In 1992 Pakistan’s captain Imran Khan introduced the world to the phrase “cornered tigers” before leading his ragtag team to a championship and three decades later Babar Azam’s “cornered tigers” are one step away from repeating history once again.
Written off after their first two games with losses to India, just like in 1992, and Zimbabwe they mounted another remarkable comeback to storm into the seminal before razing the Kiwis in another eerily similar atavistic nuance to 1992.
Three decades ago it was Inzamam that landed blows to down New Zealand and yesterday it was Mohammad Haris that helped Pakistan set another date with destiny at the same MCG.
Pakistan was not predictable then, they are next to impossible to deconstruct today, Imran’s cornered tigers face scrutiny as well Babar Azam’s “cornered tigers” have faced even more so, even from the great Wasim Akram, the hero who helped his team lift the crystal globe all those years ago.
After all the ups and downs, Pakistan is still here, in the final awaiting the winner of England vs India still fuelled by the fire of proving their doubters wrong.
It is nothing they have not faced before. Shadab, a once pacer turned spinner, Haris Rauf a tape-ball master who was told he would not make it, Mohammad Rizwan who set every record imaginable with the bat only to be called out by the world and then there is the captain himself, a man who has carried his the weight of a cricket crazy nation on his 28-year-old shoulders for so long but despite all that, they are still here.
Not the mighty Aussies, not the calculated Kiwis nor the Asian Champions Sri Lanka but Babar Azama’s “cornered tigers” ready for a date with destiny once again.