Image courtesy of: Zimbio
Pakistan wicketkeeper-batsman Kamran Akmal believes big-hitting middle order batsman Asif Ali will be the national team’s key batsman during their World Cup clash against England on Monday.
Asif was left out of Pakistan’s squad for their World Cup opener against the West Indies.
In that match, Pakistan were skittled out for 105 after being put in to bat first and the West Indies proceeded to win the match by seven wickets with 218 balls to spare.
Fakhar Zaman and Babar Azam were the top scorers as they both made 22 runs, while Wahab Riaz chipped in with a quickfire 18 at the end.
Mohammad Hafeez was the only other batsman to reach double figures as he made 16.
“Asif Ali holds the key for Pakistan’s batting so he should be kept for power hitting,” Akmal told The Nation. “If he could stay at the wicket for a few overs, then things [will] completely change. He is a good puller of short-pitched deliveries as he is fearless, which will help him and the team a great deal.
“Pakistan can bounce back and beat England if they play according to the situation and with a proper gameplan.”
England hold the upper hand going into the game against Pakistan as they beat the men in green 4-0 in the five-match ODI series prior to the World Cup.
“Although England are on a high, playing superb cricket and beating opponents comprehensively, it doesn’t mean they are untouchable,” Akmal said. “They are very much beatable and if the Pakistani batsmen play aggressively and either leave short-pitched deliveries or punish them with full force, Pakistan is bound to beat any given opponent.”