Image courtesy of: Pakistan Cricket Board
Pakistan batsman Usman Salahuddin believes he can be the answer to the national team’s problem with opening batsmen.
Pakistan’s openers have failed to live up to expectations as of late and questions have been asked about whether a new pair should be given a chance at the top of the order.
Shan Masood and Abid Ali were the openers during the tour of New Zealand, but they failed to have an impact.
Masood scored 10 runs in the two-Test series at an average of 2.50, while Abid amassed 76 runs at an average of 19.
Masood was subsequently dropped for the recent two-Test series against South Africa, but Abid retained his place and was joined by Imran Butt, who made his debut, atop the order.
Abid only made 33 runs in the series at an average of 8.25, while Imran accumulated 36 runs at an average of nine.
With Salahuddin having batted at number three for Central Punjab during the Quaid-e-Azam Trophy, he proclaimed that he is “ready to open in domestic cricket and for Pakistan if required”.
“This season I moved up to the number 3 position in the batting order for the first time in my career. So, I have obtained a lot of experience facing the new ball and I believe that in order to succeed at the top of the order you have to have a solid defensive technique which I have,” he told PakPassion.
“Considering it was my first season at number 3, I think it’s been a successful transition. You are right about Pakistan’s struggles in the opening positions and I believe that Pakistan needs at least one solid opener who can play long innings and see off the new ball. I’ve given this some thought and I am ready to open in domestic cricket and for Pakistan if required.”
Salahuddin was the fourth-highest run-scorer in the 2020/21 Quaid-e-Azam Trophy with 924 runs in 11 matches for Central Punjab, which included a career-best 219 not out and eight half-centuries, at an average of 48.63.