Pakistan had a great start in the World Cup. Pakistan won their first two matches against Netherlands by 81 runs and against Sri Lanka by 6 wickets. Babar Azam’s team set a winning record by chasing the highest run in World Cup history by reaching the target of 345 runs given by the Lankans.
But Pakistan could not maintain the rhythm of the beginning. In the third match, they lost badly to arch-rivals India. After that, the possibility of winning against Australia could not be raised. And last night’s unexpected loss to Afghanistan gave a big blow to Pakistan’s ego. Babar-Rizwan’s backs are against the wall after losing three times in a row.
A couple of weeks before the start of the World Cup, former Indian spinner Harbhajan Singh referred to this Pakistan team as “sadmata” and said that he does not see Babar’s team in the semi-finals.
Former Pakistani fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar asked the audience whether the team is eligible to play in the semi-finals. And Sourav Ganguly said after Pakistan’s loss to India, it will be difficult for Babar to turn around in the World Cup. Now Sourav’s words are matching!
However, Pakistan’s chances of playing in the semi-finals are not over. It cannot be said that everything is still in the hands of Babar-Afridis. In order to go to the semi-finals, they have to win their remaining four matches and look at other teams as well.
Pakistan is currently fifth in the points table with 4 points from 5 matches. Australia also points 4. However, Australia is fourth as they lead in net run rate.
Pat Cummins’ team played one match less than Babar’s. Australia will play against the Netherlands today. Arguably, Australia are the favorites in this match. Barring another major mishap, it’s safe to say that Warner-Smith will walk away with a win tonight.
If Australia wins against Netherlands today, the team’s points will increase by 6. Then not only the net run rate, but also the points, Australia will make the top four. It will create additional pressure on Pakistan. Babars should not only win their last four matches, but also focus on increasing their net run rate. Because, if more than one team has 12 points, the team leading in net run rate will reach the semi-finals. Right now Pakistan’s net run rate is -0.400. If you can’t turn the negative net run rate into a positive one, there is no chance of playing in the last four.
Pakistan’s next four matches are against South Africa (October 27), Bangladesh (October 31), New Zealand (November 4) and reigning world champions England (November 11). Among the last four opponents, Bangladesh and England are behind Pakistan in the points table. But New Zealand and South Africa are in great form. The Proteas went a long way towards the semi-finals after beating Bangladesh by a huge margin last night.
In Pakistan’s form, it seems ‘impossible’ to make a comeback in the semi-finals. Even if they lose one of the last four matches, there is a small chance. In that case, Pakistan will have to look at other matches. Even if multiple teams have 10 points, they should be ahead in net run rate. Only then can he play in the semi-finals of the World Cup after an era.
Even in the 2019 World Cup, Pakistan did not reach the semi-finals because of their net run rate. The service team also finished the World Cup in fifth place. New Zealand and Pakistan had equal points of 11 each. However, Kiwis net run rate was +0.175 and Pakistan -0.430. As a result, New Zealand made it to the semis as the fourth team.