Pakistan’s Powerhouse Batters
Leading the charge for Pakistan in the upcoming tournament is captain Babar Azam, the world’s top-ranked ODI batter. He will be accompanied in the middle order by Mohammad Rizwan, who currently holds the second spot in the MRF Tyres ICC T20I Batting Rankings.
However, according to coach Mickey Arthur, the strength of Pakistan’s batting line-up extends beyond these two cricketing luminaries.
“Our squad boasts several remarkable players. While Rizwan and Babar are indeed exceptional, we also have Imam ul-Haq, who is among the top five ODI players currently. Fakhar Zaman is another quality player we have,” Arthur said. He also mentioned Saud Shakeel, Abdullah Shafiq, and Salman Ali Agha as noteworthy contributors to the team’s batting prowess.
Arthur expressed his hope that Babar and Rizwan would continue their scoring streak, thereby easing the pressure on the rest of the team. However, he emphasized that the squad has several other skilled players.
Backing Shadab Khan
Arthur also expressed his support for spin-bowling all-rounder Shadab Khan, who has recently been struggling with form. “Shadab is an exceptional cricketer. His bowling, batting, and fielding skills are top-notch,” Arthur said. He believes that Khan is just one good performance away from regaining his confidence and making a significant impact on the World Cup.
Netherlands’ Ambitious Goal
As for the Netherlands, they have qualified for the World Cup due to their impressive performance in the ICC World Cup Qualifier earlier this year. Despite being the lowest-ranked team in the tournament, they have set their sights high.
Dutch cricket star Bas de Leede revealed that the team is aiming for a semi-final spot. “To reach the semi-finals, we need to win four or five games, which means defeating one of the big teams. That’s our primary goal. If we play our best cricket and reach the semi-finals, it would be fantastic. But even if we don’t, as long as we’ve given our best, we can still be proud,” de Leede said.