Pakistan's Probable squad for Cricket World Cup 2015
Updated - Nov 10, 2014 6:10 pm
As 2015 approaches and Pakistan go through their ritualistic disastrous build-ups to a Cricket World Cup 2015, a signature of the side since the tournament’s 2003 edition, desperate fans try to clutch at straws by coming up with similarities between 2015 and the Proudest Moment of Pakistan cricket: 1992. The WC returns to Australia and New Zealand for the first time since that evening Imran Khan and team Pakistan lifted it for Pakistan to rise and shine.
For the most faithful amongst us, the same venue is justification enough but for those who need a little more convincing, Misbah’s Niazi heritage (similar to that of Imran Khan), the captaincy-tussle between Afridi and Misbah (Javed Miandad-Imran Khan), Sohaib Maqsood’s laidback Inzamam-styled bat swings and the sheer fact that Pakistan’s premium fast-bowler Junaid Khan bowls left-handed are all signs that Pakistan will repeat the miracle Down Under. The belief is so unwavering that Saeed Ajmal’s suspension has already been compared to losing Waqar Younis before the WC in 1992. At this rate, Nasir Jamshed hitting a purple patch and getting injured right before the WC will only be taken as a positive given the fate of Saeed Anwar twenty-three years ago.
The reality, however, resides in the shadow of doubt that has made a permanent home even in the most optimistic Pakistani fans’ minds and by extension the team itself. The loss of Saeed Ajmal is irreplaceable and most probably catastrophic. Afridi being handed the T20 captaincy right at the start of the season that culminates in the WC is only inviting a power struggle. And, to put it lightly, the eternal lack of consistency in the top three is embarrassing. Does Pakistan really have a shot then?
Misbah-ul-Haq – A man that has been leading the Test team from 2010 and the ODI team from mid-2011. It was all quiet for Misbah-ul-Haq until he was rested for the 3rd ODI against Australia. Shahid Afridi took over captaincy in his absence which sparked a controversy large enough for the PCB Chairman to intervene and solve the issue. Issue has been resolved and Misbah-ul-Haq is announced as Captain of Pakistan’s ODI Team until World Cup 2015.
Pakistan has not tasted much success of late, but what Misbah has been instrumental in providing is stability to the current players’ mindsets. Most of the squad has been playing as a group for the past two to three years. Misbah has been vital towards breeding this sense of security amongst what is one of the most mentally fragile and insecure group of individuals – and Pakistan would want this to continue for till the World Cup.