Just a little over a month ago when the World Cup started, Pakistan was looking to start fresh in the tournament after consecutive losses in two ODI series and the warm up matches. The start was quite horrendous. The team failed to put up performances of the caliber of the other teams and saw themselves in the bottom of the table. We had taken the qualification to the quarterfinals as a given, which at that time after the losses suddenly felt like a long shot. That is when the resurrection of the Pakistani cricket team took place. Maybe this is how they operate. They need that extra pressure and criticism from all corners to come out of their shell and perform out of their skin. Pakistan has not lost a match since. Four consecutive wins including a win against South Africa. Yesterday’s victory confirmed Pakistan’s inclusion in the quarters. They will play against Australia on Friday in the same ground they played yesterday. The feeling that Pakistan should have easily qualified for the quarters was far-gone and now the nation is celebrating a 1992 like comeback to win a place in the next round. The competition is only going to get tougher. According to Imran Khan, if Pakistan wins their match against Australia, they will win the World Cup. As much as we want to think about winning the cup, lets take it step by step. The next hurdle is a match against the hosts. The Pakistani team has a few days to prepare an appropriate strategy against the Australians. This is the time when we need everything to fall in the right place.

–Shaan Tahir

shantahir@gmail.com