The Pakistan cricket team is a strong contender to win the highly anticipated 2023 ICC Cricket World Cup. They have a rich cricketing heritage and a burning desire to make a mark and lift their second ODI World Cup title. The mega-event kicks off on October 5 at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad.
Pakistan is the second-ranked ODI team in the world. They recently announced their squad, led by Babar Azam for the World Cup. The team features a good mix of experience and youth. However, they will be disappointed to miss out on Naseem Shah due to injury.
On that note, let’s analyse the Pakistan squad’s Strengths, weaknesses, the opportunities and threats for them.
SWOT analysis of Pakistan Squad
A huge plus for the Pakistan team is their pace attack. Despite Naseem Shah’s absence, who has missed out due to injury, the attack is one of the best in the tournament. Shaheen Shah Afridi is the leading wicket-taker for them this year with 24 wickets in 12 matches. Haris Rauf has also picked up 24 wickets this year.
Hasan Ali and Mohammad Wasim Jr. are also capable options in the bowling attack. Meanwhile, Pakistan’s biggest trump card in the batting line-up will be skipper Babar Azam. He also has been in good form in ODIs this year, scoring 745 runs at an average of 49.66 with two centuries. Mohammad Rizwan also has a good record this year, with 628 runs at an average of 62.80.
The presence of Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan makes Pakistan’s batting attack strong. However, the likes of Iftikhar Ahmed, Imam-ul-Haw and Salman Ali Agha also need to perform consistently. The team cannot be heavily dependent on the experienced duo.
Imam-ul-Haq has scored 448 runs this year at an average of 40.72, with five fifties. He needs to improve the conversion rate as the team will have to notch up big scores in the tournament. Pakistan also desperately needs Fakhar Zaman to bounce back to form. He managed just 66 runs in five innings in the recently concluded Asia Cup. However, overall he has a good record this year, scoring 644 runs with a highest score of 180.
Pakistan will be heading into the 2023 World Cup as the second-ranked team in ODI format in World Cricket. They have been one of the most consistent teams and will be keen to lift their second ODI World Cup title, this time on the soil of their arch-rivals.
The World Cup presents a great opportunity for Pakistani players, as most of them haven’t played in India. Babar Azam himself is yet to play an international match in Indian conditions. It will be a great opportunity for the players to showcase their abilities at the global tournament.
Pakistan will have to be wary of the batting collapses in the 2023 ODI World Cup. Some of the top teams have the potential to score 350-400 runs. Hence, the middle-order should not let down the Pakistan batting unit to stay in the race. They need to ensure to not crumble under pressure situations.
Babar Azam (c), Shadab Khan, Fakhar Zaman, Imam-ul-Haq, Abdullah Shafique, Mohammad Rizwan, Saud Shakeel, Iftikhar Ahmed, Salman Ali Agha, Mohammad Nawaz, Usama Mir, Haris Rauf, Hasan Ali, Shaheen Afridi, Mohammad Wasim