Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo
Former Pakistan wicketkeeper-batsman Rashid Latif has expressed his concerns about the national team’s reliance on opening batsman Fakhar Zaman.
Zaman excelled in the ODI series against Zimbabwe, where he scored 515 runs in five ODIs, which included two centuries and two fifties, at a jaw-dropping average of 257.50.
Zaman also made history during the series as he struck a career-best 210 not out in the fourth ODI.
Zaman joined an elite club following his spectacular knock as he became just the sixth player to score a double century in ODI cricket. In addition to this, his knock was the fifth-highest in ODI history and the highest by a Pakistani batsman.
While the 28-year-old had a series to remember against Zimbabwe, he has not been able to replicate his success in the ongoing Asia Cup, as he has made scores of 24, 0 and 0.
With his failure to have an impact thus far, Latif reiterated his worries about Pakistan placing too much pressure on the opener to score runs in every match.
“Pakistan is heavily relying on Fakhar to provide a solid stand upfront, which has put extra pressure on Fakhar and the team,” he was quoted as saying by The Nation. “For me, Fakhar should be [given freedom] to play his natural game.”
Despite only averaging eight in the Asia Cup, Latif is confident that Zaman will bounce back and regain his touch with the bat.
“Yes, he [has not been] firing and scoring for the last three matches, especially in the last two games, but it is only a matter of time before Fakhar will once again [bounce back] and start to smash bowlers to all sides of the park,” he said.
Pakistan’s next Asia Cup match will be a rematch against arch-rivals India on Sunday.