Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo
Pakistan all-rounder Mohammad Hafeez is eager to open the batting again rather than playing an anchor role in the middle order.
Hafeez stopped opening the batting during Pakistan’s ODI series in Australia in January 2017.
Since then he has batted between four and seven, and averaged over 37.
Despite this, he reiterated that he sees himself as an opener.
However, regaining his spot at the top of the order won’t be an easy task as current openers Imam-ul-Haq and Fakhar Zaman have done an excellent job.
Imam is averaging 54.90 in ODIs, while Zaman is averaging 53.40 and has even scored a double century.
“I am an opener and want to play as one,” Hafeez was quoted as saying by Cricbuzz. “This team management had asked me to play an anchor role at number four because we have new openers who are growing and playing well. I play for the Pakistan team and try to fit in the role which is offered to me.”
Hafeez also noted that he approaches his innings when batting according to the situation.
Should Pakistan be in need of quick runs, he will take a more aggressive approach, but if he needs to stay in and stabilise the innings, then he will be more calm and calculated.
“I am not a one-dimensional player,” he said. “I believe I can play every kind of innings. On many occasions, in my career, I have delivered in tough and pressure situations. Since I have played as an opener for 16-17 years since the start of my career, it becomes very difficult to go down the order. I always want to have more overs so I can take upon the responsibility and win matches for Pakistan.”
Hafeez has been included in Pakistan’s World Cup squad, which has been criticised for lacking power hitters.
However, the 38-year-old denied this and made it abundantly clear that “you don’t win matches by slogging”.
“There’s a lot of talk on it. But, I deny this notion,” he said. “According to me, you have to play a good innings which should dominate the opposition after you have settled. You don’t win matches by slogging. Rather you have to build an innings for which, I feel, we have all the resources. The boys have sound technique and have the right talent which is being groomed. I feel we have all that is needed [in the batting department] to click in the tournament.”
Hafeez also confirmed that he has fully recovered from the second operation he underwent on his fractured thumb.
“I have fully recovered now,” he said. “I am getting the time required to get back into the fold after an injury, and within a week I will be able to play full matches.”