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Pakistan Seeks World Cup Semifinal Spot as England’s Loss Opens Doors

South Africa's emphatic victory against defending champions England has opened the door for sides such as Pakistan and Australia.

South Africa’s resounding win against defending champions England has created opportunities for teams like Pakistan and Australia, currently mid-table, to secure a spot in the World Cup semifinals.

For Pakistan, Monday’s match holds significant importance in their quest to advance in the tournament.

Shaking Off Mediocrity:

To capitalize on this chance, Pakistan, led by Babar Azam, must overcome the inconsistency and underperformance that has characterized their World Cup campaign.

Except for Mohammad Rizwan, Pakistan’s batting lineup has appeared fragile. Inconsistent performances from top-order batsmen, including skipper Babar Azam, have been a major concern.

Top-Order Responsibility:

While Pakistan boasts a deep batting lineup on paper, their all-rounders have yet to make significant contributions. The top order needs to step up and take on additional responsibility.

The Babar Azam Factor:

Runs from Babar Azam’s bat are crucial, as his batting struggles seem to impact his captaincy, which has been questioned for being passive and unimaginative.

Pakistan’s bowling has also fallen short of expectations. While Hasan Ali and Haris Rauf have taken wickets, it has often come at a high cost and late in the match. The spinners, surprisingly, have not been as effective.

The Role of Shaheen Afridi:

Shaheen Afridi is the only bowler who has consistently performed, but he needs to provide breakthroughs during his opening spell to put Pakistan in control.

While Afghanistan may not match Pakistan’s experience or reputation, they have proven to be formidable opponents, as complacent England learned. Afghanistan’s strength lies in their spin bowling, led by Rashid Khan, Mujeeb Ur Rahman, and Mohammad Nabi.

Spirited Afghan Team:

Afghanistan’s batting has also shown sparks of brilliance, making Pakistan’s task more challenging. The Afghan team is known for its resilient spirit, which adds an extra layer of difficulty.

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