"We stand a really good chance of doing well at this World Cup" - Waqar Younis backs Pakistan to excel at the 2022 T20 World Cup
Former pacer Waqar Younis believes that Pakistan have a really good chance at securing their second T20 World Cup in Australia. The Babar Azam-led side are the third-ranked side in the shortest format of the game, behind India and England.
Pakistan have had a hot run since the 2021 T20 World Cup. They registered clean sweeps over Bangladesh and West Indies before losing a one-off contest against Australia. The side are scheduled to compete in the upcoming Asia Cup as well as a tri-series against New Zealand and Bangladesh ahead of the T20 World Cup.
Opining that the performances of Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan will have a say in Pakistan's fate at the World Cup, Waqar Younis told ICC Digital:
"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 it one of the best in the world."
The duo have been one of the most prolific opening pairs in international cricket. Their performances played a major role in the nation's semi-final run in the last edition of the tournament in 2021.
Stating that the hard and pacy surfaces in Australia will suit Pakistan's players and their style of cricket, Waqar Younis added:
"We stand a really good chance of doing well at this World Cup. The pitches in Australia are generally very good batting pitches and Pakistan do have good batters who can really play well in these conditions."
Pakistan last won the T20 World Cup in 2009, under the leadership of Younis Khan. They are one of the most consistent teams in the tournament's history, having made it to the semi-finals on five occasions.
"Babar Azam in modern day cricket looks a million dollars" - Waqar Younis
Pakistan skipper Babar Azam will have a huge role to play in helping Pakistan cross the line at the T20 World Cup in Australia. The sublime right-handed batter is in good touch with consecutive fifties under his belt in the build-up to the multi-nation tournament.
Stating that Babar Azam should only be compared to the greats once he is done with his career, Waqar Younis said:
"Babar Azam in modern day cricket looks a million dollars and he is definitely as good as all the big names. 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."
The legendary pacer concluded:
"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."
The upcoming T20 World Cup will mark Babar Azam's second ICC tournament as captain. Pakistan are drawn alongside India, South Africa and Bangladesh. They will be joined by two more teams after the qualification stage that kickstarts the tournament on October 16.