Follow Us:

Battle royale on cards, weather permitting

England’s batting strength goes deeper than Pakistan’s.

S S Ramaswamy | Melbourne |

Will Pakistan’s rise from the dead in the league stage through an incredible slice of luck culminate in Babar Azam and his men holding aloft the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup?

Or will Jos Buttler’s England, shatterers of the dreams of Virat Kohli’s men in blue in the semis, lift the coveted prize?

Or will it be a case of the weather playing spoilsport once more in the tournament as it had done in a few matches earlier?

All these questions will be answered tomorrow when the 2009 champions face 2011 winners England in a battle royale at the huge Melbourne Cricket Ground here.

In the 1992 World Cup held in Australia, Imran Khan’s Pakistan had beaten the late Martin Crowe’s New Zealand in the semis before putting it across Graham Gooch led England in the final at the same MCG.

Can Azam, who found his wonted touch with the bat after a woeful rum in the league phase, be able to emulate Imran’s feat?

Pakistan have the more potent bowling attack especially in pace led by the tall and dangerous Shaheen Shah Afridi, especially if Mark Wood is unable to play because of his injury.

The battle between Buttler and his opening partner Alex Hales, who put on a 170-run unfinished stand to bury the Indian hopes, and Afridi and Haris Rauf will be one worth watching.

England’s batting strength goes deeper than Pakistan’s.

“Anytime you get a chance to play in a World Cup final is a huge honour. We’re really excited as a group. There seems a nice feel around the team”, said Buttler at the pre-final presser today.

“We start a fresh game against a really tough opposition, and anytime you’re fighting for a trophy, you know that it’s not going to come easy,”, he added.

“England is a competitive team, their win to reach the finals against India was proof of that. Our strategy is to stick to our plan and use our pace attack as our strength to win the finals”, Azam said in his media conference.

“We couldn’t start off well, but we came back with great momentum. In the previous 3-4 matches, the Pakistan team has played very well on both the individual and team levels. We’ve been working really hard for this. It feels like a dream come true to reach the final”, he added.