Pakistan will take on Australia in the second semi-final of the ongoing T20 World Cup. On paper, both sides look evenly matched, but if we take current form and momentum into account, Pakistan look unbeatable. They have all the bases covered and are a side who have operated like a well-oiled ruthless machine.
From their first match against India to their last against Scotland, Pakistan have found different players who have stepped up and got the business done. Their bowlers are flying, their fielding looks sharp and their batting has tremendous depth and experience to counter any situation. They have been playing the perfect T20 game and we expect their semi-final clash against Australia to be an action-packed affair.
Here we take a look at the three players who can be match-winners for Pakistan in the semi-final:
1.) Mohammad Rizwan
The wicket-keeper batter has been a real revelation as an opener and is in sensational form for Pakistan. Such has been his prolific run that he broke the six-year-old record held by Chris Gayle during the match against Scotland at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium, becoming the highest run-getter in T20 cricket in a single calendar year.
He loves pace on the ball and will hold the key against Mitchell Starc, Pat Cummins and Josh Hazlewood. Not only this, Rizwan will be key in the middle overs against Adam Zampa and his range of strokes make him the complete batter.
2.) Mohammad Hafeez
The all-rounder will hold the key for Pakistan, both with the bat and ball. His handy off spin in Dubai will challenge the Australian batting order, especially the left-handers, and his experience, solidity and ability to dominate spin will give them the edge when he shepherds the middle order.
After starting slowly, the 41-year old has hit his stride as is evident by his performances in the last two games. If he gets the platform to come out and take the attack to the bowlers, he will be a difficult man to stop. For Australia, Adam Zampa has been one of the trump cards, but he will face his biggest challenge in Mohammad Hafeez.
Check out who is at the top of the most runs in T20 World Cup 2021 list here.
3.) Haris Rauf
Not many people rated Haris Rauf before this tournament and if his numbers were anything to go by, he did blow hot and cold in his T20I career. However, he has been sensational in this World Cup. Babar Azam has used him for one over in the powerplay, but he comes to his own in the middle overs and then in the death overs.
Such has been his effectiveness in the death overs that against India and New Zealand, he conceded only 23 runs in overs between 16-20. There is little doubt that Australia will target him, but Rauf has emerged as a skilful bowler. He is rapid when he wants to crank it up, but then with the same arm speed his slower balls are well disguised and he becomes extremely difficult to go after.