6. Will PNG snap their losing streak?
Papua New Guinea approach the tournament having lost eight consecutive ODIs this year, against USA, Nepal, Scotland, and Oman. Having been severely disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic, PNG have not won a game since 2019. Although in a different format, they will play Scotland and Oman in Oman in the T20 World Cup, and the margin of defeat will be troubling.
However, this is not the first time PNG have turned around eight ODI defeats into a successful T20 campaign. They performed said feat in 2019, losing 8 ODIs versus Scotland, Oman, USA, and Namibia, before winning 6 out of 8 T20Is at the T20 World Qualifier, finishing 2nd overall.
PNG are a prime example of not judging a team in one format based on performances in another. So, can they turn around the fortunes at the World Cup?
PNG’s squad is much better suited to the shorter format. Boasting a stock of all-rounders and utility players in their squad, PNG bat deep in their batting line-up, and boast bowling options to exploit a variety of match-ups.
However, they have only played four T20s since their successful campaign – all in the build up to the World Cup – losing all four. Without a win since 2019, and a key game against Oman in Sunday’s tournament opener, PNG need to find their winning formula in the same way did in 2019.
Can PNG produce another of their famous miracles and turn their form around?
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