#T20WorldCup2022 : Can Babar Azam And Co Script The 1992 Story Again?

Picture : Twitter/ ICC

Poor start, a bit of luck and then the turnaround. It was the story of Imran Khan’s Pakistan side that lifted the 1992 Men’s World Cup at Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG). Exactly, three decades after, Pakistan after two initial losses and with some luck, peaked into form and have stormed into the finals of another World Cup-2022 T20. Once again the venue is the iconic MCG.

The current side under Babar Azam may lack the great players that Imran Khan had in his team-Javed Miandad, Wasim Akram, Inzaman-ul Haq, but, it’s not devoid of some characters (Mohammad Rizwan, Shadab Khan, Iftikhar Ahmed- who, on their day would stun any opposition. However, what scares the opponents is the inherent nature of the side- unpredictability. It’s more unpredictable than the game itself.
In their opening game, Pakistan team was humbled by Virat Kohli’s sensational knock. But, it was not an easy victory though for India. Pakistan had played valiantly till the last over debacle. But, in the next encounter, their loss to Zimbabwe was indeed surprising.
Though the side, peaked into form, their chances of making into the top four was a distant dream, almost ruled out. However, South Africa’s loss to Netherlands paved the way for Pakistan.

Once, they got a lease of life, they were literally unstoppable, literally all over the Kiwis right from the first over of the game. Once again, like in 1992, a fancied side, New Zealand, lost to Pakistan in the semi finals.

In 1992, Pakistan had met New New Zealand too, Before the game, very few were aware of the bulkily built, a lazy Inzamam Ul Haq who was in his early 20’s. The very few who heard of him mimicked how he was flummoxed by an acrobatic Jonty Rhodes’ flying throw –in a group game against South Africa- and walked slowly back to pavilion.

However, in that game against Martin Crowe’s New Zealand, the same Inzy, coming into bat at a precarious position, single handedly scripted an improbable win ensuring a berth for his country in the finals. A hero was born.

Interestingly, this time around, another unknown quantity, a 21 year old Mohammad Harris (fellow players call him Mr Google)- who was not in the original list of players and was brought in as a replacement late into the tournament, has provided the solidity to his team’s batting with his hard hitting ability.

However, as always, the Pakistani unit can be rated as the best bowing unit of the tournament. They have the variety in their bowling armory. A team that bowls well has fair chances of winning.

But, what separates the Pakistan side from the rest of teams is the spirit which it displays on the ground, at least on big occasions.
However, T20 is cruel game, even a minor error can change the fate of a champion side. On paper, every major team- thanks to so many leagues- is studded with talents and is capable of winning the cup. However, T20 is a peculiar game, any team can win on its day.

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