With little knowledge of conditions and a team devoid of too much experience, Pakistan arrive for the Women's T20 World Cup in Australia. Pakistan have never made it past the first round of Women's T20 World Cups and this year their first hurdle would be to jump past this history. In 24 matches over six editions, Pakistan have won just six games and lost 18 matches, as evident a sign as any that the format isn't for them.
Bismah Maroof (c), Aimen Anwar, Aliya Riyaz, Anam Amin, Ayesha Naseem, Diana Baig, Fatima Sana, Iram Javed, Javeria Khan, Muneeba Khan, Nida Dar, Omaima Sohail, Sadia Iqbal, Sidra Nawaz (wk), Syeda Aroob Shah
Pakistan have a reasonably good batting core with Bismah Maroof, Aliya Riyaz and Nida Dar in decent form since 2019. While Maroof averages 40+ in the format in this time frame, Dar has three half-centuries and strikes at a pretty good rate. Javeria Khan is another batswoman capable of holding her own in any situation. The batting group remains Pakistan's biggest strength as they head into this T20 World Cup.
Except Nida Dar, who has played WBBL, nobody has had too much exposure to Australian pitches and conditions. That in itself could be a big drawback for Pakistan as they head into another World Cup. They have dropped senior player Sana Mir for this event, a bold call considering that she could have handled some of the youngsters in the side or offered stability in times of turmoil.
Bismah Maroof is the most experienced figure in this Pakistan squad and is a fine leader who knows to lead from the front. Her returns in T20Is and ODIs have been impressive and in her Pakistan have a decent example to take cues from. In a rather poor outing against England, Maroof was the standout player with three half-centuries in six matches.
Nida Dar has experience of Australian conditions after PCB gave her the leeway to play in the WBBL by skipping International commitments. While her bowling numbers were impressive, Dar couldn't quite make an impact with the bat and ended up with just 99 runs for Sydney Thunder in over 10 games. If her batting form is similar in the World Cup, Pakistan might struggle.
Feature image courtesy: AFP/ ASIF HASSAN