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Bridging The Gap
Pakistan's number one T20I ranking under threat against Bangladesh
  Friday 24 January, 2020
Pakistan\'s number one T20I ranking under threat against Bangladesh

Pakistan are seeking to hold on to the top world ranking and also prove again the country is capable of hosting international cricket when they take on Bangladesh in a Twenty20 International (T20I) series starting Friday.

If the host team lose just one of the three matches scheduled, they will slide to second behind England or India in the rankings after holding the top spot since January 2018.

But they also want to show the security situation has improved enough for the team to start regularly hosting home internationals.

ALSO READ: Kamran Akmal should have been part of T20I squad against Bangladesh: Latif

Following an attack in 2009 by Islamist militants on a convoy ferrying the Sri Lanka team to a fixture in Lahore, Pakistan became a wilderness for the national side who had to play home fixtures in UAE.

That ended in December when Sri Lanka returned to give Pakistan their first home series in a decade.

The first priority for skipper Babar Azam is to stay top of the world in the shortest international version of the game.

"The focus is to continue the number one ranking," said Babar on Thursday. "We can hang on to that only if we win all three matches, so its a do-or-die situation and we have planned for that," Babar told a press conference.

Pakistan's rise started in 2016 under Sarfaraz Ahmed as they won eleven consecutive Twenty20 series, before losing three on the trot.

A poor finish in the 50-over World Cup in England, where they failed to reach the semi-finals, resulted in the sacking of Sarfaraz and head coach Mickey Arthur, to be replaced by Azam and Misbah-ul-Haq respectively.

The team remained in a slump in Australia late last year, losing 2-0 in the Twenty20s and by the same margin in two Tests.

Now the selectors have recalled veterans Mohammad Hafeez and Shoaib Malik, but they need all the experience they can get.

Bangladesh, who last toured Pakistan in 2008, are coming off the back of a competitive series in India, where they won one of their three matches.

They also have a 2-1 advantage against Pakistan in the last three T20Is.

Source: https://cricketpakistan.com.pk/en/news/detail/pakistans-number-one-t20i-ranking-under-threat-against-bangladesh

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