Image taken by: Bimal Mirwani
Suggesting a drastic change to the Pakistan batting line-up, former pace bowler Aaqib Javed wants captain Babar Azam to no longer open the batting and instead bat in the middle order.
Given the longstanding problems the men in green have had with their middle order, the Lahore Qalandars head coach feels that a player in top form like Azam should move down the line-up in order to fix the “crisis”.
In the recent T20 tri-series against New Zealand and Bangladesh, the 28-year-old was in great form with the bat as he amassed 192 runs in five matches, which included two half-centuries, at an average of 48 and a strike-rate of 123.87.
“A performing captain like Babar Azam should bat where Pakistan is currently facing a crisis and that is [the] middle order,” Aaqib was quoted as saying by Cricket Pakistan.
Pakistan started their 2022 T20 World Cup campaign on Sunday, where they lost to India by four wickets off the final ball of the match.
Azam failed to have an impact in that game as he was trapped lbw off the bowling of Arshdeep Singh for a golden duck.
Pakistan’s next fixture will see them go up against Zimbabwe on Thursday in Perth.
Pakistan’s 2022 T20 World Cup squad: Babar Azam (captain), Shadab Khan (vice-captain), Asif Ali, Fakhar Zaman, Haider Ali, Haris Rauf, Iftikhar Ahmed, Khushdil Shah, Mohammad Hasnain, Mohammad Nawaz, Mohammad Rizwan, Mohammad Wasim Jnr, Naseem Shah, Shaheen Shah Afridi and Shan Masood
Reserves: Mohammad Haris, Shahnawaz Dahani and Usman Qadir