ISLAMABAD: Pakistani cricket commentators and a former cricketer on Friday advised the national squad to change their batting order and take maximum advantage of the Powerplay overs, as rain threatens to wash out the T20 World Cup final between Pakistan and England.
Pakistan and England qualified for the final of the ICC T20 World Cup 2022 after beating New Zealand and India respectively. However, for millions of fans across the globe keen to catch the action live, rain may once again play act as a spoiler in this year’s World Cup.
According to the Australian Government’s Bureau of Meteorology, there is a “very high (near 100 percent) chance of showers” in Melbourne on Sunday and “the chance of a thunderstorm, possibly severe” also exists on the same day.
Speaking to Arab News over the phone, veteran sports journalist Abdul Majid Bhatti said as per the International Cricket Council’s (ICC) playing conditions, Monday has been kept as a “reserved day” for the final to be played in case it rained throughout Sunday.
“However, the weather department has also forecast rain for Monday,” he said. Bhatti said that as per the ICC’s rules, each side must play 10 overs, the minimum required for an ICC final.
“But if a side bats first and rain interrupts play and then the match resumes again, then the Duckworth-Lewis method comes into play,” he said, referring to the famous method of re-setting targets when weather affects a cricket match.
Journalist Aalia Rasheed said that in case it rains heavily on both days and the final cannot be played, then both sides would be declared joint winners of the trophy.
She urged Pakistan to play aggressive cricket and adapt to the situation accordingly.
“Pakistan should play like the way they are playing,” she told Arab News. “Adjust the batting order according to the situation.”
Ex-Pakistani cricketer Fizza Abid said Pakistan should head into the match with a “dominant mindset”.
“Pakistan, if batting first, should try to score [at a run rate of] minimum eight runs per over,” Abid told Arab News. “During the start and in the last 8 overs, [Pakistan should score] 10 to 12 runs per over to set a target of 180 plus,” she added.
She urged Pakistan to take maximum advantage of the Powerplay overs.
The first six overs during a T20 international match are the Powerplay overs, during which a restriction is placed on the number of fielders that can be placed on the boundary line. This effectively grants the batters a chance to take risks and play aggressive shots against bowlers.
Sharing her own experience of being in part of matches affected by rain, Abid said it is “a bit tough as you keep waiting for the game to start.”
“This is where effective management of the self is important,” she said. “It is important to save your mental and physical energy but also keep yourself warmed up to not feel lethargic,” she added.
Bhatti, however, said Australian weather is hard to predict, citing the example of the India-Pakistan match on October 23. Despite a heavy rain prediction, the full match was played unencumbered by weather at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.
“We hope the final will be played in Melbourne [cricket ground] which has the capacity to host 100,000 spectators,” Bhatti said. “Spectators will turn up in huge numbers and then the team that plays better will emerge the victor.”