1. Mohammad Hafeez
2. Salman Butt
3. Khalid Latif
4. Umar Akmal
5. Fawad Alam
7. Shahid Afridi
8. Abdul Razzaq
9. Yasir Arafat
10. Kamran Akmal
11. Hammad Azam
12. Saeed Ajmal
13. Umar Gul
14. Mohammad Aamer
15. Mohammad Asif
Pakistan is the current holders of the trophy,having won it in the UK under the charasmatic leadership of Younis Khan team Pakistan is a strong force in the shortest format of the game.Currently sitting at the top of the T20 leader board,Pakistani team is all set to bring the title back home but this time under a different KHAN. i.e Shahid Khan Afridi the Pathan from Khyber Agency.
Well as all of us know there is a great of uncertainty and unpredictability attached with team Pakistan.
However it is this predictability that makes the team very exciting to watch.
Lets come to the point and analyze the team’s strengths and weaknesses and also the chances in the tournament.
Following the tradition of cricket lets discuss the strength of the team first. There is no doubt that bowling is the main strength of the team. Having a pace battery comprising of bowlers like Mohammad Asif, Umer Gul and Mohammad Aamir , team Pakistan will look forward to these menacing bowlers to apply early pressure on the batting teams.
Mohammad Asif is lethal with his line and length and his performance in the first edition of world T20 in South Africa was quite impressive. He performance with the new ball will be a major factor in Pakistan’s campaign.
Mohammad Aamir the latest sensation of Pakistan cricket. He was the find of the tournament in the last T20 world cup. He has got swing, pace, attitude all the attributes that makes a fast bowler successful at the highest level. After his brilliant performance in the last T20 world cup final, Aamir has come a long way and has become a key member of the Pakistani team and he also will be a key member of the team.
Now comes the turn of Mr Consitent of team Pakistan in T20 format Umar Gul. Gul was the highest wicket taker in both the editions of the T20 world cups and played a major role in helping Pakistan to get into the finals both the time. His performance in the 2007 final was brilliant as he removed the back bone of Indian batting by dismissing Dhoni, Yuvraj and Gambhir.
However in 2009 edition of the tournament Gul was simply unstoppable. And he even went on to become the first bowler to take 5 wickets in an international T20, when he took 5/6 against the Kiwis at the Oval. Apart from that his performance in the semi final against the Proteas at Nottingham was simply amazing as he came onto bowl at a crucial stage and bowled his Yorkers with such consistency and accuracy that the batsmen of the caliber like Jean Paul Duminy , Jacques Kallis and Albie Morkel were not able to hit the required boundaries, and the pressure kept on mounting on the South Africans and in the end Pakistan managed to pin them down by 7 runs and qualified for the final.
Where the fast bowling has got quality and depth Pakistani slow bowlers are the best in the world. Skipper Shahid Afridi and offie Saeed Ajmal are a wonderful spinning combo for the team.They both have been phenomenal in the short format of the game.
Afridi with his pace variation and ability to bowl his overs quickly doesn’t give the batsmen easy opportunities to settle where as Saeed Ajmal with his orthodox but effective off spin bowling not only controls the flow of runs but also picks up wickets at crucial times. This spin duo was very beneficial the green shirts in their success in the 2009 and rest assured they will be more effective this time as well.
Now comes the turn of our batting. A factor that has always been a big worry for the team since a large period of time.
If we talk about the team’s batting strength it looks a good team on paper, but consistency and technique are the major factors that have brought about team’s downfall numerous times and we have lost some matches in the most dramatic of fashions.
Two out of the three openers have been selected due to their good performances in the recently held National Twenty Twenty cup. Mohammad Hafeez and Khalid Latif showed good form in the tournament and impressed one and all with their batting.
However both of them have not had it easy at the international level so far.
Hafeez made his debut in 2003, and was dropped from the team very soon. However he kept on making come backs as he was consistent at the domestic level. His major came back was in 2006 as he was called upon as an opener he was also a part of 2007 ODI world cup and 2007 T20 world cup. His performance with the bat in that T20 world cup was below average and he failed to deliver when the team needed a contribution from him. He has not been able to perform with the bat and has been heavily criticized for that. However with sheer hard work and determination he has once again earned a deserving recall after 2 years.
Khalid Latif, the Karachi batsman has also had it tough in international circuit however he continues to amass heaps of runs in the domestic level. He is a good batsman and has all the strokes however he needs to work on his technique.
Salman Butt is very experienced and has been a part of both the squads that have played the T20 world cup. His selection is also surrounded by question marks and this tournament is a great opportunity for Butt to prove that he is a player for all forms of the game.
Middle order batting has got fire power with the likes of Misbah, Kamran Akmal, Afridi, Umer Akmal and Abdul Razzaq. No doubt the absence of Younis Khan and Shoaib Malik will be felt but the players avalible are good enough to play a responsible role.
Pakistan have got good allrounders in Yasir Arafat, Abdul Razzaq, Fawad Alam as all of them have got vast experience of playing T20.
Pakistan definitely have got the team that can defend its title and in Shahid Afridi they have got a leader that can surely lead them to success. However a lot depends upon how the team gels together and remain as a unit. If they are able to play as a unit and play with determination no wonder why cant they re taste the glory as they did in 2009.
1) Shahid Afridi
2) Saeed Ajmal
3) Umar Gul
4) Umar Akmal
5) Mohammad Asif