Pakistan versus the mighty Australians; a battle or a slaughter

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Pakistan comes into the semi final after a miraculous comeback by defeating the mighty South African team. Even that was not sufficient, as they were relying upon England to beat New Zealand for them to qualify for the finals. After all the permutations came true the green shirts had almost clawed their way up the grave to set a semi final clash against the awesome Australians.
Australians have beaten the Pakistan team earlier in the tournament, and that too comprehensively, but all of that was in the past. It would be a new day on the 14th of May 2010 in St Lucia when the Pakistan team will enter the field with new vigour and belief. They know that luck is on their side, and they also know that they are good enough. The bigger question is if the Aussies think they are low enough?
The way Michael Clark’s men are playing, it would take more than lady luck to save the Pakistan team. It would take proper planning, team selection, belief and individual genius from more than one player, adding to that they would need some help from the men in green and gold as well. What has troubled every team against Australia so far, has been the pace battery they possess. Lead by Dirk Nannes and Shaun Tait, they have rattled every team’s top order. Attacking relentlessly, they continue with the pace of Mitchell Johnson and the immaculate line of Shane Watson. Even if the pace men fail, which has never been the case as far as this tournament is concerned, they have an attacking option in the form of Steve Smith.
These bowlers would do what they do best, what Pakistan needs to do is to go to the nets and set the delivery machine to the short of length option, then practice till the coach allows. Having the information that they would be bombarded with short deliveries they need to be well prepared. If they still don’t get ready and falter when the test comes, then it’s no one’s fault but their own. They need to dominate the bowling like Kevin Peterson did against South Africa. If they think that they can weather the storm like a rock then they are mistaken. They need to weather it with their own storm. 
The green shirts should enter the ground with aggressive intent and try to impose their tempo in the first few overs or else the Aussies would bulldoze over them without even thinking twice. The openers have to shine; Kamran can be the best option to oppose his authority on the Aussies, while Butt should look to rotate the strike with the odd boundary every now and then. Umer Akmal’s role would be crucial if an early wicket falls. He had performed well against the Australians in Australia and is the best choice when you want to unsettle the opponents. Afridi’s role is important in the middle order while Razzaq needs to come prepared to blast the ball in the end.
Fawad Alam should be included in the team instead of Misbah as he is quick in between the wickets and performed comparatively well against the Aussies in the ODI series recently. Misbah’s removal is absolutely crucial for this team; he is scared of the ball, and would not run even if it was for his own life. All he can do is to waste deliveries at crucial times and finally end his misery by playing the most absurd shot.
If Pakistan plans well and the players bat up to their potentials then the Australian attack is vulnerable.
When it comes to Australia batting, everyone has seen that it’s susceptible. All one is to do is to ball sensibly, hold on to the opportunities, and make sure to hit the killer blow once they bow down. Bangladesh and Sri Lanka have already exposed the top order through rising balls and good spin deliveries. Pakistan needs to realize that Australians are butchers of the fast deliveries; one has to wear them down through spin. Abdur Rehman has been a revelation, but Afridi needs to use him well as he was thrashed by the South Africans at the end of the innings.
Saeed Ajmal’s Form is reliable but the skipper needs to find his own form as well. He has been containing but the aggressive intent is lacking from the Pathan’s bowling. Asif can be tried in this match but only in the early overs, that too if he is explicitly told to think before bowling rather than just bowling ‘test match’ length balls. Sami would not be a nice choice as the confidence of the Australians against him would be high. Amir needs to shine again if Pakistan is to advance in the final.
Over all, the odds are stacked highly in favor of the Aussies, but one should not forget that Pakistan is a team which feeds on come backs. And this time their belly is fuller than it ever was. If they follow the plans and play their game to its potential, then the Australian slaughter can always be turned into a Pakistani butchering.



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