Pace legend Waqar Younis has said that he believes Pakistan have every chance of winning this year’s International Cricket Council’s (ICC) T20 World Cup.
“We stand a really good chance of doing well at this World Cup,” Waqar said while speaking to ICC Digital in Melbourne.
The Babar Azam-led side is currently rated third on the ICC Men’s T20I Team Rankings and will travel to Australia later this year full of confidence after some good results in the shortest format of the game over the last 12 months.
In last year’s T20 World Cup, Pakistan reached the semi-finals — staged in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) — and failed against Australia, the only side that beat them since November 2021.
But Waqar believes that the pitches in Australia are good and he thinks that the Men In Green can perform well under the conditions there.
“The pitches in Australia are generally very good batting pitches and Pakistan do have good batters who can really play well in these conditions,” he said.
“Babar is definitely going to be the key batter at the top of the order.”
“I think he (Babar) will have the impact that he has always had and then, of course, Rizwan is playing very well and the bowling attack they have got is one of the best in the world,” Waqar said.
While noting that pacers Haris Rauf and Shaheen Shah Afridi will be an important part of Pakistan’s pace attack, the legend pointed out that Hasani Ali is also bowling well.
“I feel that Haris Rauf and Shaheen (Afridi) will be pivotal, but let’s not forget Hasan Ali either as he has been bowling very decent.
“Pakistan’s fast bowling attack is very good and they can mix it up with Shadab and Nawaz as they are good spinners also.”
When asked whether Babar — who is among the top-rated batters across all formats — was better or equal than several Pakistan star batters, Waqar said the comparisons could wait for now.
“Babar Azam in modern-day cricket looks a million dollars and he is definitely as good as all the big names,” Waqar said.
“But all those greats have their own strengths and their own class and all of them played in different eras and we should not forget that.
“Babar is still very young and has plenty of cricket ahead of him and once he has retired you can perhaps sit down and start comparing him with others.”