There is something which is more unpredictable than British weather and that is the Pakistan Cricket Team. They might look down and out on one day but on the very next day, they can astonish even the strongest unit around with their unbelievable performance.
This has always been the case with them, even when they won the 1992 World Cup after the most emphatic turn-around in the history of cricket when no one was even expecting them to make the semi-finals.
Pakistan will require a similar turn around if they are to win the second ICC World T20 which is going on in England. The Pakistan team is at its best in do-or-die situations and we have seen it already in the tournament against the Netherlands. Today, they'll have to lift their game immensely against a composed Kiwi side if they are to keep themselves alive in the World Cup.
New Zealand has had tough times against Pakistan in World Cup matches. Pakistan defeated New Zealand in New Zealand twice, including the semi-final of the 1992 World Cup when no other team was able to do it even once.
They lost to Pakistan in 1996 World Cup in Lahore and again twice in 1999 World Cup including the semifinal. Last time when these two teams met in any World Cup match was the semifinal of the inaugural T20 World Cup in South Africa, 2007, where Pakistan won comprehensively.
Indeed, Pakistan will have a psychological advantage before the match but everyday is a new day and keeping their poor batting form in account; it will be a big task for Pakistan.
Sohail Tanvir has lost it completely. This guy needs some rest for sure. Salman Butt, a great opener for Pakistan in One day Internationals, is surely struggling in the T20 format.
Abdul Razzaq will definitely have to replace Tanvir who was all over the place against Sri Lanka yesterday and try Shahzeb Hassan, the youngster, at the top with Kamran Akmal.
Saeed Ajmal and Shahid Afridi will hold the key yet again. New Zealand batsmen are not confident against spin and will be exploited by in-form Pakistan spinners. Umar Gul and Muhammad Aamir have been impressive as well. The bowling looks pretty much alright without Sohail Tanvir.
Younis Khan has been in prime touch. He has scored 132 runs in three innings at an average of 66.00. No one else is there to support him though. Misbah and Shoaib Malik will have to take on the responsibility or else it can be too late for them. Abdul Razzaq at the late middle overs might also allow the captain to gamble with Afridi in the power-play overs although I don't think it as a wise move as Afridi is completely out of touch however it will be helpful in a big way if the move pays-off. Kamran Akmal has been good in patches. He needs to provide a solid foundation.
On the whole, Pakistan will come in the field as a completely different unit today. Winning comprehensively will ensure that they are still in the competition. Although it won't be for granted but Pakistan is favorite for today's match even though they lost yesterday
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