ISLAMABAD

Pakistan cricket team is all set to take on high-flying Ireland tomorrow (Sunday) where the men in green will play the do-or-die clash against the Irish team with more aggression and better game plan as victory is only way to qualify for quarterfinals.

In the sixth and last Group-B match, Ireland will go all-out for a win, as currently they have better run rate over West Indies, but they are fully aware of the fact that the Caribbean will also be in action on same day against minnows UAE and has better opportunity to not only win the match but also improve their run rate.

Pakistan team must be aware of the Irish challenge and should not relax or show any complacency which can cost them dearly. It is true that currently Pakistan is occupying third spot in the Group-B with net run rate of -0.194, but Irish are not an easy nut to crack. Pakistan must enter the match with same passion and aggression they showed against mighty Proteas, as leniency could cost them dearly. The team combination will matter the most as Pakistan should enter the match with two spinners. Yasir Shah should be given chance against Ireland as this is the time to give the youngster much-needed confidence and all know Ireland batsmen are not known to play spinners well.

Pakistan should start with Sarfraz Ahmed and Afridi as openers while Ahmed Shahzad should be given rest and the experience of veteran Younus Khan must be utilized in the middle of the innings and Haris Sohail should also be provided opportunity to display his prowess, as he can turn the tables with both bat and ball. If the captain doesn't want to try Afridi as opener then Haris should be tried.

Sohail Khan, who is also not producing what is being expected from him after India match, should be asked to deliver in the crucial match while Ehsan Adil can also be given a go. Lanky pacer Irfan should also be given rest as he is trump card of Pakistan, and already suffering fitness issues, so it will be better to give him rest and utilize him in coming important matches.

Ireland will heavily rely on O'Brien brothers and Stirling, who not only bat as an opener but could also ball more than useful deliveries and also has the habit of taking some important wickets, while Joyce and Wilson are also very handy with the bat. For bowling and early breakthroughs, Ireland will depend upon Dockrell, Cusack and Mcbrine to provide some early wickets and break Pakistan batting line top order.

It will be a very tricky match for green caps, so the team management should put their personal interests aside and select the best possible playing XI. Although Pakistan has bright chances of qualifying for the quarterfinals, but Pakistan team is well known for inconsistent performances and taking things easy. Misbah has to show same leadership qualities, which were, for the very first time, witnessed against South Africa. He must use commonsense while going for a review of decision, as Pakistan team holds worst review record. The wicketkeeper must be consulted before going for any review.

If the team is selected according to merit and plays according to their potential, it will be almost impossible for Ireland to beat Pakistan in the 42nd and last match of the group stages. Adelaide Oval pitch traditionally helps batsmen and there is nothing for the bowlers in the wicket as it is flat and ideal for batting. It will be a high scoring match, so Pakistan should pile up a good total against Ireland or if bowls first, should restrict the opponents to a low total. Pakistan has bright chance to register victory against Ireland if they play like they did against Proteas.