ICC World T20 Team Preview: Can Pakistan overcome difficult build up?

Mohammad Hafeez of Pakistan misses the ball during the One Day International match between New Zealand and Pakistan at Eden Park on January 31, 2016 in Auckland, New Zealand.

Pakistan are a team with plenty of talent, but recent history suggests they won’t be one of the main contenders for this tournament. The Waqar Younic coached side went into the Asia Cup having lost five of their previous six T20 games and promptly failed to reach the final despite being favoured to do so.

They’ve also had their preparations interrupted and have yet to arrive in India due to security concerns. None of this is suggestive of a squad ready to qualify for the knockout stages for the tournament.

There are some positives. The return of Mohammad Amir has added a spark to their bowling attack and their batsmen showed some signs of life during their Asia Cup run. If they can put it all together in India, they may have a chance.

Key Players

Mohammad Hafeez: He may be 35 but Hafeez is the key man in Pakistan’s batting line up. Unfortunately his T20 form has not been up to his normal high standards this year, with a high score of 14 during the Asia Cup. Nevertheless, the opening batsmen has great experience of high level international competition and should raise his performance against the bigger sides.

Shoaib Malik: Unlike Hafeez, Malik comes into the tournament in excellent form with the bat, having averaged over 60 during the competition. He also produced exceptionally during last year’s CPL tournament, is capable of batting in a bunch of different positions and is a dangerous bowler.

Wild Card

Mohammad Amir: Amir burst onto the scene as a teenager and looked set to establish himself as one of the great Pakistani bowlers. Unfortunately, he was derailed by stupidly getting caught up in a spot-fixing scandal and spent time in jail and banned from the game.

After a five year absence, his return to the side was one of the hottest topics in cricket earlier this year. His performances have steadily improved and he was one of the main bright spots in their recent matches.

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