Harsha Bhogle, a globally renowned Indian commentator and TV presenter, recently stated that Pakistan have managed to perch themselves atop the ICC T20I Rankings by playing and overwhelming 'not-so-great' opponents.
Pakistan climbed to the top of the rankings table after outsmarting New Zealand in the latter's backyard back in January 2018. The Men in Green consolidated their top position by winning 11 bilateral series in a row before slipping to 4th position earlier this year.
"Pakistan spent a lot of time being the world number one in Twenty20 Internationals (T20Is). They were helped by the fact that they played against some not so great opposition, but you can’t hold that against them. They won 11 series in a row," Harsha Bhogle said.
"They had some really good players coming through. There was Fakhar Zaman at the top of the order and their core was in that middle-order, where they got eight overs some days between Shadab Khan and Imad Wasim and both of them could bat too. Plus, Shadab is a brilliant fielder, so there was a nice little side coming together," he said.
Pakistan have struggled in T20Is recently
However, Harsha Bhogle feels that in recent times Pakistan have struggled to keep up with the good work of the last two-and-a-half years because their key players have remained out of form for too long.
"That 170 kind of T20 game has started to trouble them. They are not chasing 170 runs and are not able to defend 170. They have lost some series in recent times. Fakhar Zaman is out of form. Shadab is batting more in PSL than he is bowling. His economy rate has gone through the roof for a leggie. Imad Wasim is not quite the bowler he was. Fast-bowlers are coming and going and there is too much turmoil in that side," Harsha Bhogle elaborated.
The 59-year old also emphasized that Pakistan now have to stop banking on the old horses and, instead, get the best out of the youngsters that are coming through the ranks and offer them maximum opportunities.
Pakistan are currently in England where they are scheduled to take part in three Tests and as many T20Is. The first Test kick-starts from August 5th at Old Trafford in Manchester.Published 31 Jul 2020, 16:23 IST