After the formation in 1947 after partition from India, Pakistan assembled a cricket Test team in just 5 years and played their first Test away from home against India at Delhi in October 1952. While it took quite a while for many newly formed Test teams to win a Test match, Pakistan won their first Test in the second Test itself with an innings and 43 runs.
Bowling has always been Pakistan’s strong point, and they have produced some of the greats like Fazal Mehmood, Sarfaraz Nawaz, Abdul Qadir, Wasim Akram, Waqar Younis, to name a few. They have also produced some of the finest batsmen such as Hanif Mohammed, Javed Miandad, Zaheer Abbas, and Inzamam-ul-Haq. Imran Khan has been one of the best all-rounders from Pakistan.
So far, Pakistan have played 433 Test winning 138 of them while losing 132 while 162 matches ended in a draw. They have won close to 32% Tests with a win-loss ratio of 1.045 which 4th best among the Test-playing nations. Their performances in the recent years have not been up to the mark as they are currently placed 7th in the ICC Test rankings.
Pakistan played their first ODI in 1973 against New Zealand which they lost by 22 runs. In their next ODI against England away from home Pakistan registered their first victory by 7 wickets. Overall, Pakistan have played 930 ODIs so far, winning 488 and losing 413. They were involved in 9 tied ODIs whereas 20 ODIs ended in no result. Like Tests, Pakistan have the 4th best win-loss ratio in ODIs – a ratio of 1.181. One of the highlights of Pakistan’s ODI history is the 1992 ODI World Cup win. They also reached the finals of 1999 World Cup in England but ended as runners-up.
Pakistan have done well in the Twenty-20 format winning 97 of the 160 T20Is they have played so far. They lost 58 matches, tied 3 and 2 matches ended in no-result. They have won more than 60% of the matches second only to India among teams who have played at least 100 T20Is. Pakistan have played the most T20Is so far.
Pakistan Cricket Team
The home season for Pakistan cricket team generally starts late December or early January and goes through the summer till May or June until the start of the rainy season. After the terrorist attack on the Sri Lankan cricket team in 2009, Pakistan did not host international matches at home until 2015. The host venue for Pakistan was shifted to UAE and, at times, to England during this period.
For the rest of the year, Pakistan travels primarily to England, Australia, New Zealand and Sr Lanka. They used to travel to India a lot, but political tensions between the two nations meant they play each other only in World events now. Pakistan generally play 4 match Test series versus England and 2 match Test series against New Zealand. Against Australia, they play 3 match Test series when away from home. For ODIs, Pakistan generally plays 2 to 5 match ODI series on away tours and plays 2 to 4 match T20I series if scheduled.
Pakistan is currently in New Zealand playing the second Test match of the 2-match series. They lost the first Test to New Zealand by 101 runs. Earlier they lost the 3-match T20I series by 1-2 to New Zealand. After this tour, they will host South Africa for 3 T20I and 2 Tests from the end of January to mid-February. Pakistan will travel to Zimbabwe for in April to play 2 Tests and 3 T20Is. In July, Pakistan will play England for away from home for 3 ODIs and 3T20I series. They will host England for a couple of T20Is before the T20I World Cup scheduled to begin in India from 24th October.
After the T20I World, Pakistan will play Bangladesh for 3 T20Is and 2 Tests away from home starting mid-November. Around the end of the year 2021, they will host West Indies for a series of 3 ODIs and 3 T20Is. Further, in 2022-23 season, they will play Australia, Sri Lanka, England and New Zealand for 9 Tests, 14 ODIs and 3 T20Is. They will also play Asia Cup in scheduled around September 2022.
Some of these fixtures might change as a result of the Covid-19 Pandemic.
Pakistan Cricket Players
History of Pakistan greats
Pakistan cricket has a long history of producing some of the greatest cricket players to have played this game. In the early years, they had Abdul Hafiz Kardar to lead them to famous victories on the back of strong bowling performances from Fazal Mehmood. Hanif Mohammad, one of the greatest Pakistan cricket players, served Pakistan well in the initial years.
If it was Fazal the fast bowler in the early years, Abdul Qadir showed the world in the late 1970s and through 1980s that spinner can also be an attacking option, especially the leg spinner. Many followed suit in world cricket. Then came the reverse swing revolution and the exponents mainly were Pakistanis, namely, Imran Khan, Waqar Younis and Wasim Akram. In batting, some of the great Pakistan cricket players were Javed Miandad, Zaheer Abbas. Later they had Inzamam-ul-Haq and Yousuf Youhana (Mohammad Yousuf). And now, they have Babar Azam, arguably among the top 5 batsmen in the world today.
The 1992 World Cup win was the highest point in Pakistan’s history and Imran Khan’s career. The late ’90s was a good time for Pakistan as they reached 1999 World Cup final as well but lost to Australia. After the retirement of great bowlers and prime batsmen, Pakistan wasn’t the same team in the 21st century. The terrorist attack on Sri Lanka and cricket and involvement of players in the spot-fixing scandal deteriorated the situation further.
Though they continue to produce some of the great talents, especially in the fast-bowling department, Pakistan are not one of the top teams in the world today.
Current 2020 Test team
Pakistan’s Test cricket team is ranked 7th in the ICC cricket rankings with Babar Azam being the 5th ranked Test batsman. Promising young wicketkeeper Mohammad Rizwan leads Pakistan’s Test team. Shan Masood and Abid Ali open for Pakistan followed by Azar Ali – a promising talent. Harris Sohail, Fawad Alam and captain Mohammed Rizwan form the middle order. Faheem Ashraf is a handy bat lower down the order. Zafar Gohar, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Mohammed Abbas and Naseem Shah form the bowling attack for Pakistan. Yasir Shah is their premier leg spinner when available.
Current 2020 ODI Team
The promising young talent Babar Azam leads Pakistan’s ODI team. He bats at 3 after Imam-ul-Haq and Fakhar Zaman – the left-handed opening pair. Haidar Ali, Mohammed Rizwan and Iftikhar Ahmed constitute the middle order. Khushdil Shah adds depth to this batting line up.
Wahab Riaz is the leader of Pakistan’s bowling attack with Shahin Shah Afridi, Muhammad Musa and Mohammad Hasnain compling the pace attack. Imad Wasim is Pakistan’s preferred spin option in ODIs.
He is handy with the bat as well. Pakistan is currently ranked 6th in ODIs with Babar Azam featuring in top-3 ODI batsmen, and Imad Wasim featuring in the top-5 ODI all-rounders.
Current 2020 T20I team
Currently ranked 4th in the ICC rankings, Pakistan is one of the better T20I teams. Ably led by Babar Azam who is the second-ranked T20I batsman now.
Shadab Khan, the leg-break bowler, leads the Pakistan T20 Team. Wicketkeeper Mohammad Rizwan, Haidar Ali and Babar Azam are top three batsmen for Pakistan, and Mohammed Hafiz, Khushdil Shah and Faheem Ashraf form the middle order. Shadab Khan bats well in the lower middle order. Iftikhar Ahmed, Haris Rauf, Shahin Shah Afridi, and Mohammad Hasnain complete the bowling attack for Pakistan in T20Is.
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