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When the T20 World Cup 2022 is just around the corner, team Pakistan faces huge problems in the middle order department and failed to play modern-day cricket. The Pakistan men’s cricket team’s success in T20I matches in the last few years has been mainly because of their top two batters – captain Babar Azam and wicketkeeper Mohammad Rizwan. The pair have scored the majority of the runs for the Men in Green in the recent past in T20I.
They usually score the majority of the runs, but whenever they fail, the middle and lower order failed to carry out the momentum. And that’s exactly what happened in the recently concluded T20 Asia Cup 2022.
Can Mohammad Rizwan play modern-day cricket?
The superstar and game changer Mohammad Rizwan is considered the backbone of the Pakistan T20 side in the past couple of years. He played some outstanding innings throughout that period which awarded him as he climbs the No.1 spot in ICC Men’s T20I batting rankings.
But he is not considered a modern-day batter who plays aggressively and punishes the bowlers all around the ground. Rizwan has limits of shots as he scored most of his runs between mid-wicket to fine leg. He played the anchor role in the team and if Babar also falls early, then there comes a lot of pressure on Rizwan and he can not play more freely which is not good for him and the Pakistan T20 side.
If Pakistan wants to play modern-day cricket, then the wicketkeeper-batsman should take this responsibility and change his game according to the modern era regardless of the situation. He should play fewer dot balls and increase his shots to play aggressively.
Fakhar Zaman suits as an Opener
Fakhar Zaman is not performing really well as he was promoted to a one-down position. In this position, he struggled most of the time. He failed to rotate the strike and score runs at the high strike rate.
When he comes to bat at one down position, most of the time the power player overs are gone and he is the kind of player who likes to smash fast bowlers in the powerplay and then take on spinners. So now the situation is that when he comes to bat straight away he faces the spinners which are difficult for him. He doesn’t feel comfortable in this position.
|Batting Position||Strike rate|
|At Number 3||117.74|
The above chart clearly shows that he is struggling in that position. If Babar wants to utilise him properly then promote him as an opener otherwise don’t play with him at one down position.
He should also improve his game against the spinners as he struggles to score against them in T20 cricket especially when he comes to bat early and spinners are bowling.
Ifthikar Ahmad needs to play freely
There is the same kind of scenario for Ifthikar Ahmad as he failed to deliver the expected outcome. There is no doubt he came into the team after performing in domestic cricket but as he performed in domestic cricket he failed to replicate his game in the International arena, especially in T20I.
He has the power and the ability to play modern-day cricket but there is a kind of fear and pressure of international cricket which doesn’t allow him to play freely. He just needs to play aggressively and keep faith in his power-hitting ability to secure his place in the team otherwise his selection will be in danger.
Modern-day cricket finisher
There is no doubt that Asif Ali can change the course of the match in some time due to his Six hitting ability. And there is also no blame as to why Asif is not scoring runs regularly. As a kind of player, he is that and when we talk about his batting position his only task is to just go and hit big shots.
Asif plays in the lower order as a finisher in the Pakistan T20 side for the last 4 or 5 years. He is good against pace bowling but he performed badly against spin bowlers.
Sri Lanka’s main bowler, Wanindu Hasaranga dismissed Asif Ali 4 times in 5 innings and conceded only 6 runs in 11 balls. Now you can imagine how Asif struggled against the wrist spinners.
|Bowling Type||Strike rate|
The above table shows the difference between Asif’s strike rate against fast and spin bowlers. He should improve his game, especially against the spinners and should also learn the game awareness that if he comes to bat early then spend some time on the crease and play normal cricket too.
Is Khushdil Shah over?
Till now, Khushdil Shah has failed badly to perform for Pakistan in T20I. Team management gives too many opportunities to the left-hander but he fails to fulfil the expectations.
Now it’s time to give the opportunity to young Haider Ali and give him proper chances.