver when it matters the most.

Got anything to add? Share your thoughts in the comments section.

They call me the Sports Guy!

  • Fakhar should open. Haider Ali has the potential to fire and Faheem Ashraf is a decent rounder. Should be given a chance.

  • If the bring in a strong captain… all these issues will be addressed. Babar is a classic batsman but not a good leader.

  • In batting, Asif, Haider, Khushdil, Nawaz and Chachu are royal chokers. They have been given more than enough chances. Time for the new blood. Let us face it, they cannot possibly do any worse than those chokers.

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