File photo of Babar Azam© AFP
While captain Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan have been established as Pakistan’s openers in T20Is, a case has been made that Fakhar Zaman should be pushed up to open, especially as he can prove more aggression at the top. Former Pakistan captain Mohammad Hafeez, however, feels that Pakistan should persist with Babar and Rizwan at the top, given their success, at least until the 2022 T20 World Cup, which begins in October. But Hafeez did point out one thing on which the two can improve upon.
“This debate has been going on for a while and I feel that looking at the success rate of the two openers (Babar and Rizwan), we should put an end to it for a while, at least till the World Cup. Let them play,” he said during a TV discussion that he shared on Twitter.
“The only thing that they need to improve on is their intent, their strike rate. And if they manage to improve their intent and strike rate, then we don’t need to worry about them,” he said.
He went on to say that the only way Fakhar Zaman will be pushed up to open is if Babar Azam sacrifices his spot and moves down to No.3 himself
“I accept that Fakhar should play as an opener only. But that will only happen if Babar Azam shows a big heart and as a captain, leaves his own spot which is his comfort zone to play the Powerplay and play as an opener – if he can leave his comfort zone and as a leader, decides to play at No.3, thinking about the better utilization of his teammate, because his strike rate is the highest in the overs between 7-15, so there’s no harm to make this decision as a batter,” Hafeez said.
Topics mentioned in this article