Brisbane: Besieged by on and off-field controversies, embattled Pakistan will hope to salvage their stuttering campaign when they lock horns with Zimbabwe in a Pool B match of the cricket World Cup here.
The 1992 edition winners looked far from their once dominating self in the two defeats against arch foes India and the West Indies over the past couple of weeks.
As far as Zimbabwe were concerned, they have one win and two defeats and are positioned fifth in the standings, two places above bottom-placed Pakistan in the 14-nation quadrennial extravaganza.
If the humiliation reverses were not enough, the Pakistan team was also laid low by off-the-field controversies, with chief selector Moin Khan being called back by PCB for going to a casino before the match against West Indies.
Besides, the team and its captain Misbah-ul-Haq copped up a lot of criticism for the below-par showings and are under tremendous pressure to deliver in the remaining league games.
After the loss by 76 runs to India and 150 runs against the West Indies, a defeat at the Gabba will virtually condemn them to an early exit.Misbah and his team is now looking up to Imran Khan's warriors of 92, when they triumphed Down Under under his inspirational leadership after staring at an early elimination.
Twenty-three years ago, they lost by 10 wickets to West Indies, beat Zimbabwe, had a no-result when about to be defeated by England before two more losses to India and South Africa.
They then went on a roll, seeing off Australia, Sri Lanka and New Zealand to make the semi-finals. The Kiwis were defeated again in the last-four stage before the title was clinched in Melbourne with a 22-run win against England.
"The important lesson is never give up. That's what you need to do as a player and as a team. That's what Imran Khan usually says about 1992. Even when the team was in difficult times, they never gave up," Misbah told reporters.
Zimbabwe, on the other hand, are pinning their hopes on coach Dav Whatmore's knowledge of the Pakistan team. Whatmore was at the helm of Pakistan for two years from 2012.
Pakistan: Misbah-ul-Haq, Ahmed Shehzad, Ehsan Adil, Haris Sohail, Mohammad Irfan, Nasir Jamshed, Rahat Ali, Sarfraz Ahmed, Shahid Afridi, Sohaib Maqsood, Sohail Khan, Umar Akmal†, Wahab Riaz, Yasir Shah, Younis Khan
Zimbabwe: E Chigumbura, RW Chakabva, TL Chatara, CJ Chibhabha, CR Ervine, T Kamungozi, H Masakadza, S Matsikenyeri, SF Mire, T Mupariwa, T Panyangara, Sikandar Raza, BRM Taylor†, P Utseya, SC Williams