Babar must embrace the right mindset to achieve crowning glory.

EVEN Nostradamus would not have prophesied that Pakistan would sneak into the semi-finals. It looked next to impossible. Simply because there were heaps of ifs and buts involved. But then he would certainly have felt thunderstruck like tens of millions of Pakistanis when the Dutch ousted mighty-looking South Africa in Adelaide.

The reputed French seer of the 16th century perhaps could not also have predicted that a vibrant-looking Mohammad Rizwan, who before the ongoing showpiece in Australia was world's top batter in the game's shortest format, would slump in the T20 showpiece, and be exuberantly overtaken - though just twice for now - by a budding Mohammad Haris.

How in the world could any connoisseur dare foresee that Iftikhar Ahmed - with a disastrous lead-up to the T20 World Cup - would click in crucial games of the global event while Babar Azam would miserably flop?

Accept it or not, this is how the world goes, and express-cum-powerful T20 cricket is no exception. Future, which for every soul on the surface of this earth can never be accurately foreseen, brings with it newer, stronger and unfamiliar challenges of various degrees. To tackle them and thrive requires wisdom and grit. Not many have it. No wonder, very few defy the trials to reach the summit.

Babar and his men got the reprieve of their lives last Sunday and now if they want to make use of it to achieve ultimate glory in Melbourne on Nov 13, they must rise to the challenge which touches its peak in the knockout global contests.

The captain's role is paramount in this regard. Babar is in the hot seat.

The title victory Down Under will adorn his career while a loss - in the semi-final or the all-important decider - will obscure it.

Therefore, Babar, badly struggling with the bat (with scanty scores of 0, 4, 4, 6 and 25) in the ongoing World Cup, will have to lead from the front, both as batter and skipper.

Former Pakistan captain Shahid Afridi wants Babar to promote in-form Haris as opener and drop himself to number three.

'Babar Azam needs to listen to suggestions,' Afridi, himself a strong hitter, told a private TV channel. 'We need to use Mohammad Haris with fielding restrictions. Babar should drop to number three.'

Adam Gilchrist, the former Australian wicket-keeper/batter, thinks otherwise.

'I think he [Babar] is an opening batter, his record is excellent. He's having a challenging time but I think he's a good enough player to come out on top, he is a wonderful player,'...

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