With England’s win against New Zealand the other day, it is not likely that Pakistan would beat the heavy odds here to do a miracle and get into the semis.
Not even a single factor allows us to think that Pakistan could still make it to the semis but a success here would at least help them to compensate for the faults in the initial stages of the Cup descent them.
Their absence of practice in opening rounds of the matches against Australia and West Indies put them on the back foot in the Cup. They had the game well in control against Australia when they were unsuccessful to tighten the grip and getting dismissed against the West Indies for 105 did not assist either.
After beating South Africa they climbed up in the rankings to the top four for a short time period. Blaming India for their suspected connivance to play a useless game against England or accusing other factors of team not being in friendly relationship with the captain were assumptions to divert attention.
Pakistan as a team was placed seventh in the ODI ranking before the start of the cup and they played like one in the competition and then started to win matches to raise their drowning status.
All of us had come with great hopes in the World Cup for winning it and always comparing the similarities of the 1992 Cup with this Cup. But things don’t always work that way. To accomplish something out of the ordinary there has to be proper strategies to go with it.
But they will at least have the relief of beating the favorites of this tournament on their way in New Zealand and England.
The picture is now pretty clear as to who would, with a bit of luck, end up at Lord’s in the finals.
So let us not be ruthless to our own players. They have done better than we had predicted and let us hope that they finish on a winning note in today’s match against Bangladesh which also has exposed signs of huge improvement as a team in this event. Pakistan cannot afford to take them lightly.