Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo
Former Pakistan head coach Mickey Arthur has admitted that he has been highly impressed with batsman Iftikhar Ahmed.
Iftikhar smashed a career-best 62 not out in the second Twenty20 International against Australia, which came off 34 balls and included five boundaries and three sixes.
Arthur noted that Pakistan have been searching for a batsman who can play the role of a finisher for some time now, and believes that Iftikhar showed that he is capable of filling that role.
He also praised newly-appointed Twenty20 captain Babar Azam for leading by example as he scored an unbeaten 59 in the first Twenty20 International, which was abandoned due to heavy rain, and 50 in the second in the second Twenty20 International, which Australia won by seven wickets.
“Babar did what Babar does, but very impressed with Iftikhar. Pakistan are looking for a finisher and Ifti did a fantastic job and got Pakistan back in the game,” he was quoted as saying by PakPassion. “He surprised me a bit, he scored off both [the] front and back foot which was impressive. He hits from a very stable base which allows him to get his power through the ball. He was very impressive and I’m really happy with that performance.
“Iftikhar was the biggest plus for Pakistan. It’s been well documented that Pakistan have been looking for power hitters, guys who can finish an innings. If Iftikhar keeps this up, he could be that guy. He showed the ability to play the short balls, he pulled well and hit powerfully down the ground.”