The new year is all set to present a line-up of challenges to the green caps. Hence, here is a look at why 2019 is likely to be a tough year for Pakistan cricket.
The Ongoing Tour To SA
Cracks in team unity have become apparent even though the men in green have only played one Test match so far, on their tour to South Africa. Pakistan is still to play another couple of Tests as well as 5 One Day Internationals (ODIs) and 3 T20s against the Proteas. Hence, the start of the new year gives very little hope of things improving to Sarfaraz Ahmed and Mickey Arthur.
The ODI Series Against England
Pakistan play 5 ODIs against world’s best ranked ODI side i.e. England in their own backyard and that too just before the ICC world cup. Hence, if things go wrong; there is every possibility of the green shirts going into the big tournament with very low confidence levels.
ICC World Cup
Keeping in view the current ODI form, Pakistan will enter the ICC world cup as dark horses of the tournament. The biggest challenge from the perspective of an ordinary Pakistani fan however, would be the game against India.
Pakistan is yet to win a world cup game against the arch-rivals and with the skipper and the coach already under massive pressure to retain their positions; another defeat is most likely to make way for a yet another season of whole sale changes.
Test Series in Australia
Already struggling in the longest version of the game; Pakistan after the series against South Africa once again face tough opponents in Australia later in the year. The tour to Australia will also not be easy because Steven Smith and David Warner would have registered their comeback by then and would really be fresh and hungry to make the most of the opportunity of facing Pakistan; a side that hasn’t done well in the land of Kangaroos during the last two decades or so.