T20 clean sweep

Published October 30, 2018
Pakistan beat Australia 3-0 in recent T20 series. — Photo/File
Pakistan beat Australia 3-0 in recent T20 series. — Photo/File

BY registering a spectacular 3-0 clean sweep against Australia in the recent T20 series in the UAE, Pakistan has successfully managed to shun the tag of the most unpredictable side in international cricket — at least in this shortest format of the game.

The humbling of the Aussies has given Sarfraz and his men their 10th successive T20 series win — a feat that reaffirms their status as the best T20 side in world cricket. In fact, Pakistan’s supremacy over their rivals from Down Under in all departments of the game has surprised even their staunchest supporters.

The Australians, though still recuperating from the unfortunate ball-tampering saga early this year that took away two of their best players — skipper Steve Smith and David Warner — were at full strength in the T20 series, and tipped to prove a handful.

The lopsided contests, however, have bared the many chinks in Australia’s armour, their failure to adjust on low-bounce wickets being the most pronounced.

The lack of all-round class and temperament among the current lot of Australian players has earned the ire of cricketing greats including Shane Warne, the legendary spinner, who did not mince his words when he recently asked the Australian team to shape up quickly or prepare for a summer of disappointments.

Pakistan, on the other hand, has basked in the glory of its recent T20 success. But there is little reason to be content with their batting, especially the fledgling middle order that has misfired in nearly all the three matches against Australia.

Babar Azam yet again spared the team’s blushes with his brilliant run of scores, and deservedly sits atop the ICC batting rankings.

The key to Pakistan’s dominance in T20 cricket is the variety and sting in their bowling which has excelled in different conditions and against different teams.

With the New Zealand series commencing in a week’s time, Pakistan will surely be aiming to extend their winning run and provide their fans with some more thrilling cricket.

Published in Dawn, October 30th, 2018

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