No matter the opponent, a win is a win. Pakistan might think so after beating Bangladesh in their last World Cup match. Before that match, Pakistan’s World Cup fate was not in their own hands. With 2 points that day, Pakistan returned to the semi-finals. But yes, Afghanistan’s win against Netherlands yesterday has made Pakistan’s calculations much more difficult. Pakistan’s hopes of playing in the semi-finals will end if they lose against New Zealand today.
As the opponent is New Zealand, Pakistan can take confidence from the past as well. The fight between the two teams in the World Cup has been one-sided for a long time, Pakistan has won 7 times in 9 matches. Now, before facing Pakistan, New Zealand is in great danger. After winning the first four matches of the World Cup and losing three consecutive matches, the Kiwis’ place in the top four is now shaky. There is also a procession of injuries. Regular captain Kane Williamson has already been injured.
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Then Mark Chapman, Lockie Ferguson, Jimmy Neesham, Matt Henry added to the list of injured. Looking for positivity in all this, the team’s all-rounder Darrell Mitchell. In the pre-match press conference tomorrow, he said, ‘We will want to play the kind of cricket that the Black Caps play. By playing like this, we have been getting success for a long time.’
Pakistan is also in trouble. The team’s chief selector Imzamam-ul-Haq resigned in the middle of the World Cup. The Cricket Board is planning to form a 5-member investigation committee to look into whether there is a conflict of interest behind the formation of the World Cup team. Babars are kept under tight security in India.
While the players of other teams who come to play the World Cup can move around freely, Pakistan’s players cannot. Yesterday Pakistan’s team director Mickey Arthur compared the situation to biosecurity during the corona, ‘It is having an effect. After waking up in the morning, it seems like the same day is coming again and again.’
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The equation of the points table, so many controversies surrounding the team – all this could turn Pakistan into a cornered tiger. And what happens when Pakistan turns around from such a situation, the cricket world has seen it in 1992.