Chances of Success Rating : 2.8/10 (7th)
Pakistan finished seventh in the ICC Women’s Championship table, just above Sri Lanka, winning just four of the 18 matches they played. Due to political issues their three match series against India was never played. They beat Sri Lanka 3-0, and managed to win one game against South Africa. They managed to secure the final place in the WWC17 taking fourth spot in the World Cup Qualifier tournament, but lost there to Sri Lanka in the Super 6s, before convincingly defeating Ireland to claim their spot at the tournament.
At the same time as they named their squad for WWC17 they also announced a new coach, Sabih Azhar. He is the fourth Head Coach the team have had in the past year. Not an ideal situation for any team, and suggesting one that is in a bit of mess off the pitch, if not on.
The team were last in England in the summer of 2016, when England made ODI scores of 378 and 366 against them, and chased down 165 comfortably in the third match of the series. Seamer Asmavia Iqbal looked good with the ball in her hand on that tour, and added something to a rather lacklustre batting line-up. But Pakistan will miss left arm spinner Anam Amin, who misses the tournament through injury, and who has been the chief wicket-taker for the team in recent years. They do, of course, have a surfeit of spinners – Sana Mir (off spin); Sadia Yousuf and newcomer Nashra Sandhu (left armers) and leg spinner Ghulam Fatima. But they all tend to bowl at a slow pace, which means any turn they get is slow turn.
The batting line-up has plenty of experience, but not a lot of oomph. Bismah Maroof, Javeria Khan, Nain Abidi and Nahida Khan will all be playing in their third successive World Cup tournament, but none of them have a sparkling record, particularly against top-class opposition. Pakistan may well look to young opener Ayesha Zafar to get their innings off to a brisk start where she can. Maroof and Javeria will be the mainstay of the Pakistan innings, but this is a batting line-up that will rarely put 200 on the board.
Their new coach may have set his team a target of making it to the semi-finals, but in reality they will be more than pleased to finish in the top six.