Former Pakistan pacer Aaqib Javed reckoned that South Africa have the maximum probability of reaching the semi-finals of the T20 World Cup 2022, given their tendency to perform well in Australian conditions. Javed has also predicted that only one among India and Pakistan will join the Proteas from group 2.
India, Pakistan, and South Africa are three of the strongest sides in group 2, while the other three are Zimbabwe, the Netherlands, and Bangladesh. India will play Pakistan and South Africa on October 23rd and 30th, respectively. Meanwhile, the Proteas will face the 2009 T20 WC champions on November 3rd in Sydney.
Speaking to Cricket Pakistan, the Lahore Qalandars’ head coach said:
“South Africa has a better chance of qualifying in the semi-finals as they will perform better on these pitches. I see only one of the teams from Pakistan and India going to the semi-finals.”
South Africa narrowly missed out on a semi-final spot in the 2021 edition. However, they will aim to go deep this year and exploit the conditions in Australia with their bowling unit. The Proteas are also yet to win the T20 World Cup crown.
“No team has bowlers like these three” – Aaqib Javed hails Pakistan’s bowling attack
Javed backed the pace trio of Shaheen Shah Afridi, Haris Rauf and Naseem Shah to make lives difficult for the opposition, adding:
“No team has bowlers like these three. Haris Rauf has shown very charismatic bowling so far while Shaheen Afridi can be very effective because of the swing and bounce on the pitches here. The presence of Naseem Shah and Haris Rauf is enough to make the rival teams sleepless.”
The Men in Green were the most dominant team in the 2021 edition until the semi-finals, enjoying an unbeaten run. Babar Azam and Co. suffered a heartbreaking loss to eventual champions Australia. Much will depend on Pakistan’s openers and their bowling unit if they are to capture their second T20 World Cup crown.