T20 World Cup: Fancy Jos Buttler and his side to avenge that 1992 50-over final defeat, says Nasser Hussain

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Melbourne, Nov 12

Former England captain Nasser Hussain believes Jos Buttler's side have it in them to avenge the defeat to Pakistan in the 1992 ODI World Cup final by winning the Men's T20 World Cup 2022 final at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on Sunday.

About 30 years after Imran Khan-led Pakistan defeated England in the final of the 1992 ODI World Cup at the MCG, the two teams will face off against each other at the very same venue to clinch their second T20 World Cup title. Though Hussain acknowledged that England is strong, he warned against underestimating Pakistan.

"So Pakistan will be a big threat, but, as I said after the semifinal, if England plays as they did against India they can beat any side. They played the perfect game on Thursday, and Pakistan will know they cannot be below par in any way."

"This is a battle of the strongest attack in the tournament, in Pakistan, against the best batting line-up, in England. I fancy Jos Buttler and his side to avenge that 1992 50-over final defeat on this same ground. But once they get that cornered tigers mentality, you would be a fool to write off Pakistan," wrote Hussain in his column for 'Daily Mail' on Saturday.

Hussain was quick to point out that Pakistan's opening pair of Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan play in the old-fashioned way, which is a bit similar to India's approach with the bat and that the side doesn't have much batting depth as compared to England.

"Pakistan are a little similar to India in that their opening batters in Babar and Mohammad Rizwan still play slightly old-fashioned white-ball cricket, even though they did tee off against New Zealand."

"Fact is, they have to be a little careful at the start because they do not have the batting depth of England. Their middle order has been fragile at times, and they can be conservative upfront because 20 overs can be a long time for them."

"Babar and Rizwan have had a quiet tournament before the semifinal -- the captain had scored only 39 runs in the World Cup before making a half-century against New Zealand -- but they both showed their class when it most mattered," he elaborated.

Hussain further cautioned England about the unpredictability factor associated with Pakistan, who were on the verge of an early exit from the tournament after losses to India and Zimbabwe. But three wins on the trot, coupled with the Netherlands beating South Africa, meant they got into the semifinals and then defeated New Zealand to reach the final.

"That sums Pakistan up and has been their story over the years. They are so talented and can put in world-class performances, but they can also implode and crash out. It is remarkable they are in the final against England. Everyone is comparing their progress to Imran Khan's cornered tigers of 1992, and there are definite similarities."

"Babar Azam has been criticised in the Pakistan media and by ex-players, just as Imran was all those years ago, and Babar had a little go back at them when they won their semifinal against New Zealand."

"But they know if they do get a par score, their bowling attack can win the game for them. Or if they bowl first and keep the opposition score down, their methods and their batting tempo can work."

--IANS

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