Over the last decade or so, the Pakistani cricket team has appeared immensely unpredictable.
That is one of the reasons why their quarter-final – Australia vs Pakistan – opponents Australia see them with awe and aspiration.
Australian all-rounder Shane Watson was quick to respond when one of the reporters asked him about his team’s strategy of combating this Asian giant. “We know this is a danger game for us because they can come on and just turn it on like they have throughout the times I’ve played them in the past”, he said.
There is no question that Pakistan (the country as well as the cricket team) is full of drama. One moment you will see them jubilant and living life at their fullest and on other instance, they will fall like a pack of cards. Unpredictable, indeed.
Nevertheless, Pakistan is the underdog going into this match. Regardless of having won four matches on the trot, which was preceded by two defeats, Australia is seen as the team to win this match.
Over the years, Australia vs. Pakistan matches have seen superstars from both teams emerge as heroes or fade away like they never existed.
Who can forget Pakistan all-rounder Abdul Razzaq hit Australian pace bowler Glenn McGrath for four off five consecutive balls at an ODI match in 2000 at Sydney? Even Andrew Symonds scored a mammoth 143 in the 2003 World Cup against Pakistan at Johannesburg snatching the game from their hands?
Both teams have had their share of ups and downs against one another. Even though Australia looks like the team that will take the glory, the players will be wary of their opponent.
Australia would see lanky pace bowler Mohammad Irfan being ruled out of the tournament as a plus point, but they would not undermine the rest of their bowling attack either. On the other hand, Mitchell Starc of Australia is the highest wicket taker in this edition of the World Cup with 16 wickets.
Waqar Younis spoke to the media about losing Mohammad Irfan at a crucial juncture in the competition claiming him to be an X factor. “It’s a big game, a quarterfinal of the World Cup and we all are very pleased to be here. We know Australia play very aggressive cricket and we have to match that. We can beat Australia but for that we have to be very positive”, he concluded.
Before the match begins tomorrow at the Adelaide Oval, no one can write Pakistan off, regardless of their struggles in this tournament. Nonetheless, Australia just looks too strong for them.
Pakistan will indeed have to pull the bunny out of the hat in order to advance into the semi-finals.