Former Indian legend Sunil Gavaskar was surprised that Pakistan didn’t play all-rounder Muhammad Wasim Jr. in their T20 World Cup opener against Team India at the MCG. The Men in Green had just three fast-bowling options and that proved to be costly in conditions that favored the pacers.
While the Men in Blue had Hardik Pandya, they could afford to use just four overs from Axar Patel and Ravichandran Ashwin combined. However, Babar Azam had to bowl Mohammad Nawaz in the 20th over and that proved to be a costly mistake as India won on the last ball.
Speaking to India Today, here’s what Sunil Gavaskar had to say about the young Pakistan all-rounder:
“Yeh toh Hardik Pandya jaisa khiladi hai (He is a bit like Hardik Pandya), he’s still new but I’m just giving the idea that he can play those lofty shots and can give you a couple of overs as well. They did not play him against India. They played two spinners. You need a player who can give you 3-4 overs and can score 30 runs in the last few overs.”
Wasim was brilliant against Zimbabwe as he picked up four wickets and almost took them over the line with the bat. On this, Gavaskar added:
“I feel their selection hasn’t been good. For Australian pitches, if they had a bowler who could seam up, like Mohammad Wasim did against Zimbabwe. And he also played a couple of good shots as well. He has that talent.”
Pakistan don’t have a settled middle-order: Sunil Gavaskar
Sunil Gavaskar believes that the loss against Zimbabwe speaks volumes about Pakistan’s middle-order woes. Shan Masood did play a couple of decent knocks, but the former opener felt that Fakhar Zaman was always a better choice at No.3 as he had the ability to score quickly.
On this, Sunil Gavaskar stated:
“They don’t have a very settled middle order. In the T20I matches they played before, Fakhar Zaman played at No 3 or 4. Now he is just part of the squad, but not in the XI. Shan Masood is scoring runs, but those are not impact innings.”
Pakistan will not only need to win their remaining games, but will also hope that a number of results go their way to make it to the semifinals this time.