The Pakistan women’s Team has been a side that has often flown under the radar. The fact that they are not one of the most well-known sides has also got to do with their quiet performances at various World Cups. For example, after six T20 World Cup’s Pakistan are yet to get past the group stage even they have had talented players all through these years.
The Asian team will also have a huge void to fill with the Pakistani selectors leaving out the country’s star bowling all-rounder Sana Mir. All said and done, T20’s seem to be the most favourable format for Pakistan and they would be aiming to give their best in order to qualify for the semi-finals for the first-ever time.
Coaching & Support Staff
Head Coach: Iqbal Imam
Previous Edition: Group Stage
Best Finish: Group Stage in all editions
Pakistan Women’s Team Overview
The No.7 ranked Pakistan Women’s Team have been placed in a group which included two former champions in the form of England and West Indies. While they should be hopeful of posting a massive win against Thailand, the game against South Africa will be a tricky one. Looking at these teams, it is hard to see Pakistan finishing 3rd in the group, let alone second in order to qualify for the semi-finals. However, they do have some quality players in the form of skipper Bismah Maroof, Javeria Khan, Nida Dar and Aliya Riaz.
Form-wise, Pakistan have had a mixed run in the last 6-8 months. While the team squandered a 2-1 lead to finish 2-3 in the away tour of South Africa in May, a 3-0 whitewash over Bangladesh at home was followed by a 3-0 drubbing at the hands of England in December last year. If Pakistan can bat well in Australia, there might be a decent chance of finishing third in the group stage and that could be their best possible finish in this tournament.
As many as ten players from the 2018 T20 World Cup will be featuring in this year’s tournament too. This experience as a group will be valuable especially in the absence of the ever-present Sana Mir.
In terms of individual players, there are several players who could flourish with both bat and ball. While Javeria Khan and Bismah Maroof will form the back-bone of the Pakistani batting line-up, a lot will be expected from the duo of Omaima Sohail and Iram Javed. Javed, is in fact, the only other batter to score a fifty in T20Is since the last World Cup when the trio of Javeria, Bismah Maroof and Nida Dar aren’t taken into account.
The varied skills from the pair of Aliya Riaz and Nidar Dar will also be key to how Pakistan fare in this World Cup. Apart from these two, left-arm spinner Anam Amin who usually operates during the powerplay overs will need to come up with early wickets.
While there are a few positive aspects for to Pakistan’s cricket, there are also several question marks which lingers around them. Although Pakistan have several individual performers, their ability to perform as a team is something that is not a strong point at this moment. For example, even if Javeria Khan or Bismah Maroof come up with a big knock, Pakistan struggle due to the lack of contributions from the other players. Apart from the stat regarding fifties from the Pakistani batswomen, only four of their batters average over 20 since the last T20 World Cup. This reflects how much they rely on their star players.
When it comes to their bowling, Pakistan have experimented too much and this might result in an unsettled attack when they play their first match against the West Indies. Only four players have featured in nine or more matches since the last World Cup and this includes Sana Mir who has been left out.
When you look past these main issues, factors like the team’s questionable fielding ability and lack of experience in Australian conditions could also come up as a handicap. Apart from Nida Dar who featured in the recent WBBL season, Pakistan toured Australia more than six years ago.
Key Players for Pakistan Women’s Team
Bismah Maroof: Skipper Bismah Maroof is easily Pakistan’s best batswoman. The elegant southpaw who bats at No.3 or No.4 will have to play her role of being a sheet anchor to perfection to help Pakistan post totals around 140 or above. Maroof is also coming into this tournament after a superb 2019 which included superb returns against South Africa, Bangladesh and England. Overall too, the 28-year-old has scored 459 runs in 14 matches since the 2018 T20 World Cup.
Nida Dar: The fact that Nida Dar is a key player for Pakistan shouldn’t come as no surprise. After all, the experienced all-rounder became the first Pakistani player to play in the Women’s Big Bash League when she featured for Sydney Thunder a few months ago. Dar also went onto do pretty well as she picked up 13 wickets apart from scoring 99 runs in 11 games. The WBBL experience gained by Pakistan’s leading T20I wicket-taker Nida Dar should serve not just her but also her team-mates pretty well during the T20 World Cup. She also performed admirably during the tour of South Africa with 192 runs and five scalps.
Pakistan Women’s Squad
Bismah Maroof (C), Javeria Khan, Sidra Nawaz (WK), Nida Dar, Aimen Anwar, Muneeba Ali, Aliya Riaz, Diana Baig, Ayesha Naseem, Fatima Sana, Omaima Sohail, Sadia Iqbal, Anam Amin, Iram Javed, Syeda Aroob Shah
February 26 v West Indies, Manuka Oval, 1.30 PM IST
February 28 v England, Manuka Oval, 1.30 PM IST
March 1 v South Africa, Sydney Showgrounds, 8.30 AM IST
March 3 v Thailand, Sydney Showgrounds, 8.30 AM IST