Pakistan will be aiming to enhance a proud record in Twenty20 international tournaments when they compete at the T20 World Cup in Australia.
They reached at least the semi-finals of the first four T20 World Cups, beating Sri Lanka in the 2009 final at Lord's, and they kicked off last year's tournament with a stunning 10-wicket rout of rivals India in Dubai.
Pakistan went on to win all five group games in the UAE before a semi-final defeat to champions Australia and their prolific opening batsmen and array of classy fast bowlers mean they should be confident of another strong run, with the Men in Green 15/2 to lift the trophy for a second time.
|What||T20 World Cup 2022|
|When||16th October - 13th November 2022|
|How to Watch||Sky Sports|
|Odds||Australia 11/4, India 10/3, England 7/2, Pakistan 15/2, New Zealand 8/1|
Pakistan reached the first two T20 World Cup finals, losing to India by five runs in 2007 before lifting the trophy at Lord's two years later, when they comfortably chased down a target of 139 to beat Sri Lanka.
In 2010 they looked to be on course for a third successive final appearance until Australia's Mike Hussey smashed 60 not out from 24 balls to seal an amazing three-wicket semi-final win.
Pakistan's four subsequent campaigns have yielded group-stage exits in 2014 and 2016 and semi-final defeats in 2012 and 2021 and they have a healthy win percentage of 61.25 at T20 World Cups.
|Semi-finals||2010, 2012, 2021|
|Super 10s||2014, 2016|
Pakistan start their World Cup campaign against neighbours India, as they did last year, and their Group B clash at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on 23rd October should be a cracker.
Babar Azam's men chased down 152 without losing a wicket to beat India in their 2021 World Cup opener in Dubai, while the teams had one victory apiece from their meetings at this year's Asia Cup.
After the India game, Pakistan's next two fixtures are against qualifiers in Perth on 27th and 30th October, before they face South Africa in Sydney and Bangladesh in Adelaide.
Off-spinner Saqlain Mushtaq had an outstanding playing career for Pakistan between 1995 and 2004, claiming 208 wickets in 49 Test matches and reaching the landmark of 250 ODI wickets faster than any other bowler.
Saqlain, who had successful county spells with Surrey and Sussex, worked as a spin consultant with the England team before being appointed Pakistan's interim head coach in September 2021. His contract was extended in February and he led the side to the final of the Asia Cup in September.
|Big-hitting Batter||Mohammad Rizwan|
|Death Bowler||Haris Rauf|
|Breakout Star||Naseem Shah|
Babar Azam is one of the world's best batters in all three formats and since November 2020 has captained Pakistan in Test, ODI and Twenty20 cricket.
Babar reached 2,000 T20 international runs in just 52 innings, a record recently equalled by his opening partner Mohammad Rizwan, and he was named as the captain of the ICC's ODI and T20 teams of the year in 2021.
He is not the most demonstrative leader on the field and struggled during the Asia Cup, scoring just 68 runs in six innings, but he roared back with an unbeaten 110 against England in Karachi last month.
Openers Babar and Rizwan hold the key to Pakistan's batting success, but paceman Shaheen Afridi is their star man with the ball in the Powerplay overs.
The left-armer missed the Asia Cup and the seven-match T20 series against England due to a knee injury, but he should be fully fit for the start of the World Cup.
He was man of the match in last year's group win over India, dismissing openers KL Rahul and Rohit Sharma and number three Virat Kohli, and he could cause serious problems for batters on pacy pitches in Australia.
Naseem Shah made his Test debut in Australia in 2019 at the age of 16, but he had to wait until August this year to earn his first T20 cap against India in the Asia Cup.
The fast bowler made an instant impact, bowling Rahul with his second delivery and taking out the in-form Suryakumar Yadav later in the innings, and - still only 19 - he has developed into yet another top-class pace option for Pakistan.
Pakistan were excellent at the 2021 T20 World Cup in the UAE, where they won all five group matches and had Australia on the ropes in the semis before Matthew Wade's unbeaten 41 off 17 balls sealed a five-wicket win for the Aussies.
They are rightly rated the biggest threats to the top three in the betting - hosts Australia, India and England - and their tournament pedigree and recent T20 performances suggests they can make the last four again.
Pakistan's fast bowlers are expected to relish Australian conditions, with Afridi fit again and Haris Rauf capable of hitting 95mph, while Babar and Rizwan are comfortably the most prolific opening pair in the tournament.
Leg-spinning all-rounder Shadab Khan, who took 4-26 in last year's semi-final, balances the team nicely, but there are concerns over a middle-order which was exposed at times in September's 4-3 home series defeat to England.
Virtually all of Pakistan's recent T20 victories have featured major contributions from their openers and they crumbled from 93-2 to 147 all out in September's Asia Cup final defeat to Sri Lanka.