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Pakistan has zero chances of winning

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Pakistan_ODI_CricketThe Champions Trophy is here, and people have expectations of their teams to somehow clinch the trophy and bring it home for them. Be they Pakistanis, Indians, Australians, Bangladeshis, South Africans, New Zealanders, English or Sri Lankans, each country expects their team to win and leave their mark on world cricket.

Like every other nation, Pakistan is trying and preparing its best to win the trophy, they are arranging training camps, changing the squads to get a perfect one, getting the additional staff, getting fitness coaches, working on their fielding and having fitness tests. All these preparations are a must before the start of any global tournament because it comes around just once in four years.

These are short term preparations and everybody is great with these short-term preparations. Even in school every student studies before an exam but the student who study from start of the year are much more successful in the end. Same is the case with Pakistan, they haven’t prepared a single bit for the Champions Trophy, they just have been changing the squads giving everybody a bit of a chance, they haven’t developed a captain and bringing old players and kicking new ones out, and then again kicking the old ones out and bringing back the new one. Just a useless circle that they have been following in the past three years.

 

Babar Azam is one weapon that Pakistan is planning on to use in the Champions Trophy because of his outstanding performances in the limited overs cricket in the past year. It is true that he has been sensationally well in the last one year or so and Pakistan would expect him to carry on, but it is to be kept in mind that he is still young and isn’t as matured and well developed as an international batsman to carry the batting throughout the Champions Trophy. He might get an odd good performance here or there but he isn’t such a player that a team can rely on hundred percent. It wouldn’t be wrong to say that relying on Babar Azam is being naïve and stupid. Other than Babar, Pakistan’s batting line up seriously isn’t of much value.

Pakistan will be relying on their bowling department a lot. With the likes of Amir, Wahab and much more it wouldn’t be wrong to say that their key strength would be bowling, and it might be Pakistan’s success. Pakistan’s bowling is good, but every other team out there has a good bowling line up at the very least and that would make them equal to all the other teams in the bowling department. It is not like Pakistan has something extraordinary to rely on.

Today, in limited overs a cricket team needs to have all its bases fully covered. It needs to have a good all round team, one strong department doesn’t guarantee you a win, it needs to be equally good on all fronts. A team that is extraordinarily good in one department, and is good in the other two departments has an extra edge, but the catch over here is that at first, all the departments need to be good and that is what can produce a match winning performance.

It also depends on how the team is led and captained, and who captains it. Pakistan’s latest ODI captain is Sarfaraz Ahmed. Now Sarfaraz, in my opinion, is a very good captain but the problem with him being the captain is that he hasn’t captained the team for long to have his grip on the team, and make a settled eleven for himself. It can’t be expected of a captain to magically produce great performances when the captain is brought into the picture only a few months before a big tournament. This is the case with Pakistan, Azhar Ali was given a long run after the 2015 World Cup and it clearly wasn’t working out from the start and then right at the focal moment before the Champions Trophy a captaincy change happens to make things more unsettled.

All of the above factors combine and makes one say that Pakistan has absolutely zero chances to win the Champions Trophy. It is also difficult to say if Pakistan will be able to win more than a single game in the tournament if the groups are analyzed. South Africa and India will win their matches against Pakistan hands down, and the only other team remaining that Pakistan can have a chance of winning against is Sri Lanka. This way it looks a tough ask to even get past the group stage.

 

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