Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo
Pakistan captain Sarfraz Ahmed has made it abundantly clear that he intends to bat at four or five during the World Cup.
Sarfraz made similar comments last month, where he said that he wanted to promote himself up the order.
The 31-year-old has batted at many different positions, including as an opener in the lead-up to the 2015 World Cup.
Opening the batting in a three-match series against Australia prior to the last World Cup, he scored 34, 65 and 32.
During the 2015 World Cup, in his first two innings as an opener, he made 49 and an unbeaten 101.
Fast forward to the English summer of 2016 and Sarfraz found himself batting at five, where he tasted a lot of success.
He scored 55, 105, 38, 12 and 90 across five innings and struck 35, 60 not out and an unbeaten 24 in three further innings.
Despite his impressive performances, Sarfraz has only batted above six three times since October 5, 2016.
Having had limited success lower down the order, Sarfraz will be aiming to replicate all that success he had a few years ago during the upcoming World Cup, which begins on May 30.
“My aim in England [is] to bat four or five, throughout the World Cup,” Sarfraz was quoted as saying by ESPNcricinfo. “We’ve come to a World Cup, it’s a long tournament so it’s good to have a stable and set batting order in which everyone knows where they are batting.
“We will obviously be flexible so that when there are fewer overs left we might switch around if we need somebody as a hitter and look at sending Imad [Wasim] or Asif [Ali].”
Sarfraz noted that the players’ strike-rates while batting used to be low in the past, but this has slowly been rectified.
“One of the issues then was that our strike rotation was poor and we’ve worked on that,” he said. “Our strike rate was low generally but if you look at Fakhar, he goes at 90-95. Babar plays long innings but when he finishes he is near 85-90. So things are better – it’s been a few years since that series and we’ve been preparing this side for the last 18 months.”
Pakistan will begin their World Cup campaign against the West Indies in Nottingham on May 31, but prior to that, they will play a five-match ODI series against England, which gets underway at The Oval on Wednesday.
They will then play two World Cup warm-up games against Afghanistan and Bangladesh in Bristol and Cardiff on May 24 and 26 respectively.