Pakistan Hope For Better In Shorter Format
Friday, April 24, 2015
Shere Bangla National Stadium, Mirpur
Start time 18:30 local (12:30 GMT)
Pakistan were on the receiving end most of the time in the recently concluded One-Day International series against Bangladesh, but the return of Shadid Afridi and Ahmed Shehzad for the Twenty20 will boost their batting line-up and give it stability as well as depth.
They will be hoping their former T20 skipper, Mohammad Hafeez, will fire. His form with the bat has been a big let-down for the visitors and he is now able to bowl again after his bowling action was approved.
Saeed Ajmal has not looked as effective as he was before remodeling his action and he will also want his fortunes to change with a change in the format. Meanwhile, Sarfraz Ahmed didn’t look too convincing in the two ODIs he played, he will also have to prove his worth as a batsman.
Haris Sohail, Mohammad Rizwan and Saad Nasim had decent ODI series, so they would like to continue their good run in T20 too.
On the other hand Bangladesh will be very confident going into the T20, as most of their batsmen are in good form and scoring heavily. They will again look to ride on their in-form openers.
Their openers doing the job for them means that their middle order are yet to be tested. If Pakistan can take some early wickets then Mushfiqur Rahim and Shakib Al Hasan will have some work to do.
The only concern for them would be over their World Cup hero Mahmudullah, who didn’t get many runs in the ODI series.
Keys for Success
Pakistan need to remove the Bangladeshi openers soon otherwise we shouldn't be surprised if the result of the ODIs is repeated.
Bangladesh need to not panic much if Pakistan gets a good partnership going. What they need to is just hold their nerve as Pakistan’s batting can collapse anytime which have seen often in recent years.
Watch out for…
This will be Shahid Afridi’s first T20 match since retiring from ODIs. He won’t get too many opportunities now to represent his nation. So, he would like to make most of the limited opportunity he will get now. We all know how devastating he can be if he gets going.
Shakib Al Hasan is handy both with the ball and the bat. He is arguably the best all-rounder in the world in any format of the game and is well capable of turning the game in his favour. With the Bangladeshi top order doing the job in ODIs, now Shakib will be eager to join the party.
Stats and trivia
Bangladesh have not won even a single T20 match of the seven they have played against Pakistan.
© Cricket World 2015