T20 has its own charm; the excitement that it brings on board makes it one of the most unpredictable games in the world. It is the same excitement that will fill Gaddafi Stadium, the centre of Cricket in Pakistan, when the World XI would take on Pakistan in the Independence Cup 2017 – T20 series starting September 12th.
Pakistani fans would get a chance to cheer for their favourite players in Pakistan after a very long time. And therefore, players would also be reeling under tremendous pressure to perform. No doubt, Pakistan has some of the very best young talents, it would be interesting how they take up the game and meet their fans’ expectations. Whether Pakistan wins against the World XI or succumbs to the pressure, there are a few players who are capable of producing some blistering performance during the upcoming Independence Cup 2017.
Here is a list of four promising players who can make a difference at Gaddafi Stadium. They are stylish, talented and natural stroke players who can make any bowler cry on their day. Let’s look at their stats:
A highly experienced member of the Pakistani team, Shoaib provides a much-needed strength and solidarity in the middle-order. This right-handed batsman has played 86 T20 internationals and has scored 1625 runs with a strike rate of 114.20. One among many qualities about Shoaib is that he can perform at any position and can mould his game as per the situation. Performing in front of his home crowd after a long gap, he would certainly want and try to make the most out of this opportunity.
Faf du Plessis
One of the most stylish and flamboyant campaigners of the game, du Plessis is a natural talent. The way he builds his innings with utmost ease, he is never under pressure. This is one of the reasons why he was picked to lead the World XI team. He has played 36 T20 internationals and has scored 1129 runs with the strike rate of 133. If not tamed early, he can be very dangerous!
Young, energetic and extremely talented, this Pakistani opener has shattered many bowling attacks with his blazing cuts and pulls. Having played 48 T20 internationals and scored 1133 runs at a strike rate of 114, Shehzad is a potential threat to the World XI. His highest score of 111* not out says a lot about his ability and temperament, much required in a T20 game.
25 T20 internationals, 470 runs and a strike rate of 140 say a lot about what Gorge Bailey is capable of. He is one of the busiest players in the T20 arena; either he is scoring runs or is out of the ground. A tremendous player of both pace and spin, he can outplay Pakistan’s bowling with his innovative shots. He will be a delight to watch in the Independence Cup 2017.
The 22-year-old Babar Azam debuted in May 2015 for Pakistan in a much-publicized home series against Zimbabwe and since then has continued to make his presence felt in all three formats of the game. Having played 8 T20 internationals and scored 253 runs at a strike rate of 113.96, Azam is one of Pakistan’s most gifted batsmen. If Babar Azam is to be Pakistan’s answer against WorldXI, then definitely the cricketing fans will get to see some crackling fire on the ground.
Tamim Iqbal as an opener holds the same aggression as Virender Sehwag, Sanath Jayasuriya, and Sachin Tendulkar. The left-handed opener scored a smashing 112 off 71 balls against England in an Under-19 game to take his side to victory. Having played 56 T20 internationals and scored 1202 runs at a strike rate of 115.57, Tamim will play a pivotal role in getting runs for WorldXI squad.