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Ramiz Raja, the former Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman, said he wants to see Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan continue opening the batting in T20Is as they forge “extensive partnerships”.
There has been a lot of debate about the opening duo, especially since many of their critics feel that they score too slowly.
This has led to calls for either Azam or Rizwan to be demoted down the order and a more attacking batsman like Fakhar Zaman, Mohammad Haris or Saim Ayub to replace them as an opener.
But, Ramiz pointed out that since Azam and Rizwan have scored runs and regularly play an instrumental role in leading the men in green to victory, he doesn’t want to see changes made.
“They are capable of making extensive partnerships which benefits Pakistan at the end of the day,” he said on his YouTube channel as quoted by Cricket Pakistan.
Pakistan recently beat Sri Lanka 2-0 in a Test series before defeating Afghanistan 3-0 in an ODI series.
Most recently, Azam and Rizwan featured in the Asia Cup, with the Pakistan skipper scoring 207 runs in five matches, which included a top score of 151, at an average of 51.75.
As for Rizwan, he finished with 195 runs in five games, which included two fifties, at an average of 97.50.
Pakistan kickstarted their campaign with a 238-run win over Nepal before sharing one point apiece with India as their match was rained off.
Having advanced to the Super Fours, the men in green eased past Bangladesh by seven wickets.
Things started to fall apart from this point on as India demolished them by 228 runs.
Pakistan still had a chance to progress to the Asia Cup final, but failed to do so as they lost to Sri Lanka by two wickets via the Duckworth–Lewis–Stern method (DLS) method.
Pakistan Squad for 2023 Asia Cup: Babar Azam (capt), Shadab Khan, Mohammad Rizwan (wk), Saud Shakeel, Fakhar Zaman, Abdullah Shafique, Imam-ul-Haq, Saud Shakeel, Salman Ali Agha, Iftikhar Ahmed, Mohammad Nawaz, Usama Mir, Haris Rauf, Naseem Shah, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Mohammad Haris (wk), Faheem Ashraf, Mohammad Wasim Jnr, Shahnawaz Dahani, Zaman Khan.
Travelling reserve: Tayyab Tahir