The ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2021 reaches its business end with the start of the knockouts starting on November 10. The semi-finalists for this edition are England, Australia, Pakistan and New Zealand and there are just four matches separating either one to be adjudged as the winner of this edition of the World Cup.
Pakistan produced a dominant performance throughout the Super 12 stage, as they won all five games in Group 2 and are the only team among the four semi-finalists to remain unbeaten so far. They will face Australia in the second semi-final in Dubai on Thursday and ahead of their crucial match, former pacer Mohammad Amir has advised openers Babar Azam and Muhammad Rizwan to utilise powerplay and attack rather than the usual cautious approach.
Speaking on his YouTube channel, Amir said, the team needs to keep a positive mindset and highlighted the importance of maximizing the powerplay overs in the UAE conditions.
“The mindset of teams, especially in Dubai and Abu Dhabi, is to post a score around 160 and in order to do that you need to take advantage of the powerplay. If you look at the match against Namibia, despite the fact that they didn’t have any world-class bowlers, Pakistan didn’t utilise the powerplay properly and tried to make up for it at the back end of the innings,” said Amir on his official YouTube channel.
“However, Australia won’t let you do that. They won’t concede 60 runs in the last four overs so Pakistan needs to ensure that they play attacking cricket from ball one. If you go in survival mode against top sides at the beginning, they won’t give you margin to make a comeback later in the match. We need to score at least 35-40 runs in the powerplay in order to score 160 plus,” he added.
The former speedster also warned the Pakistani team that a big team like Australia will not allow them to score runs in the death overs, so the team needs to play attacking cricket right from the onset.
“Pakistan’s real test will now begin because, in my opinion, the only team which could have given tough time to Pakistan in the group stage was India as we know the conditions in UAE very well,” he said.
“Australia have been playing some good cricket and Pakistan needs to be on top of their game to beat them. Chasing [against West Indies] 160 in 16 overs for the loss of two wickets is no joke, it means that they [Australia] are in good rhythm,” he concluded.