When Shoaib Malik was picked in the Pakistani team for the T20 World Cup 2021, there were a lot of question marks over his selection. A lot of people were wondering why an ageing player was given priority over youngsters who could have been better off for the future with World Cup exposure.
But, the right-handed veteran showed yesterday why his experience is vital for Pakistan in this tournament. In a very tight chase against a quality New Zealand attack yesterday, Shoaib Malik saw Pakistan home with a match-winning partnership with Asif Ali on a very difficult pitch.
It was Pakistan’s second game in the tournament and having beaten India in the first game already, they now have 2 wins out of 2 games. Given the fact that they will be playing their next games against Afghanistan, Scotland and Namibia, it can be said that they have got one foot in the semis now.
Shoaib Malik surpassed Virat Kohli and MS Dhoni in terms of most not outs in a successful chase.
Yesterday’s chase was the 18th occasion in the career of Shoaib Malik where he remained not out in a successful chase in a T20 international. It is the most number of times any cricketer has done it. The second and the third on the list are two Indian legends, Virat Kohli and MS Dhoni, who have remained not out 16 and 15 times respectively in a successful chase in a T20 international.
For the 18th time tonight, Shoaib Malik remained 'NOT OUT' in a successful run-chase for Pakistan which is the most by any batsman.
Run-machine Virat Kohli is 2nd with 16 not outs while MS Dhoni is 3rd with 15 not outs.Advertisement
— Israr Ahmed Hashmi (@IamIsrarHashmi) October 26, 2021Advertisement
Pakistan has got Shoaib Malik for a specific role in this tournament, and that is to make sure that he ices the game in panicky situation under huge pressure. T20 is a game of fluent stroke play, but sometimes when the chips are down and the pressure is immense, funny things can happen and that’s where you need experience.
Pakistan will now face Afghanistan in their next group game in T20 World Cup 2021 and since the Afghanistan attack relies on spinners a lot, Malik will again be a key player for Pakistan.