Imad Wasim returns to his birthland – Swansea, Wales – for the Cricket World Cup, having developed into one of the world’s top all-rounders. Photo: Action Images via Reuters

Outside of the main competitors there are always teams lurking just below. Pakistan have the quality to go all the way.

Razzle dazzle the one day, capitulation the next. It is the wondrous charm of Pakistan that galls the hell out of their coach Mickey Arthur. He has certainly experienced both sides of the coin after leading Pakistan to ICC Champions Trophy success here in the UK two years ago only to return this month for a 4-0 drubbing from hosts England. Pakistan’s record in major ICC trophies in the UK is ominous: Runners-up #CWC99, Champions #WorldT20 in 2010 and again triumphant at #ChampionsTrophy17. They always worth a punt.

Playmaker: Imad Wasim

Imad returns to his birthland – Swansea, Wales – for #CWC19 having developed into one of the world’s top all-rounders. Although he is primarily a slow-bowler that captain Safraz Ahmed can call on anytime, whether it’s in the first Powerplay or at the death, his batting is equally impressive averaging 40.94 after 46 ODIs. Imad is not a conventional spinner as he relies more on pace through the air than turn of the wicket. An aggressive cricketer too, he adds plenty of bite to this Pakistan team.

Mr Dependable: Imam-ul-Haq

Another feisty character, Imam struts around with a permanent chip on his shoulder due to being the nephew of Pakistan legend Inzamam-ul-Haq, the current convenor of selectors. It seems to be working for Imam though as the constant whispers in the media that he owes his place in the team to his family connections seems to act as a major motivating force. The bespectacled left-hander has arguably been the most consistent Pakistan batsman in recent times, averaging 60.30 from 20 ODIs. He has six centuries already – just four short of his uncle Inzamam’s overall tally compiled in 358 more ODIs.

The Rookie: Mohammad Hasnain

Pakistan boast a youthful attack with fellow teenager Shaheen Shah Afridi joining Hasnain in England. But unlike the beanpole Shaheen, Hasnain only stands 1.85m in his socks. His lack of height has not stopped him from delivering thunderbolts at 151km/h for the Quetta Gladiators in the Pakistan Super League though. Hasnain is raw and very quick. Just like how we like our fast bowlers.

Squad:

Sarfaraz Ahmed (captain), Fakhar Zaman, Imam-Ul-Haq, Babar Azam, Shadab Khan, Shoaib Malik, Faheem Ashraf, Shaheen Afridi, Hassan Ali, Abid Ali, Mohammad Hafeez, Imad Wasim, Junaid Khan, Mohammad Hasnain, Haris Sohail.

@ZaahierAdams


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