Misbah-ul-Haq Reuters

Coach: Waqar Younis

ICC World Ranking: 7

Squad: Mohammad Hafeez, Ahmed Shehzad, Younis Khan, Misbah-ul-Haq (c), Haris Sohail, Umar Akmal, Sohaib Maqsood, Sarfraz Ahmed (wk), Shahid Afridi, Mohammad Irfan, Sohail Khan, Wahab Riaz, Ehsan Adil, Yasir Shah, Rahat Ali

Fixtures: India (15 February), West Indies (21 February), Zimbabwe (1 February), UAE (4 March), South Africa (7 March), Ireland (15 March).

Overview: Pakistan bring an air of unpredictability into the World Cup given their ostensibly poor record in 2014, but are difficult to write off given the plethora of talent in their squad. Their bowling, not up to the same level as their coach Waqar Younis', still packs enough punch to give batsmen a run for their money on seaming, pacy tracks. The likes of Wahab Riaz and Mohammad Irfan have everything to play for, and may turn out to be the surprise package coming into the tournament.

Shahid Afridi is playing his last World Cup and will be looking to use his nagging leg spin to unsettle the opposition batsmen along with his explosive batting to give his side an impetus. Their batting boasts a series of veterans like Misbah ul Haq and Younis Khan, who can work alongside the likes of Umar Akmal and company to give their team a platform.

Lack of all-rounders may prove to be Pakistan's undoing in the World Cup as Mohammad Hafeez is barred from bowling owing to a suspect action and will only participate in the tournament as a specialist batsman.

Key player

Misbah-ul-Haq: The Pakistan captain is by far Pakistan's best batsman and has the ability to turn a game on its head if given the opportunity. Playing his last World Cup at 40, Misbah will be looking to banish memories of the 2007 ICC T20 World Cup final against India, where he perished in the final over to hand their arch rivals a momentous victory from the jaws of defeat.

World Cup history: Pakistan have won the tournament only once in 1992 which was held in Australia and the team will be looking to revisit memories of the period when they were playing their best cricket. In their first game the team from the subcontinent face India, whom they have never beaten in a competitive game in the World Cup.

Prediction: Pakistan are the dark horses in the tournament but need to get a balance between their batting and bowling to progress in the tournament. Performance in the group stages will pave the path for future success, which given their current form is a distant possibility. However, a quarter-final berth is more or less confirmed and any further involvement will depend on the quality of their performance on the day.