The passage of the 2009 champions into the final could even beat a Hollywood thriller script because they were on the verge of elimination after the first week of the tournament with morale shattering defeats to arch-rivals India and Zimbabwe. The passage of the 2009 champions into the final could even beat a Hollywood thriller script. As Pakistan takes on England in the T20 World Cup final on Sunday, a motivated Babar Azam will have the goal of earning a spot in the Pakistan cricket Hall of Fame to take his place alongside the legendary Imran Khan. England is a dangerous opponent.
With a victory over South Africa and a prayer on their lips for some divine intervention, Pakistan gave themselves reason to believe that they could stage a miraculous comeback in the second week of a tournament.
In the same way that it did in 1992, a miracle occurred when the Netherlands stunned South Africa with a performance that will live on in cricket lore, and out of nowhere, Pakistan were back in the running for a spot in the semifinals.
The performance of Pakistan in the semifinal against a well-rounded New Zealand side showed that when it comes to playing edge of your seat ‘Russian Roulette,’ the ‘Green Machines’ are second to none. Critics say that in cricket, you never know which Pakistan turns on a particular day, and the performance in the semifinal showed that.
But in the same way that everybody wants a piece of 1992 from Babar’s team, the nucleus of this current English team also has a date with history right here on this same Australian land.
It was in this country, in the year 2015, that England’s white ball cricket was left in shambles after Bangladesh eliminated them from the competition at the group league stage. Bangladesh’s victory came at the expense of England.
The ECB’s “horses for courses” philosophy served as the impetus for the transition to white-ball cricket in England, which ultimately resulted in a profound shift in both the mentality and the goals of the country’s players. On Thursday, this daring mentality was on full show when we competed against India.
To beat players like Jos Buttler, Alex Hales, Ben Stokes, and Moeen Ali, the likes of Shaheen Shah Afridi, Mohammed Wasim Jr., and Harris Rauf will require a great deal more than just motivation from their teammates.
All of these players are highly sought after in Twenty20 cricket, and each one of them has the potential to keep the 85,000 or so Pakistani fans quiet, just like they were able to do with the majority of the 42,000 Indian spectators in Adelaide.
Can Afridi pull off a Wasim Akram while Buttler is at the crease, or can Babar and Rizwan take the game deep in their own unique way, similar to how Imran Khan and Javed Miandad did in that 1992 final?
Big games almost usually put big performers in the spotlight, and Stokes would love nothing more than to win the trophy with a performance similar to the one he gave in 2019 at Lord’s.
The weather forecast calls for the possibility of rain falling during both the final on Sunday and the reserve day, which is scheduled to take place on Monday.
In contrast to a typical Twenty20 match, which may only last for a total of five overs, the event technical committee has made preparations for a minimum 10-overs-per-side competition that might begin at three in the afternoon local time on the reserve day if it becomes necessary.
The presence of Mark Wood would have been beneficial on a volatile pitch like the MCG, but the back of the tearaway fast isn’t holding up very well at the moment.
Chris Jordan is a strong Twenty20 bowler in his own right, and he would like to harness the substantial Big Bash League expertise he has to get the best of the Pakistani batters. This is despite the fact that Hardik Pandya gave him a pasting earlier in the match.
If we consider both of Pakistan’s batting lineups, England’s batting lineup with Hales, Buttler, Stokes, Phil Salt (in place of Dawid Malan), Harry Brook, Moeen Ali, and Liam Livingstone appears to be more formidable on paper than Pakistan’s batting lineup with Rizwan, Babar, Shan Masood, Mohammed Haris, and Iftikhar Ahmed.
However, on important days, it is not usually the names that matter but rather the mindset and temperament that allows one to survive the distance.
Jos Buttler is the captain of the England team, which also includes Alex Hales, Phil Salt, Harry Brook, Liam Livingstone, Adil Rashid, Moeen Ben Stokes, Moeen Ali, David Willey, Chris Woakes, Chris Jordan, Dawid Malan, Sam Curran, Mark Wood, and Tymal Mills.
Mohammed Rizwan, Shan Masood, Iftikhar Ahmed, Mohammed Haris, Khushdil Shah, Asif Ali, Haider Ali, Mohammed Wasim, Naseem Shah, Haris Rauf, Shadab Ahmed, Mohammed Nawaz, Shaheen Shah Afridi, and Mohammed Hasnain were the players who represented Pakistan. Babar Azam was the captain of the team.