Cricket World Cup 2011: How Will Pakistan Do Beyond the Group Games?

Posted on March 19, 2011
Filed Under >Adil Najam, ATP Poll, People, Sports
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Adil Najam

I write this post in dedication to Bob Woolmer – Pakistan cricket coach and England Test player who died in mysterious circumstances four years ago yesterday (March 18). I write it also in the shadows of the memory of what was possibly Pakistan’s most humiliating defeat in World Cup cricket – to Ireland in the 2007 World Cup. Most of all, I write it in anticipation of what could turn out to be the single most important match for Pakistan in the 2011 World Cup – against Australia – which starts shortly. I write this post wondering, once again (here and here) just how far Pakistan will go in this World Cup?

This is the third in our series of ATP Polls on Pakistan’s prospects in the 2011 Cricket World Cup. Given that Pakistan is already in the Quarter Finals, we have taken that option out this time. In our first ATP Poll with this question (taken at the beginning of the tournament) 15% had thought that Pakistan would not even make it to the Quarter-Finals, 30% had said Pakistan would reach the Quarter-Finals, but not go beyond that, and 26% had said that Pakistan would actually win the World Cup. The second ATP Poll with this same question was taken right as Pakistan won its group game against Sri Lanka. Not surprisingly, the sentiments had changed: only 2% now felt that Pakistan would be out before getting to the Quarter-Finals and only 11% felt that we would reach but lose in the Quarter-Finals; nearly half of all respondents thought Pakistan would actually win the World Cup!

So, that was then. What do you think now? What will happen beyond today!

Of course, what happens today, against Australia, is of immense consequence. At one level, the match against Australia will not change the fact that (unlike 2007), Pakistan has now already qualified for the Super-8 (knockouts or quarter-finals) stage. Yet, there will be much riding on this game. Australia is not only the reigning champion, it is also now the only team that has remained undefeated in this World Cup. It is one of the sturdiest and mos dependable and most disciplined teams in the world. Pakistan is not.

More importantly, as one moves into the quarter-finals and knockout stage (after this game), there will be no room for flashes in the pan or erratic performance. One defeat and you are out. That means who you play in the quarter-finals will be mightily important. The way the point table is stacked right now, if Pakistan wins we will end at the TOP of the qualifying four from Group A. If we lose, Pakistan will be smack at the bottom of the qualifying four from its group. The difference will be in who Pakistan will then play in its quarter-final. From what I can make of oit, if we end at the top of our group, we are likely to play the West Indies; if we end at the bottom, we are likely to be facing South Africa (or, maybe, India) in the Quarter-Finals.

But whatever happens, Pakistan will get to the Quarter-Finals and given the form of the top teams as well as the structure of the tournament, it can still be anyone’s game. This game can still tolerate erratic splendor – here onwards, there will be no tolerance for a ‘bad day.’

Where, then, do you think Pakistan will end up? Whether you are reading this before, during or after the game with Australia, how far do you think Pakistan will go in the 2011 Cricket World Cup?

29 responses to “Cricket World Cup 2011: How Will Pakistan Do Beyond the Group Games?”

  1. Naheed says:

    I hope Pakistan wins.
    But in case it does not I hope we will remember this good feeling and not suddenly turn all negative and vicious.
    It is a game and no more.

  2. Imran says:

    We are all getting excited, but really all we have done is to win an easy Quarter Final. The real test will be on Wednesday. Lets hope we are still smiling after that.

  3. aisha rafi says:

    INSHALLAH Pakistan will win the world cup.

  4. rafiq says:

    pakistan is world campion

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