x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

Champions Trophy: Pakistan key facts

Group B Misbah-ul-Haq the captain is by default a crucial component, but it is Misbah the batsman who might be even more so.

Key man

Misbah-ul-Haq

Misbah the captain is by default a crucial component, but it is Misbah the batsman who might be even more so. He has long been derided by his critics as being too slow, but Misbah has recently defended it by saying the approach was what the team needed. He will now, he says, bat with the freedom and verve he is capable of and there has been evidence of that in South Africa and domestically.

 

Why they will win it

The law of averages? Having been to six successive ICC tournament semi-finals (and triumphed in only one) surely they are bound to grab another this time? Their bowling is handy enough and this tournament could be the perfect platform for Junaid Khan to cement himself as Pakistan's coming fast-bowling hero. His pace and swing, with Mohammad Irfan's height and speed, makes the pair among the toughest opening bowlers.

 

Why they won't win it

Take your pick: inexperienced and ill-equipped batting, poor ground fielding and diabolical catching, generally poor discipline, it could be anything, really. When Pakistan win, it is generally in spite of themselves. Conditions, particularly if it is cold, will not be ideal for them though Pakistan's last world title came in England and they have a solid, recent ODI record there.

 

Squad (ODIs)

Imran Farhat 56

Nasir Jamshed 28

Mohammedd Hafeez 118

Asad Shafiq 39

Misbah-ul-Haq (capt) 117

Umar Amin 4

Shoaib Malik 213

Kamran Akmal 151

Asad Ali 1

Abdur Rehman 26

Saeed Ajmal 81

Junaid Khan 24

Ehsan Adil 2

Mohammad Irfan 11

Wahab Riaz 29