Image taken by: Bimal Mirwani
Waqar Younis, the legendary swing bowler, is confident that Pakistan opening batsman Imam-ul-Haq will have a strong campaign in the 2023 ICC Cricket World Cup as he has been in solid form as of late.
Imam is Pakistan’s go-to opener in ODIs and has enjoyed the most success in that particular format as he currently has a batting average of 50.44.
Considering how important it is for Pakistan to get off to strong starts, the spotlight will be on the 27-year-old nephew of chief selector Inzamam-ul-Haq to produce top-notch performances.
“We have seen Imam playing great innings,” Waqar told Cricket Pakistan.
Imam made 57 runs, which included a match-winning 50 not out, at an average of 28.50 in the two-Test series against Sri Lanka.
He followed that up with 165 runs in three ODIs against Afghanistan, which included two half-centuries, at an average of 55.
Most recently, he was involved in the Asia Cup and amassed 92 runs in four games, which included a top score of 78, at an average of 30.66.
Pakistan began the tournament in dominant fashion as they annihilated Nepal by 238 runs before sharing one point apiece with India as their match was rained off.
Having made it through to the Super Fours, the men in green defeated Bangladesh by seven wickets.
However, their unbeaten run came to an end when they lost to India by 228 runs.
Pakistan still had an opportunity to book their spot in the Asia Cup final when they played Sri Lanka on September 14 in Colombo, but couldn’t do it as they succumbed to a two-wicket defeat via the Duckworth–Lewis–Stern method (DLS) method.
The men in green will now feature in the World Cup in India, which will start on October 5.
Pakistan’s first game will see them take on the Netherlands on October 6 in Hyderabad.
Pakistan Squad for 2023 ICC Cricket World Cup: Fakhar Zaman, Imam-ul-Haq, Abdullah Shafique, Babar Azam (capt), Mohammad Rizwan, Saud Shakeel, Iftikhar Ahmed, Salman Ali Agha, Shadab Khan, Usama Mir, Mohammad Nawaz, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Haris Rauf, Mohammad Wasim Jnr, Hasan Ali