Pakistan can go all the way at the 2019 Cricket World Cup but team selection and in-game tactics have to be spot this summer.
There are good reasons to think this Pakistan Cricket team are more than capable of winning the 2019 World Cup, with Pakistan World Cup odds currently at the 10.0 mark with Unibet, who are going best-price about them.
So why do we think the Pakistan cricket side can go all the way? Or more importantly why might they be a value bet at those odds?
Pakistan Cricket: Why they can win the 2019 Cricket World Cup
- The last 50 over ICC tournament was staged in England back in the summer of 2017 and was won by Pakistan. They were excellent in the semis, beating favourites England and even better in the final, where they beat India comfortably.
- Given Pakistan’s bowlers are masters of swing and reverse swing (and always have been), there are few places where they prefer to play than England. They’re probably even better than the English bowlers.
- If it’s spinning rather than swinging, (which can happen in England) that’s no issue because there are some very decent twirlers in the side, too.
- Their batting looks more solid than it has in a long time with a good mixture of smashers and dashers, experienced heads and young mavericks.
- Pakistan are lucky enough to play a 5-match ODI Series against England in England just before the start of the World Cup. Whatever happens, they will have had a chance to get used to English conditions to a greater extent than anyone else, bar England themselves.
Pakistan are a tasty-looking 9/1 (10.00) with Unibet to win the World Cup. When opening an account with Unibet as a UK customer you can claim £40 in free bets if your first-ever bet loses.
Pakistan Cricket: What they need to get right at the 2019 Cricket World Cup
All that said, it’s never that straightforward with Pakistan. Their biggest problem ahead of this tournament may just be team selection and tactics. So here’s what they need to do:
- Not play Mohmmad Amir
This has nothing to do with Pakistan cricket spot-fixing. He did the crime, he did the time and now he’s as eligible as anyone else.
It’s his form in ODIs that’s the issue.
He’s been really poor: not taking wickets, being expensive, bowling too many loose balls. It’s strange because there’s been nothing wrong with his T20 form since returning from his ban.
Pakistan need to look at the numbers and realise he should be there merely as back-up rather than first-choice. If the World Cup started tomorrow and everyone was fit, they should go with Hasan Ali, Shaheen Shah Afridi and Usman Shinwari.
If you believe favourites England and not Pakistan, are finally going to win a World Cup and will manage to do so on home soil, you can back them at odds of 9/4 (3.25) with Betfair Sportsbook.
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- Sarfraz has to step up
I’m not entirely sure what has been going through Sarfraz Ahmed’s head over the last year or so that has resulted in batting himself lower and lower down the order, sometimes as low as nine. Aged 31, with 109 ODIs under his belt and as captain of the side with a respectable average of 32 and nine fifities and two centuries, it’s hard to see what his problem is.
As an old-school accumulator of runs as well as a boundary-hitter when he needs to be and perhaps more crucially as someone who normally has a cool head, he’s perfectly equipped to bat at six.
If he occasionally decides it’s best to send in someone like Imad Wasim ahead of him to play some big shots, fine. But that has to be the exception rather than the rule.
- Use a horses for courses approach
Rather than always going for the obvious approach when bowling and giving five overs each to their two best fast bowlers, Pakistan can spring a surprise. When appropriate- there’s a bit of turn early on – or sometimes just to put the opposition batsmen off their game, they can open the bowling with the likes of part-time spinner Mohammad Hafeez, who has performed that role plenty of times in the past. Even Shoaib Malik can do it if necessary. They can’t afford to ‘play by numbers’ or else they’ll become too predictable.
- Bat first when possible
The recent trend to very often chase just so you know what the target score is suits the likes of England and India. But Pakistan have always been nervous chasers. They should look to buck the trend, bat first unless it’s a very green wicket or overcast, get as many runs as possible and then defend, because their strength is putting pressure through taking wickets and using the spinners to keep the run rate down. All in all, it’s a gameplan that suits them better.
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